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Join our US Election Debate

Intrigued by America? Curious about politics and the US Presidential Election? Want to know more? Then join our free online Zoom webinar. 

The Divided States of America: The 2020 US Presidential Election


8pm (UK time), Wednesday 4 November 2020


What you can expect

Apart from a fascinating and lively debate!

A brief welcome will be delivered by John Blake, Director of Marlborough College Summer School before he hands over to our Moderator, Matt Gow. Matt will introduce the debate and our expert team of panellists, all stalwarts of Marlborough College Summer School. Each panellist will take it in turns to give their take on the US Election result and what the outcome may mean for the United States, and indeed the rest of the world. Finally, Matt will invite questions from you, the audience. The session is due to draw to a close at around 9pm.

Please be aware that any views expressed in the debate are not sanctioned by Marlborough College or Marlborough College Summer School. 


Our Expert Panel

Dr William Sheward: William, a senior lecturer in Politics at the University of Winchester is currently Programme Leader of Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree and the MA in Politics and International Relations. He specialises in American domestic politics and society, with a particular interest in political ideology, notably conservatism and elections and is branching out into topics such as hauntology and psychogeography in politics. He has run a Marlborough Summer school class on US politics since 2014.

Richard Willmett: Richard taught US Government and Politics A-level for five years before arriving at Marlborough College, having studied the country's history and political system extensively in his own A-level and degree courses as a younger man. America remains an area of great personal interest and he continues to invest heavily in a series of enormously heavy hardback books on the subject, with which he hopes to be able to spend some time at an as-yet unidentified point in the future. Richard is also a regular Summer School quiz master.

Dr Susan Brockman: Susan Brockman has lived, worked, studied, and taught in New York City for 50 years; as a teacher, an American, and a human being, she is as deeply alarmed as anyone by the state of her country and the possible impacts on the world of the coming US election. More fearful, perhaps, than the actual violence threatened in this political climate, is the complete breakdown of any shared views of reality itself; what possible hope is there for any democracy when people will uncritically believe whatever is piped into their phones - regardless of source or their own senses?

Dr Max Stafford: Max currently teaches at The University of Manchester, as well as being a policy caseworker for a prominent South East MP. Having previously worked for two former cabinet ministers and advised on a range of political campaigns since 2010, he now teaches subjects including British politics, political leadership and international urban developments.

The moderator for the evening is Matt Gow: A politics teacher at Marlborough College, Matt was educated at Rugby School and studied Politics at Queen Mary College, London University after three years in the US Marines. He is a keen traveller and has two daughters studying at Marlborough. Matt heads up the EFL course at Summer School as well as teaching a course on Misericords.


How to Join the Zoom Webinar


  1. Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking on the following link:
  2. Enter this Passcode exactly: Summer1!
  3. If you are prompted for a Meeting ID, enter: 991 3857 8959
  4. Wait to be admitted
  5. When the video screen first opens, you will see a dialogue box that asks, 'How do you want to join the audio conference?' Choose to, 'Join Audio by Computer'. (If your computer does not have a microphone or a webcam, you can still join the event, just click as if you are joining audio and ignore the messages saying it cannot find your microphone or camera.)

Using Zoom

When you move your mouse over the video window, a toolbar will show at the bottom of the screen.

  • Audio and Video - In the lower left corner of the screen you will see a microphone icon and a video camera icon. A red line through the icons means you are muted/your video is off. To turn them on or off, click on them. Please do not unmute yourself during the event unless asked to do so by the host.
  • Central Buttons - We welcome questions from you, the audience during this debate. You will find the 'Chat' function under the central buttons. Once you click on the 'Chat' button it will open a panel where you can type your question. Please be aware that your questions/comments can be seen by everyone on the call. 
  • Leave Meeting - In the lower right corner is a button that allows you to leave the meeting. Simply click on it when you are ready to leave.
  • Speaker and Gallery Views - In the upper right corner of the screen is a button that can change the layout of your screen. There are two viewing options; 
  1. Speaker View, where the video of the current speaker fills most of the screen and the video of the other participants is in small thumbnails at the top of the screen.
  2. Gallery View, where the video for each participant is the same size. 

Tips and Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble with zoom it may be due to a weak and intermittent internet connection. Here are some things you can do if you are having this issue:

  • Close any other programs, like browsers or emails, that might be using bandwidth in the background.
  • If you are using WiFi, ensure you are getting a strong signal by moving closer to the WiFi base station.
  • If you are sharing your internet connection with others, ask them to minimise their usage while you are on the call.
  • Try turning off your video (using the icon).
  • Try your smartphone or tablet for the connection instead of a computer.


Hope this helps? We look forward to welcoming you on Zoom at 8pm (UK time), Wednesday 4 November 2020!

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