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KNOXVILLE – “Power and Politics: Communication and Information” will be the theme of the College of Communication and Information’s 31st Annual Research Symposium on Feb. 27 at the University Center on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

Scott Keeter, director of survey research for the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., will give the keynote address, “Old Dogs and New Tricks: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Communications Research.”

Other speakers will include Alan Lowe, executive director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and Brandon Prins, associate professor of political science.

Also at the symposium, faculty and students from UT, Baylor University, Boston University, Louisiana State University, St. Mary’s University, University of Alabama, University of Missouri and the University of South Florida will present their research papers and awards will be given to the best doctoral and master’s student papers, best collaborative paper between a faculty member and student, and best poster.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with three paper sessions and the poster session.

Lowe and Prins will begin speaking at 11:40 a.m.

Lowe recently was named as the new director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. His appointment is effective April 12.

Prins will speak about “Political Communication in a World of Strategic Interaction.”

“Political leaders constantly signal one another about preferences, power and resolve. However, since these same leaders have incentives to appease key constituencies, it frequently becomes difficult to ascertain what information or message a leader intends to convey,” he said. “Scholars of conflict processes are keenly interested in both verbal and tacit communication as indicators of preferences and resolve.”

Lunch is at 12:30 p.m. and will be followed by Keeter’s keynote address.

An election night analyst of exit polls for NBC News for nearly 30 years, Keeter is co-author of four books, including “A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen” (published this year by Oxford University Press), “The Diminishing Divide: Religion’s Changing Role in American Politics” (Brookings Institution Press), “What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters” (Yale University Press) and “Uninformed Choice: The Failure of the New Presidential Nominating System” (Praeger). His other published research includes articles and book chapters on survey methodology, political communications and behavior, and health care topics.

He previously served as chair of the Standards Committee of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, and is currently councilor-at-large for the association. He has been on the faculty at George Mason University, Rutgers University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The day concludes with two more paper sessions and the awards ceremony.

For more information about the research symposium, see http://www.cci.utk.edu/research.


Barbara “Bobbie” Suttles, (865) 974-7909,