Vanderbilt faculty experts are available for media interviews and commentary on a variety of angles tied to the presidential inauguration, including presidential rhetoric, historical context, the current task at hand for the federal government and extremist groups. Experts include:
- Vanessa Beasley is an expert in presidential rhetoric and author of the recent paper, "Words Matter: What an Inaugural Address Means Now." She can speak to the importance of President-elect Biden using his speech to explain to the American people how and why we will move forward, as well as provide analysis following his address.
- Thomas Schwartz can discuss the history of U.S. politics, including parallels between previous inaugurations and the unprecedented 2021 inauguration. He can analyze how foreign governments will react to Biden's inaugural, what type of foreign policy challenges he might see early on and how previous presidents have been "tested" by adversaries in their first months in office, such as Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs and Nixon and the North Korean shooting down of a U.S. spy plane.
- David Lewis specializes in the presidency, executive branch policies and public administration and is the author of the recent paper, "Making Government Work Part I: Dispelling Myths about Civil Service." He can explain the priorities and challenges ahead for the Biden-Harris administration and how Republicans and Democrats need to work together to honor public service commitments.
- Amy Cooter is an expert on the various topics related to armed right-wing protests, including the prediction of extremist violence, neo-Nazi nationalism and militias. She can speak to the increase of related activity in recent weeks and the potential for more threats surrounding the Biden inauguration.
- Sophie Bjork-James studies far right and white nationalist movements, including QAnon, and their participation in online communities. She can discuss these groups' behaviors and implications as it pertains to politics and the inauguration.
Vanessa Beasley Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Dean of Residential Faculty and Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Expert in presidential rhetoric, U.S. political communication and rhetorical criticism and theory.
Thomas Schwartz Distinguished Professor of History
Historian of U.S. foreign policy, international relations and U.S. presidencies.
David Lewis William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science
Expert in federal bureaucracy, including agency performance, agency oversight and the political appointment process.
Amy Cooter Senior Lecturer
Expert on various topics related to right-wing groups, extremist violence, neo-Nazi nationalism and militias.
Sophie Bjork-James Assistant Professor of the Practice in Anthropology
Expert on the U.S.-based religious right and the white nationalist movement, particularly online communities.