Upcoming Conference

The Dis-United States: Tribalism in American Politics

Friday September 27, 2019 | 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Town & Gown, 665 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089


Joined by leading figures from journalism, politics, and academia, this conference will explore how polarization is driving Americans into competing and antagonistic tribes. We will examine the history of tribalism, its impacts on politics, and what role the media should play.

RSVP HERE, code: tribal
Lunch and refreshments provided.

Free for current USC students, staff, and faculty
$30 General Admission
$20 Alumni
*USC Alumni registration includes a VIP reception with conference panelists from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Join us on the patio at Moreton Fig and enjoy a drink, a bite, networking with fellow alumni, and a chance to connect with industry leaders.

10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. “The Roots and Impact of Political Tribalism”
This panel will examine the rise and wide-reaching effects of tribalism on American life, past and present, its effects on the state of politics and governance in America, the role of political leaders and their potential to reverse it.

Moderated by Kambiz “Kamy” Akhavan - Executive Director, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future. Featuring:

  • Ron Christie - CEO, Christie Strategies LLC; Political Analyst, BBC; Former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush; Deputy Assistant to Vice President Cheney for Domestic Policy; Fall '19 Fellow, Center for the Political Future
  • Stevan Hobfoll - Author, “Tribalism: The Evolutionary Origins of Fear Politics”
  • Jonas Kaplan - USC Dornsife Assistant Research Professor of Psychology; Co-Director, Dornsife Neuroimaging Center
  • Alison Dundes Renteln - USC Dornsife Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Philosophy, Public Policy and Law

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Mark Sanford
Gov. Mark Sanford served as the 115th Governor of South Carolina and U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional district. Moderated by Mike Murphy, Co-Director, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future

1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. "’Alternative Facts:’ The News Media as Contributor and Victim"
This panel will explore the fractured media landscape and whether it is possible to restore a common, fact-based, national information system.

Moderated by Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. Featuring:

  • Brian Goldsmith - Former CBS, Atlantic, Yahoo and CNN Political Journalist
  • Ann Klenk - Former Co-Executive Producer, Hardball With Chris Matthews; Fall '19 Fellow, Center for the Political Future
  • Adam Nagourney - Los Angeles Bureau Chief, New York Times; Fall '19 Fellow, Center for the Political Future
  • Joel Pollak - Senior Editor, Breitbart News
  • Jessica Yellin - Founder, #NewsNotNoise; Author, “Savage News;” Former CNN Chief White House Correspondent

3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. "Social Media as the Great Divider: How Technology Has Led Us Into Our Own Corners"
This panel will examine how technology and social media exacerbate tribalism and whether the technology sector can and should address this problem.

Moderated by John Patzakis, Executive Chairman of the Board, X1 Discovery, Inc. Featuring:

  • Ann Crigler - Professor of Political Science and Policy, Planning and Development, USC Dornsife
  • Ana Kasparian - Host and Executive Producer, The Young Turks
  • Mickey Kaus - Journalist; Founder, Kaus Files
  • Karen North - Clinical Professor of Social Media, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Norbert Schwarz - Provost Professor, Department of Psychology and Marshall School of Business; Co-Director, USC Dornsife Mind & Society Center

Please contact cpf@usc.edu or call (213) 740-5596 for questions.