Unpacking Election 2020

"Vote 2020" buttons
"Vote 2020" buttons

In the aftermath of Election Day, Arts & Sciences faculty and other experts from across the University of Virginia are offering a wide range of programming through the coming weeks to help us assess the results and to envision what comes next.

The events include an invitation from the Department of Religious Studies and the Contemplative Sciences Center to join them on Wednesday, Nov. 4 for a “Post-Election Day Pause,” an online community event with brief guided meditations or contemplative practices offered every 30 minutes, from 1 to 5 p.m., to help process the stress and turmoil of the election season. Also, at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, Jennifer Lawless (Politics) joins Mary Kate Cary (Miller Center) in a conversation sponsored by the Miller Center titled “Election 2020: What Just Happened?
In addition, the Institute of Democracy has assembled a “Post-Election War Room” featuring more than 20 UVA scholars and practitioners from the Batten School, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Center for Politics, the Darden School of Business, the Democracy Initiative, the Miller Center and the School of Law to add "light instead of heat" in the days after the election. Included in these efforts are town halls on the issues of the day for students on Thursday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 6. Both town halls will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will feature Melody Barnes from the Democracy Initiative and Bill Antholis from the Miller Center. 

A complete list of events, with registration links, can be found on the UVA Election Resources Page. A running list of scheduled events featuring Arts & Sciences faculty and staff can be found here:

Wednesday, Nov. 4

Post-Election Day Pause For Students: A Virtual Space for Contemplation, Discussion, and Reflective Listening
1–5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4
Hosted by The Contemplative Sciences Center and the Department of Religious Studies

Need some space to process the stress and turmoil of this election season? Join The Contemplative Sciences Center and the Department of Religious Studies for this event, “Post-Election Day Pause For Students: A Virtual Space for Contemplation, Discussion, and Reflective Listening” today, anytime between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.  

The four-hour time frame will be punctuated by a brief guided meditation or contemplative practice on each hour and half-hour mark. Following each guided practice will be approximately 20-25 minutes of open reflection facilitated by CSC staff and supported by Religious Studies faculty. Students will have a chance to reflect on how they are experiencing this historic moment emotionally and physically in a respectful environment. Emphasis will be placed on learning to bring open awareness to one’s experience during times of uncertainty. Students may register at any time, even after the event has started. Registered students may drop into any session and stay as long as they like, but we ask that you indicate on the registration page which 30-minute session you intend to join.

Election 2020: What Just Happened?
3:30–4:30 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 4 
Hosted by The Miller Center

A moderated conversation with Jen Lawless (Politics/Miller Center) and Mary Kate Cary (Miller Center), moderated by Bill Antholis (Miller Center). 

Next week

Democracy in Danger Podcast “Aftermath: Democracy in the Wake of 2020”
2­–3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12

Hosted by the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures

Join Siva Vaidhyanathan (Media Studies) and Will Hitchcock (History) for a live recording of “Democracy in Danger,” a new podcast from UVA's Deliberative Media Lab. Their special guests will discuss the challenges facing democracy in the wake of 2020. After a historic year marked by a global pandemic, economic catastrophe, educational upheaval, the struggle for racial equity, and a chaotic national election, what is America's path forward?


Institute of Democracy Post Election “War Room”
Hosted by the Democracy Initiative and the Miller Center of Public Affairs

Cross-UVA team of experts on government, constitutional law and history convened to produce a range of non-partisan resources to guide the general public and press through the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election – the days from Nov. 3, 2020, until the electoral college process successfully concludes or the House of Representatives and Senate act.