Suffolk University will present a dynamic series of debates, a film, panel discussions and simulcasts spotlighting the 2012 presidential election and inviting lively responses from the Suffolk University and greater Boston communities.

“Presidential elections are one of the most exciting times in American political life. For new voters, however, they also can be daunting, especially because there is often so much information that it is difficult to sort through everything,” says Professor Rachael Cobb, chair of Suffolk’s Government Department. “Public spaces for civic discourse and discovery offer the broad community a place to come together, share ideas, and learn about the key issues and central debates that animate American political life.”

Live Debate Screenings at the Modern Theatre

A great piece of political theater deserves the proper setting, so the presidential and vice-presidential debates will be live-streamed on the big screen at Suffolk University's Modern Theatre. Political experts from Suffolk's Government and Communication and Journalism departments will set the scene with discussions of debate strategy and the state of the campaigns.

Presidential Debate # 1

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3
Suffolk Government Professor Brian Conley and Communication and Journalism Professor Gloria Boone will lead a pre-debate discussion on debate strategy and the state of the campaigns.

Vice-Presidential Debate

8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11
Political experts from Suffolk's Government and Communication and Journalism departments will set the scene with a discussion of debate strategy and the state of the campaigns before the live-streamed debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.

Presidential Debate #2

8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
Suffolk University will lead its own Town Hall discussion to complement the second Presidential Debate. Political experts from Suffolk’s Government and Communication and Journalism departments will lead a pre-debate discussion, and David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, will lead a post-debate debrief featuring reactions from viewers.

Presidential Debate #3

8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
Pre-debate introductory remarks and a question-and-answer session will be led by Suffolk Government Professor John Berg and Communication and Journalism Professor Kevin Carragee.

Special Election-Related Events at Suffolk University

Election 2012: Taking Sides
1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9
Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
Suffolk Economics Professors David Tuerck and Jonathan Haughton will debate the policy positions of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Communication and Journalism Department Chair Robert Rosenthal, a specialist in the field of political communication, will moderate this spirited discussion. Tuerck is chair of the Economics Department and founder and executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research. Haughton is a senior economist for the Beacon Hill Institute.

Debating the Filibuster

4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10
Poetry Center at Suffolk University
Rich Arenberg, author of Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate and a lecturer in the Suffolk University Government Department; Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts; and others engage in a lively discussion about the role of the filibuster in American politics.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10
Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
On the 50th anniversary of its cinematic release, this political and psychological thriller still resonates for contemporary audiences in an election year. The film was directed by John Frankenheimer and features Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury. A facilitated discussion with Suffolk University Professor Robert Allison, chair of the History Department, and political communications consultant Michael Goldman will follow the screening. Goldman has participated in more than 150 political campaigns in the last four years and teaches in Suffolk’s Government Department. Presented in collaboration with the Boston Preservation Alliance.

2012 Presidential Events: Why Swing States Matter

A Moakley Forum Event
12 noon Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
Law School Function Room
Just 12 days before Election Day, Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos will discuss his latest presidential poll, as well as the swing states still in play. Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts governor and 1988 democratic nominee for president, will offer his thoughts on how the presidential elections have changed over the years from the Democratic perspective. Peter Blute, deputy chairman of the Republican State Committee, former U.S. representative, and former Massachusetts House of Representatives member, will offer a Republican perspective on the presidential election and Massachusetts state races.

Behind the Curtain: A Curious Look at Campaign 2012

MassINC "Open Mind Series"
5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
This live public affairs show will take a look at the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. With an array of guests in media, politics and academia, Behind the Curtain presents serious subjects in clever, interesting ways. Bruce Mohl, editor of CommonWealth Magazine will host the show.

Barack Obama and America's Polarized Politics

6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012
C. Walsh Theatre at Suffolk University
Join Suffolk University Distinguished Visiting Scholar Rogers Smith for a discussion of how and why race and class politics have posed barriers to Barack Obama's pursuit of what he sees as the central aim of the American political system -- realizing the goal of "E Pluribus Unum." Smith is chair of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent book (with Desmond S. King) is Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama's America.

The Constitution and Equal Citizenship in the 21st Century

1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
(Location to be determined)
Distinguished Visiting Scholar Rogers Smith analyzes how far and in what ways the Constitution can be understood to require and restrict efforts to foster greater civic equality in an America in which most traditional racial, class and gender hierarchies have long been outlawed, but severe inequalities persist.

Tickets and locations

All events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University is located at 525 Washington St. in Downtown Boston.

The C. Walsh Theatre is located at 55 Temple St. on Boston’s Beacon Hill.

The Poetry Center is located at 73 Tremont St., Boston, inside Suffolk University’s Sawyer Library, accessible through the second floor.

The Law School Function Room is located on the first-floor of Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston.

All programming subject to change.