LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced its programming lineup for the fall 2020 semester. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will be solely virtual. Guests and audiences will watch and participate in these events from the comfort and safety of their homes.
"When we began planning for this fall, two things became very clear to us," Director Bill Lacy said. "First, we knew asking our guests and audiences to come to the institute in person was too risky given the current pandemic and the lack of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Second, we knew that our mission to host bipartisan and civil discussion on important issues was more vital than ever. That's why this fall, all of our programs will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel."
Programming will launch on Sept. 9 with the Journalism and Politics Lecture featuring CNN Political Correspondent MJ Lee and McClatchy White House Correspondent and KU graduate Francesca Chambers as they discuss the 2020 elections and the state of journalism in America. On Sept. 15, in observation of Constitution Day, Lou Mulligan, KU professor in the School of Law, will lead a panel of experts through a discussion of three of the most important cases appearing before the Supreme Court this fall.
At the Edward F. Reilly Lecture on Sept. 22, former three-term Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire will talk about the political polarization in America and how to address it. A week before the 2020 election, on Oct. 27, America’s foremost political prognosticator, Charlie Cook, will join the Dole Institute for an evening of campaign discussion.
The institute will host numerous authors over the course of the semester. On Oct. 13, Will Hitchcock, University of Virginia history professor, will discuss his book in which he reevaluates the Eisenhower presidency. Journalist Sasha Issenberg will return to the Dole Institute on Nov. 19 to share insights from his book on the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. Shauna Shames, Marlene Mawson and Stacy Ulbig will also hold discussions of their books.
On Oct. 8, sports scientist and pro-cycling adviser Allen Lim will talk about his career and the formation of his business Skratch Labs to create better nutritional products for athletes.
Additional installments of the “A Conversation on Race” series will continue the discussion of the important topics of racial justice and equality.
The annual Tribute to Veterans Gala will continue virtually this year on Nov. 8. The KU ROTC will join the Dole Institute to celebrate the brave men and women who served this country.
Fall 2020 Dole Fellow and Kansas City Star editorial page editor Colleen McCain Nelson will host various guests discussing key elements of the 2020 election over a seven-part series on Wednesday afternoons. Among the topics to be covered: Why was everyone wrong about Biden? How is the media covering the election? What effect will the coronavirus have on the election? Discussion groups are made possible by the Newman’s Own Foundation.
The well-attended Fort Leavenworth series will continue with monthly lectures from faculty from the Command and General Staff College. This year’s theme is “Turning Points.”
The full calendar of events is below:
Journalism and Politics Lecture
Wednesday, Sept. 9 — 7 p.m.
As we head into what promises to be a highly contentious election season, journalism has never been more vitally important. However, the media landscape is undergoing turbulent change with older media giving way to social media. Join CNN Political Correspondent MJ Lee and McClatchy White House Correspondent and KU graduate Francesca Chambers as they discuss the 2020 elections and the state of journalism in America.
2020 Constitution Day Program
Kansas in the Supreme Court
Tuesday, Sept. 15 — 7 p.m.
Lou Mulligan, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor in the KU School of Law, leads guests Lauren Bonds, legal director of the ACLU of Kansas; Larry Yackle, professor emeritus of law at Boston University; and Josh Blackman, constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law, through a discussion of three of the most important cases appearing before the Supreme Court this fall.
Edward F. Reilly Lecture
Tuesday, Sept. 22 — 7 p.m.
The Pew Research Center reported that the vast majority of Americans strongly dislike the partisanship that divides the country. Yet, their data show that this divide has only grown deeper. Former three-term Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire joins us to talk about his book “Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It.”
Thursday, Oct. 8 — 7 p.m.
While working as a sports scientist and coach for a professional cycling team, Allen Lim started making his own training food and sports drinks from scratch for cyclists because too many of the pre-packaged sports bars and drinks contained too many artificial ingredients and too much sugar. Lim will talk about his career and the formation of his business Skratch Labs to create better nutritional products for athletes.
Tuesday, Oct. 13 — 7 p.m.
The Dole Institute welcomes William Hitchcock, the William W. Corcoran Professor of History at the University of Virginia, as he shares his insights about one of the most highly regarded military and presidential figures in American history, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hitchcock’s book “The Age of Eisenhower,” a New York Times bestseller, has been hailed as the "definitive account of this presidency," drawing extensively on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, the CIA and Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents. In his masterful account, Hitchcock shows how Ike shaped modern America.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 — 7 p.m.
A week before the 2020 election, America’s foremost political prognosticator, Charlie Cook, joins the Dole Institute for an evening of campaign discussion. Cook writes election forecasts and rankings in his own publication, The Cook Political Report, and is a political analyst for the National Journal and with NBC since 1994. The New York Times has called Cook "one of the best political handicappers in the nation" and has said the Cook Political Report is "a newsletter which both parties regard as authoritative." David Broder wrote in The Washington Post that Cook was "perhaps the best non-partisan tracker of congressional races."
Thursday, Oct. 29 — 7 p.m.
Millennials are often publicly criticized for being apathetic about the American political process and their lack of interest in political careers. But what do millennials themselves have to say about the prospect of holding political office? Are they as uninterested in political issues and the future of the American political system as the media suggests? Professor Shauna Shames addresses these questions in more detail while discussing her book “Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why it Matters.”
Thursday, Nov. 19 — 7 p.m.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal across the United States. But the road to that momentous decision was much longer than many know. Journalist Sasha Issenberg returns to the Dole Institute to guide us through this issue’s journey from unimaginable to inevitable as he discusses his book “The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage,” based in part on research conducted in the Dole Archives.
A Conversation on Race
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and global outrage it sparked, the Dole Institute provided a forum for discussion about the important and uncomfortable issue of race in America. Additional installments of this series will continue the discussion of the essential topics of racial justice and equality.
Fort Leavenworth series
1979: The Turning Point of the Cold War
Thursday, Sept. 3 – 3 p.m.
President Jimmy Carter had a visceral dislike of the CIA and its use of covert missions. However, he overcame his initial perception when he saw an opportunity to use the CIA and its covert action as a means to increase the pressure on the political and social systems of the Soviet Union. Though credit for these efforts tends to fall to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, it was, in fact, Carter who saw this unique opportunity to pressure the Soviet Union on its human rights record. Carter's efforts represent a critical turning point in the last decade of the Cold War.
Mawson’s Mission: Launching Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Kansas.
Tuesday, Sept. 29 – 3 p.m.
After the ratification of Title IX, women’s athletics in higher education transformed into a mandated, fully structured program complete with national championships in less than a year. Marlene Mawson created the women’s athletic program at KU with no precedent to guide her and a very meager budget. Mawson will describe her remarkable career as she discusses her book “Mawson’s Mission: Launching Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Kansas.”
Fort Leavenworth series
Seven Days in September 1814: The Turning Points of the War of 1812
Thursday, Oct. 1 – 3 p.m.
The United States had declared war on Great Britain in 1812 because the British were seizing American merchant ships and cargoes, taking crewmen into the Royal Navy involuntarily and providing arms to Native Americans on the frontier. However, American armies had lost battle after battle with little potential to accomplish the nation’s war goals. Then, in one week in September 1814, the U.S. defended Baltimore (its third-largest city) and won the battle of Plattsburgh in New York.The three American victories, "Seven Days in September," were a turning point of the war and set America back on the course of greatness.
Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization among College Students
Thursday, Oct. 22 – 3 p.m.
Survey after survey indicates that partisanship has escalated into a divide that cannot be bridged as people on both sides grow to view the other as “downright evil.” The rise of this tribalism and ideological purity tests make it hard to remember that partisanship has not always been inherent in the American political landscape. Stacy Ulbig will address this issue as she discusses her book “Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization among College Students” and how universities may have been where this change began.
Fort Leavenworth series
Spring 1944: The Turning Point in the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II
Thursday, Nov. 5 – 3 p.m.
Geoff Babb will discuss how In the spring of 1944, the conflict in the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) began to turn in favor of the Allies. General William Slim’s 14th Army successfully defended at Kohima and Imphal and quickly launched a counterattack into Burma. Gen. Joseph Stilwell's forces from the Chinese Army in India supported this effort, along with Orde Wingate's Chindits and American advised Chinese forces from Y-Force headquartered in Kunming. The final Allied victory in mainland Asia began with the destruction of Japanese forces in China, Burma and India in spring 1944.
The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU’s West District and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.
More information on all programs and ongoing additions to the schedule can be found on the Dole Institute's website, www.doleinstitute.org.