Friday Lecture - South Africa's Fragile Democracy

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Main Library
McCarthy Meeting Room (whole room)

Event Details

The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But the party today suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. It faces growing threats from both left and right opposition parties, even as intraparty divisions surface. Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, there are few prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, a weaker ANC could lead to political fragmentation in this relatively new democracy.


Keith West has been involved with speech and debate for nearly two decades. He holds a BA in Religious Studies from Lewis and Clark College, and an MA in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University. He has taught a number of college courses on Public Speaking and Communication for undergraduate students, an experience he very much enjoyed.

Before leaving graduate school Keith was one of four Americans selected to represent the United States as a member of the US National Debate Team. He was also a featured presenter at the International Debate Education Association's World Conference in Talin, Estonia and authored Parliamentary Debate, a textbook commissioned by the National Speech and Debate Association. In 2011, he traveled to China to judge the nation's English-Language Parliamentary Debate Championship and assist in collaboration on intercultural communication and debate.

Today, Keith juggles a variety of esoteric occupations. He works with Boston Latin, does research, instruction and tournament logistics for the National Speech and Debate Association, he moderates regular discussion groups on foreign and domestic policy at four public libraries, occasionally consults for major venture capital firms, and teaches sword-fighting and story-crafting to kids.


Program brought to the library in partnership with UMASS Lowell's Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA). 

Event Type(s): Lecture Series, Library Programs
Age Group(s): Adult
Danny Lykansion