Category Archives: Professional Notes

Farnsworth, Hanna and Seltzer Publish Book Chapter on Virginia Politics

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth, who is director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies; Professor of Geography Stephen P. Hanna; and Kate Seltzer, a 2021 graduate of UMW with degrees in political science and in communication and digital studies, are coauthors of a book chapter entitled, “Declining Rural Influence in Virginia Politics: Comparing Mark Warner’s 2001 and 2020 Elections,” which was published in the new book, Vibrant Virginia: Engaging the Commonwealth to Expand Economic Vitality, just published by Virginia Tech. 

Further information on the book is available here:  Link

Dr. Farnsworth Lectures on Biden Presidency (so far)

Dr. Farnsworth Lectures on Biden Presidency (so far)

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered a public lecture, “Reviewing the Biden Presidency (so far),” at the Lake of the Woods Community Center in Locust Grove. The talk drew on Dr. Farnsworth's recent book, "Presidential Communication and Character."

Dr. Farnsworth also commented on several stories in the regional and national news:

Farnsworth Lectures on Presidential Communication

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently presented an online lecture, "Presidents, Presidential Candidates and Shaping the Public Discourse," to political science and communication students at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The talk drew on Professor Farnsworth's recently published book, "Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management From Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump."


Dr. Farnsworth has also been quoted in several recent media reports:

General Assembly reconvenes for veto session (Cardinal News)

What to expect from this year’s reconvene session (WVTF; WAMU)

Great Lives : Charlie Chaplin (C-SPAN)

‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ Has a Problem — With Ratings (

Jon Stewart’s Struggles Add to List of Streaming Talk Show Flops (Bloomberg)

Dems fortify for onslaught as GOP chooses challengers in 3 Va. battlegrounds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fossil Fuel Fiesta in Alexandria (Connection News Papers)

When a student newspaper calls for banning campus speech, basic freedoms are threatened. (Virginia Mercury)

Glenn Youngkin Went From Private Equity Executive to Virginia’s Executive Mansion (Market Realist)

Farnsworth Discusses the Political Humor of Charlie Chaplin on C-SPAN

Although Charlie Chaplin honed his craft in the now dust-covered formats of vaudeville and silent film, the world’s first global movie star remains an important voice who speaks to us across time about key questions involving political power, mass culture and our shared humanity.

In his films, Chaplin asked: do ever-expanding media formats empower political elites and allow them to manipulate and thereby dominate ordinary citizens? Does technology rob us of our natural connections to each other as fellow citizens? How can we fight back?

Chaplin’s work did not always offer satisfying answers to these questions, but at least he made sure we laughed along the journey. Unlike many filmmakers of his era, Chaplin often challenged political authority and power, and in particular highlighted the absurdity of following the lead of political blowhards and would-be dictators. To Chaplin, even “The Tramp” knew that human beings were smarter, kinder and better than to do that.

The iconoclastic, controversial and tumultuous life of Chaplin provides an important backdrop for appreciating his work as one of the history’s most effective users of mass media to shape political and cultural messages – messages that speak to his time, and ours.