The Alabama Political Science Association (AlaPSA) held its first conference in 1973 on the University of Alabama campus. Richard Nixon was President, George Wallace was Governor, and the state legislature was controlled by a Democratic supermajority. Forty years later and in the midst of a new political era, the conference returns to its inaugural location at the Hotel Capstone on the University of Alabama campus. The conference begins on Friday, April 19, 2013 at noon and goes until Saturday, April 20 until 2 p.m. “The University of Alabama Political Science Department is proud to host the Annual Meeting commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Alabama Political Science Association,” Department Chair Dr. Richard Fording said. He added, “Along with my Co-Chairs Gina Miller and Laura Sojka, we have assembled an excellent program that features the research of political science faculty and students from across the state and the South.” This year’s meeting highlights papers and presentations on a range of topics, including public policy (both state and national perspectives), American politics, international politics, and political theory.
The highlight of the conference will take place Friday evening during the annual meeting banquet, which will feature a symposium titled “The State of Women and Politics in Alabama.” The state of Alabama ranks 47th out of 50 states when it comes to the political representation of women. The symposium participants will offer their perspectives on why this is the case and what needs to be changed so that women in Alabama are better-represented in the future. The symposium is chaired by former Chair of the Alabama Women’s Commission, Dr. Lori Owens (Jacksonville State University), and will feature analysis and observations from a wide range of political scientists and prominent female elected officials, including State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Pelham), State Representative Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), State Senator Linda Coleman (D-Birmingham), and Judge Beth Kellum (R-Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals). Tickets for the banquet are available to the public for $25 per person. The AlaPSA is an academic-based, professional organization that connects scholars interested in political science throughout Alabama and the southern region. The mission and purposes of AlaPSA can be found on their website: http://fs.huntingdon.edu/jlewis/ALaPSA/ For more information about the meeting, including tickets to the banquet and symposium, contact Political Science Chair Richard Fording (email@example.com).