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Skidmore College
2019 Summer Reading
First-Year Experience

On the FYE Lecturer

 This year's FYE Lecture "Do Facts Matter?  And How Can We Get Them to Matter More?" will be given by Dr. Jennifer Hochschild on Monday, September 9th at 8:00 p.m. in Ladd Hall,  Arthur Zankel Music Center.


Despite the importance of knowledgeable citizens for a good democracy, many Americans either do not know important factual information, do not use relevant facts in their political judgements and actions, or both.  Misinformation or misuse of information have harmful political and policy effects. Nonetheless, as Factfulness suggests and encourages, citizens do sometimes learn correct information and use it effectively in the political arena.  After exploring these points, I will suggest additional ways that individuals and political systems can combat misinformation and promote the use of relevant facts in politics and policy-making.


Jennifer Hochschild is the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government at Harvard University, Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard College Professor, and the Chair of the Department of Government. She holds lectureships in the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2011, she held the John W. Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. She was President of the American Political Science Association in 2015-2016.

Hochschild studies and teaches about the intersection of American politics and political philosophy -- particularly in the areas of race, ethnicity, and immigration -- as well as educational and social welfare policies. She also works on issues in public opinion, political culture, and American political thought, and is currently conducting research on the politics and ideology of genomic science, immigrant political incorporation, and citizens’ use of factual information in political decision-making.  

Hochschild is the author or co-author of numerous books, including recently, Do Facts Matter?: Information and Misinformation in American Politics, co-authored with Katherine Levine Einstein (Oklahoma University Press, 2015), Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in Americaco-authored with Vesla Weaver and Traci Burch (Princeton University Press, 2012), and Bringing Outsiders In: Transatlantic Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation, co-edited with John Mollenkopf (Cornell University Press, 2009). She is also the author of The American Dream and the Public Schools, co-authored with Nathan Scovronick (Oxford University Press, 2003), and other books.

Hochschild was founding editor of Perspectives on Politics, published by the American Political Science Association, and was a former co-editor of the American Political Science Review (2010-2012).  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a former vice-president of the American Political Science Association, a former member and vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation, and a former member of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey. She served as co-chair of the Program Committee for the annual convention of the APSA in 1996. She has received fellowships or awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Spencer Foundation, American Political Science Association, Princeton University Research Board, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Mellon Foundation, Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, and Harvard's Center for American Political Studies. She has served as a consultant or expert witness in several school desegregation cases, most importantly Yonkers Board of Education v. New York State.

Before coming to Harvard in 2001, Professor Hochschild taught at Duke and Columbia Universities and was William Steward Tod Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University for almost two decades.