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What happens when politics and pop culture intertwine?

| Judy Berthiaume

A UW-Eau Claire political science faculty member who’s an expert in how politics and pop culture intertwine is gaining national attention as the number of disputes between artists and politicians continues to grow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Dr. Eric Kasper, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is co-author of “Don't Stop Thinking About the Music: The Politics of Songs and Musicians in Presidential Campaigns.”

In a story this week by Time, “The Rolling Stones vs. Donald Trump: Here’s How These Conflicts Got So Common,” Kasper explains why there are more conflicts than ever between politicians and musicians.

The Time story is tied to this week’s request by the Rolling Stones that Donald Trump stop using their music at his campaign events.

While the use of popular music at presidential campaign events may be a newer phenomenon, pop culture and politics always have been intertwined, Kasper says.

“Politics and popular culture have intersected for as long as there has been popular culture,” Kasper says. “Politicians have long made use of popular culture, particularly as they have tried to attach themselves to celebrities and their popularity.”

Kasper also recently was featured in the National Geographic story “The Catchy History of Campaign Songs.”

More information about Kasper and his area of expertise can be found on UW-Eau Claire’s website.

You can email Dr. Eric Kasper at kasperet@uwec.edu.

Photo caption: The national media is seeking out Dr. Eric Kasper because of his expertise in how politics and pop culture intertwine.