5/21/2015 Kathryn to be interviewed by Kai Hagen on Mid-Maryland radio station,
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. EDT.

Listeners can tune in to listen live online at and the show will be available online after it airs. (Interview is now available under the interview tab.)

View Flyer (JPEG Image file)

5/12/2015 Kathryn to speak to the Frederick Area Ministerial Association,
12 noon – 1 p.m.

Location: Frederick Friends Meeting, Frederick, Maryland

1/31/2015 Kathryn to participate on panel discussion on polarization and race relations, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Sponsored by New Horizons’ Small “Zones of Peace” Project
Open to the public

View Flyer (PDF Document)

12/12/2012 Kathryn to speak at beginning of panel discussion on polarization, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Whitaker Campus Commons
Hood College
Frederick, MD
Open to the public

View Flyer (PDF Document)

10/09/2012 Presentation followed by discussion, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Miller Center,
Friends House Retirement Community
Sandy Spring, MD

09/27/2012 Presentation @ 6:30 p.m., followed by discussion.

Leonardtown High,
Leonardtown, MD.
Open to the public.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Mary’s County, College of Southern Maryland, St. Mary’s College Center for the Study of Democracy, NAACP of St. Mary’s County

View Flyer (PDF Document)

09/26/2012 Presentation @ 7:00 p.m., followed by discussion.

Kent County Public Library
Chestertown, MD
Open to the public.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Kent County and the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River

View Flyer (PDF Document)

08/19/2012 Presentation and discussion at Warrington Quarterly Meeting

Wellsville, PA

08/16/2012 Presentation at Rotary Club, Invitation Only

Holly Hills Country Club
New Market, MD

08/04/2012 Workshop at Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Frostburg State University
Frostburg, MD

04/01/2012 Presentation in Seneca Valley, MD.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
This is Seneca Valley Meeting
3300 Lowell Lane*
Ijamsville, MD 21754

*contrary to GPS/mapquest directions, please take the middle lane, not the right lane, back to this location.


03/18/2012 Presentation in Ellicott City, MD 12 Noon at Patapsco Friends Meeting, Hebron House, 2331 Calvin Circle. Free and open to the public.

View Flyer (PDF Document)

03/04/2012 Presentation at Adelphi Monthly Meeting, 2303 Metzerott Rd., Adelphi, MD

Discussion 02/23/2012 @ Good Natured Market and Café, Martinsburg, W.Va

Protecting Our Democracy

Understanding American Political Talk in the Age of Infotainment

Linguist Kathryn Ruud will lead a discussion on “Protecting Our Democracy: Understanding American Political Talk in the Age of Infotainment” at 7 pm on Thursday, February 23 at Good Natured Market and Café, located at 209 South Raleigh Street, Martinsburg, West Virginia. The event is organized by Occupy Martinsburg, which has held demonstrations in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement since October 2011. The event is free and open to the public.

Workshop 04/30/11 @ St. Camillus Roman Catholic Church, Silver Spring, MD

View Flyer (PDF Document)

Workshop 04/10/11 @ C. Burr Artz Library, Frederick, MD

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Presentation 03/27/11 @ Hood College,  Frederick, MD

View Flyer (PDF Format)

Presentation 11/13/10 @ League of Women Voters of Maryland, Columbia, MD

View Invitation (PDF Format)

Presentation 11/04/10 @ Stony Run Meeting, Baltimore

View flyer (PDF Format)

Presentation 10/06/10 @ Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, Shepherd University, WV

Protecting Our Democracy

American Political Talk in the Age of Infotainment

Speaker Kathryn Ruud (a linguist), has done research on manipulative language used by fascists in interwar Germany and by communists in post-World War II East Germany. She applies what she learned to analyze our current polarized political discourse. Her approach is very practical. She has found that many of the same tactics used by propagandists from both extremes are undermining political discussion in the U.S. today. Ms. Ruud takes on the right, the left, radicalism, totalitarianism and libertarianism. She describes seven major strategies of polarization with examples from talk radio (Rush Limbaugh) and TV (Keith Olbermann). She then discusses traditional “gatekeepers” (such as print journalism) in American society that have moderated public debate in the past but are fading in the Information Age. Finally, she introduces personal strategies we can use in public and private communication to counter destructive political talk.

Presentation 09/28/10 @ League of Women Voters event, C. Burr Artz Library, Frederick, MD

Libtards vs. Rethugs: The Downward Spiral of Political Despair

A presentation by LWVFC Member, Kathryn Ruud

With the upsurge of political talk radio programming in the early 1990’s, polarization in the political spectrum, particularly between “conservatives” and “liberals”, has intensified. Interestingly the divisiveness affects our interaction in public meetings, in workplaces, in classrooms, and for some, it has caused or exacerbated family discord.

Kathryn will identify the sources and tactics of polarization and consider historical examples from the right and the left. Discussion will focus on the impact destructive language has on civility and practices we can employ to counteract its negative power.

Kathryn Ruud has an M.S. in German and Linguistics and has contributed a chapter to the book At War with Words published in New York and Berlin.

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