Select Page

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

NC 11: Partisanship, Polarization, and Politics in a Mountain District

04/21/2022 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) Thursday, April 21 at 6PM as continue our April programming theme of historic WNC politics. This event airs live via Zoom and will be recorded.

The 11th congressional district sits in the Western corner of North Carolina—wedged between North Carolina’s borders with Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Within its borders sits part of a national park, a separate nation, a host of small towns and unincorporated places, and some of the nation’s most fascinating politics. In this session, Chris Cooper, a Political Science Professor at Western Carolina University, will discuss the politics of this mountain district and explore how it has shifted from a Democratic stronghold, to a district that swung from party to party so often that it became known as “the turnstile,” to its current status as the home of far-right congressman Madison Cawthorn. Along the way, we will explore how the 11th reflects national political trends related to redistricting, polarization and partisan change.


About the Speaker:

Christopher A. Cooper is Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor and Director of the Public policy Institute at Western Carolina University. He has received Western Carolina University’s highest awards for research (University Scholar, 2011) and teaching (Board of Governors Teaching Award, 2013) and was named the 2013 North Carolina Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Cooper’s published academic research features over 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters on NC politics, state politics, southern politics, political behavior, and behavioral public administration. He is also co-author of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People (University of North Carolina Press) and co-editor of The New Politics of North Carolina (published by the University of North Carolina Press).

Cooper is a frequent source for news stories about North Carolina, as well as national politics and he has been quoted hundreds of times in a variety of media including the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Herald, Al Jazeera, Charlotte Observer, Asheville-Citizen Times, The Hill, National Journal, Raleigh News and Observer, North Carolina Insider National Public Radio (All Things Considered and Morning Edition), USA Today, CNN, FOX News, WUNC, Blue Ridge Public Radio, WFAE (Charlotte) ABC News, and


Tickets: $5 for WNCHA members/ $10 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

Viewing: Registrants will receive a Zoom link with which to view the program. It will also be recorded and later available on our website.


(Image: Teddy Roosevelt campaign stop in Pack Square, 1902, courtesy Buncombe County Special Collections) A438-8


Western North Carolina Historical Association received an American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant from North Carolina Humanities, Funding for this grant was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act economic stabilization plan. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of North Carolina Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)