Global summit draws international academics

by Max Reyes / Beacon Staff • October 20, 2016

Distinguished journalist-in-residence Carole Simpson opened the second Global Summit on politics, sports, and civic engagement in a “State of the Race” address in which she said the American electorate had entered the Twilight Zone.

Simpson, who was the first of three speakers to address a group gathered for a debate screening held as part of the summit, said that she had never seen America so divided.

Two speakers addressed the audience after Simpson did. Spencer Kimball, Communications Studies Department senior scholar-in-residence and the advisor of the Emerson College Polling Society, discussed Emerson’s polls, which were rated number one in accuracy by Bloomberg News; and Emerson alumna Kathryn Grosso, ‘05, a political strategist who worked for Republicans including Rudolph Giuliani and Chris Christie.

The debate screening is only the first event of the Global Summit, which began Oct. 19 and ends Oct. 22. On Thursday, there will be multiple panels held between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. with topics spanning the politics of sports to Trump’s rhetoric.

More panels will be held on Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., including one called “Comedy and the 2016 Election.”

Communications Studies Chair Gregory Payne said the first Global Summit was held in Barcelona, and both are the product of a partnership between Emerson and Barcelona’s Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations at Ramon Llull University.

At the event, Payne said the summit was in line with President M. Lee Pelton’s desire to give the college a more global presence.

“I think the most exciting thing about the event tonight is the fact that it really is a convergence ... of Emerson being global,” Payne said in an earlier interview. He also said that people from countries including Spain, Thailand, and Chile would be in attendance, before emphasizing how immersive Emerson’s political communications program is.

“You can study at other places; here we study it, then we do it,” he said.