Guest Speakers

Spring 2017

David Karpf discusses his book, Analytic Activism, during his visit to LSU's Manship School during the spring 2017 semester

David Karpf

David Karpf, associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and author of a variety of texts on the meeting point of technology, strategy, and politics, visited LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication early in the spring of 2017 to discuss his latest book, Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2016). 

In “Analytic Activism,” Karpf discusses the overlooked role of analytics in organized political engagement. He explores how this new mode of activism works, how it is produced, what it is useful for, and what its limitations are. 

Digital media, Karpf argues, has transformed political activism, most remarkably by enabling organized activist groups to listen as the seemingly disorganized masses speak. Organized advocacy groups are, he writes, increasingly turning to digital analytics in order to gauge supporter interest, monitor public sentiment, experiment with new tactics, and craft strategies that resonate in the new media environment.


Melissa Michelson

In partnership with the LSU Ogden Honors College, the Reilly Center hosted Menlo College professor of political science Dr. Melissa Michelson.  

She discussed her latest co-authored book Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights (Oxford University Press, 2017), which tests a new theory, The Theory of Dissonant Identity Priming. This theory examines if and how people’s attitudes on controversial topics can be changed. The findings presented in her book suggest that people are more likely to change their attitudes when others with whom they identify, especially leaders and role models, are also supporters, and if that information is revealed to them when they are not expecting it.

Leslie Fair poses. in front of Tiger Stadium during her visit to LSU in spring 2017

Lesley Fair

Digital communications have started to blur the line between advertising and public relations. What mistakes have landed PR firms on the law enforcement radar screen, and what practices are likely to keep you in the clear? These topics were the focus of Lesley Fair’s visit to LSU during the spring 2017 semester.

Fair educated the LSU community on best practices for avoiding legal pitfalls in digital advertising and social media, all while emphasizing the importance of keeping these communications open and honest both for the protection of the consumer and the media practitioner.

A senior attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and adjunct professor of consumer protection law at George Washington University, Fair blogs regularly for the Federal Trade Commission's business blog and contributes monthly to Electronic Retailer magazine. 

Dr. Luckert addresses an audience in the Holliday Forum during his spring 2017 visit to LSU

Steven Luckert

In partnership with LSU's Jewish Studies department, the Reilly Center hosted Dr. Steven Luckert an expert on extremism. He is the senior curator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 

During his talk, Dr. Luckert discussed how the communication techniques used by extremist organizations, such as ISIS, mirror Nazi communication strategy. 

He has spoken and written extensively on the topic of extremism and the Holocaust. His appearances may be found in many outlets and media platforms including C-SPAN, The History Channel, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post

Charlie Cook discusses the unprecendented nature of the 2016 presidential elections in the Holliday Forum during his spring 2017 visit to LSU

Charlie Cook

In the final days of the 2017 Spring semester, the Reilly Center welcomed Charlie Cook as our final guest speaker for the year. Cook is respected as one of the nation's leading authorities on politics and elections in the United States. 

During his visit to campus, Cook discussed the unprecedented nature of the 2016 presidential elections and how this election cycle saw the political rulebook thrown out. He offered thoughts on what happens next for politics and elections in the U.S. 

Cook shares his extensive expertise through a variety of media outlets. He is the editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, writes twice weekly for NBC's National Journal, and writes for a number of other publications including The Atlantic.