University lecture series kicks off in downtown Aiken Sept. 28

A conversation on the straight ticket voting option will be the inaugural event of the University of South Carolina Aiken's new community series, Aiken in the Alley, on Sept. 28.

The series will kick off at 11 a.m. with a lecture from Political Scientist and USC Aiken Associate Professor Matthew P. Thornburg discussing, "The What and the Why of the Straight Ticket Voting Option." The presentation will include a discussion of the prevalence of straight-ticket option voters and an examination of who uses the option and how it affects the choices they make up and down the ballot. "Like a lot of election rules, people don't really think about how the straight-ticket option affects how people vote," Thornburg said.

Sponsored by the university's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Aiken in the Alley community series will run Sept. 28 – Dec. 14 and include lectures, conversations, and music. Faculty in political science, English, history, and music will offer insights and meaningful dialogue on a range of topics affecting our community, nation, and world.

"Participants can enjoy a mini class (without the homework) before heading to lunch with friends in Downtown Aiken," said Dr. Forest Anderson, dean of the USC Aiken's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Events will begin promptly at 11 a.m. at the university's Alley location at 141 Newberry Street SW. For more information, call (803) 641-3784.

All events are free and open to the public.

Schedule for Aiken in the Alley:

Thursday, September 28

11 am-12 pm

Associate Professor of Political Science, Matthew Thornburg, "The What and the Why of the Straight Ticket Voting Option"

Thursday, October 12

11 am-12 pm

Associate Professor of English, Todd Hagstette, "Fear the Future!: Netflix's Black Mirror and Technological Dystopia"

Thursday, October 26

11 am-12 pm

Associate Professor of English, Julie Wise, "Victorian Literary Hauntings and Hauntologies"

Thursday, November 9

11 am-12 pm

Join faculty and students for 'Poetry in the Alley' with Broken Ink, USCA's Literary and Visual Arts Magazine

Thursday, November 16

11 am-12 pm

Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Carolina Trustee Professor, Tom Mack, "Aiken's Nineteenth-Century Man of Genius, Poet and Inventor James Matthewes Legare"

Thursday, December 7

11 am-12 pm

Associate Professor of History, Elizabeth Georgian, "Spinning and Revolutions: Demonstrations of Historical Spinning Techniques"

Thursday, December 14

11 am-12 pm

A Performance by the USCA Music Program

For more information, contact Christen Engel, (803) 641-2825,