On Tuesday, February 6, as part of the ECCE Speaker Series, a panel was held on the place that protest holds and has held in American culture throughout history.
The panelists included several UIS professors including Devin Hunter, Associate Professor of History, Tiffani Saunders, Lecturer of Sociology/Anthropology and African American Studies, Yona Stamatis, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, and Ann Strahle, Associate Professor of Communications. Though Tiffani Saunders was unable to attend in person, she did provide an opening introduction through video.
Each professor covered a portion of the role protest plays and has played in American life. Professor Hunter covered historical connection between protest and the progression of American culture. Professor Strahle provided information on the exact rights and protections extended to protestors and protests in general under the United States constitution, in particular the limitations that the government is allowed to impose on protests in the interest of public peace. The final presenter was Professor Stamatis, who discussed the ties between music and protest, she also described what components are necessary to create effective protest music, and provided examples of past successful protest songs. One of which might surprise many Americans, This Land is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie. One of the most quintessential patriotic songs in American history was initially written as a song of protest of the suffering inflicted upon the American people during the Great Depression.
One student, when questioned on what they were taking away from the panel responded, “It is so important for people to understand just how important protesting is, how important it is to stand up for what you believe in and to stand up for our rights and the rights of other people.”
The next ECCE Speaker Series Event will be Wednesday, 21 February, at 6:00 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium.