Giving my first talk an Right-Wing Critics

This Friday I will be giving my first talk about my forthcoming book. It is a small event; it is part of the department's colloquium series, and I suspect everyone coming will be either a professor or student from the UA political science department. I doubt I have many (any) Tuscaloosa readers of this blog who do not overlap with those categories, but if you are in town and want to hear what I have to say, come on by. However, if that describes you, e-mail me ahead of time. We are providing lunch to attendees, and we will want an accurate head count going in.

I am grateful for this opportunity, as I have not discussed this project orally in any detail with anyone other than my wife and my editor -- although I did have a pleasant conversation with Grant Havers about this project after I learned that he was one of the reviewers. In the past, before I published a book, I discussed at least parts of it in conference presentations. In the case of Voting and Migration Patterns in the U.S., it was adapted from my doctoral dissertation, so I had spent more time talking about it and defending it than I probably wanted.

There is a good chance that this project will lead to at least a few interviews and other speaking opportunities, so it will be good to have a low-stakes opportunity to figure out how to talk about it before facing a larger audience. Prepping this talk is actually proving more difficult than I expected. The book covers a lot of ground, much more than I can cover in any detail in a forty minute presentation followed by a Q&A. Thus, determining what small portion I should discuss, without losing sight of the bigger picture, is a challenge. That said, I am hopeful that I will be able to make a few cogent remarks over the course of an hour.