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Dole Institute announces spring 2020 programming

Friday, January 24, 2020

LAWRENCE – The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced its programming lineup for the spring 2020 semester. Guests include award-winning scholars, a New York Times bestselling author, leading political strategists, global experts on spycraft in the 21st century and the Belgian ambassador to the United States, to mention but a few.

“This semester, we bring a full slate of world-class experts and leaders to Lawrence,” said Director Bill Lacy. “We have former senior members of the U.S. State Department, the CIA, a presidential speechwriter and an ambassador. We also look forward to announcing our distinguished guests for the Dole Lecture and the Dole Forum later this spring.”

Programming will launch in February with the Presidential Lecture Series, created and developed by renowned presidential rhetoric scholar and KU professor Robert Rowland. Each of the four programs will delve deeply into the speeches and rhetoric that define the public face of a presidency and often its historical legacy. Each speaker will address a different aspect of presidential rhetoric, including what makes a speech “great,” how these speeches are crafted, similarities between iconic presidents and how presidential communication has evolved with the rise of social media.

Throughout the semester, spring Dole Institute Fellow Ron Marks, former senior intelligence analyst for the CIA and current cyberindustry executive, will bring prominent experts from the intelligence community to the institute’s weekly Discussion Groups, focusing on the theme of “Spying in the Cyber Age.” Marks’ guests include a former deputy director of the State Department, former vice chair of the National Intelligence Council, the founder of Oxford Analytica and many others.

The Student Advisory Board program, “The Political Insider’s Guide to 2020,” will focus on the upcoming election. Guest speakers will be Jeff Roe, chief strategist for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, and Christina Reynolds, deputy director of communications for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The Dole Forum will kick off in March with “A Powerful, Prevailing Truth: Women in Politics a Century after Suffrage,” a panel discussion with Kansas State Rep. Barbara Ballard, among others. In April, the Belgian ambassador to the United States, Dirk Wouters, will talk about the changing landscape of U.S.-EU relations.

The Author Series will continue the institute’s legacy of bringing prominent authors to KU. New York Times bestselling author William Hitchcock will discuss his biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. David Golland will delve into the compelling life of civil rights leader Arthur Fletcher.

The Dole Lecture returns April 30. More details will be announced later, but interested parties should save that date.

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.”

One of the institute’s most popular offerings, the Easter Egg Roll with Dole will make its return on April 11. The free and family-friendly event includes a White House-style egg roll, egg hunt, crafts, games and much more. More information on this will be announced in the coming weeks.

More information:

Presidential Lecture Series

Five Great Presidential Speeches

Mary Stuckey, David Zarefsky and Robert Rowland

Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.

Three renowned experts, with decades of scholarship on presidential rhetoric and countless award-winning articles and books published between them, will answer that question in this the first of Presidential Lecture Series at the Dole Institute of Politics. This program will feature a conversation about five great presidential speeches with leading experts on presidential rhetoric: Mary Stuckey from Penn State, David Zarefsky from Northwestern, and Robert C. Rowland from KU. The discussion will focus on what makes a presidential speech “great,” why they chose the speeches they did, and what great presidential rhetoric tells us about American democracy.

The Craft of the Presidential Speechwriter

Craig R. Smith

Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.

Craig Smith served as a full-time speechwriter for President Gerald Ford, as a consulting writer to George H. W. Bush and as a consultant to CBS News for convention, election and inaugural coverage. He has also explored presidential speeches as a professor at Cal State Long Beach. Smith will engage in a dialogue about speechwriting, presidential and otherwise, sharing his unique knowledge as an award-winning scholar and also a renowned practitioner, who can provide an inside perspective on the role played by the speechwriter, how that role varies with different presidents and how speechwriting has evolved. This program will include a book sale and signing.

Comparing and Contrasting Two Powerfully Eloquent Presidents—Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama

Robert Rowland

Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.

Presidential rhetoric scholar Robert Rowland, of the Department of Communication Studies at KU, has written extensively about the rhetoric of both President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama. Rowland, who presented the keynote on rhetoric at the Reagan Centennial celebration at the University of Southern Carolina and the Reagan Library and has won national awards for his research in both rhetoric and argumentation, argues that the rhetoric of Reagan and Obama is more similar than has been recognized. In a dialogue, Rowland will explore the similarities and differences between the rhetoric of Reagan and Obama.

Social Media & Contemporary Presidential Rhetoric

Denise Bostdorff

Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.

Few events have more radically reshaped the public sphere than the rise of mass media. From radio to television to social media, the past century fundamentally altered how presidents in the United States communicate with the electorate and how those leaders were perceived by the people. Denise Bostdorff of Wooster College has studied presidential rhetoric for more than 30 years and produced some of the most influential books and articles on that topic in that period. In a dialogue, Bostdorff will discuss key moments in the development of presidential rhetoric over the last several decades, the role of presidential rhetoric in shaping American politics and the drastic changes in presidential rhetoric associated with the rise of social media and the presidency of Donald Trump.

Spring 2020 Discussion Groups Series

Spying in the Cyber Age

Ron Marks

Wednesdays, Feb. 12, 19, 26; March 18, 25; April 1, 8 at 4 p.m.

In the age of total information, new public and private players with ever advancing means and methods are upending and redefining the “second-oldest profession.” Companies like Google and Facebook have access to unprecedented amounts of our personal information. Governments now use social media as a weapon against their enemies. Security has become an elusive concept and national intelligence is playing a larger role in our day to day lives than ever before. The Dole Institute of Politics welcomes Ron Marks, a former Central Intelligence Agency spy and cyber industry executive, as the Spring 2020 Discussion Group Fellow. Marks will be hosting Discussion Groups at 4 p.m. Wednesdays throughout the semester on this timely topic. The series, themed “Spying in the Cyber Age,” will begin Feb. 12. This series is made possible by a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation.

The SAB Program

The Political Insider’s Guide to 2020

Jeff Roe and Christina Reynolds

Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m.

The 2020 election is right around the corner, and the Student Advisory Board at the Dole Institute has selected two political strategist experts who are prepared to help decipher this pivotal race. Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at EMILY’s List and former deputy communications director for Hillary for America, along with Jeff Roe, the founder of Axiom Strategies and presidential campaign manager for Ted Cruz, will provide insight into what November might bring for both Democrats and Republicans. SAB members, with the help of Dole Institute staff, plan, promote and execute this event. This program is made possible by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund.

The Dole Forum

A Powerful, Prevailing Truth: Women in Politics a Century After Suffrage

Rep. Barbara Ballard and guests

Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m.

In the century since women gained the vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the role of women in the political sphere has increased dramatically in some ways with little advancement in others. This panel of women elected officials will share their experiences as women in politics and the importance of women in public service and the political realm. This event is co-sponsored by the KU Department of Political Science.

An Evening with the Ambassador

Dirk Wouters

Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m.

The Dole Institute of Politics welcomes his excellency Dirk Wouters, ambassador of Belgium to the United States. Wouters will highlight some of the current challenges facing the European Union and developments in the U.S. that have affected transatlantic relationships. This will include the current U.S. presidential administration’s approach to relations with Russia and China, trade deficits, NATO and Europe’s energy dependence.

The Author Series

The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s

 William Hitchcock

Thursday, March 26, at 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, and he astutely assesses Eisenhower’s close confidants, from Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. to Secretary of State John Dulles. The result is an eye-opening reevaluation that explains why this “do-nothing” president is rightly regarded as one of the best leaders our country has ever had. This program will include a book sale and signing.

A Terrible Thing to Waste

David Golland

Tuesday, April 21, at 3 p.m.

Arthur Fletcher was the most important civil rights leader you’ve (probably) never heard of. The first black player for the Baltimore Colts, the father of affirmative action and adviser to four presidents, he coined the United Negro College Fund’s motto: “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” Modern readers might be surprised to learn that Fletcher was also a Republican. The Dole Institute of Politics welcomes David Golland to share the fascinating story of Fletcher, as researched in his biography, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican.” This program will include a book sale and signing.

The Fort Leavenworth Series

The Tet Offensive, 1968: The Turning Point of the Vietnam War

Gates Brown

Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m.

The Tet Offensive of 1968 was a dramatic turning point for both the U.S. and the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War. Each had their assumptions shattered in the offensive. The North Vietnamese hoped to prove the validity of their revolutionary ideology. The success of the counterattack of the U.S.-led coalition destroyed the Communist forces but also laid bare the divisive politics of the war in the United States. Although it was a tactical and operational victory for the U.S.-led coalition, it did not translate into an improved strategic position. For the North Vietnamese, it exposed the ineffectiveness of their strategy of a people’s revolution. After the Tet Offensive, the U.S. fought for another five years in South Vietnam while the North Vietnamese continued fighting for another seven years. The offensive was decisive because it forced both sides to confront their false assumptions and each had to attempt to reconcile themselves to a new post-Tet strategic reality.

The Aisne-Marne Counteroffensive, 1918: The Turning Point of World War 1

Richard Faulkner

Wednesday, March 4, at 3 p.m.

Although the turning points of the American Civil War and World War II occurred in the middle of those conflicts,, the outcome of the Great War was not decided until the last months of the war. The Ludendorff Offensives had pushed both sides into a deadly race against time that pitted German tactical successes against the ability of the Americans to arrive in sufficient numbers to give the Allies the crucial edge. The lecture will discuss how the Franco-American victory at Aisne-Marne changed the course of the war and convinced Ferdinand Foch that the strategic and operational advantage in the conflict had decisively shifted to the Allied cause.

Guadalcanal, 1942: The Turning Point of the Pacific Theater in World War II

John Kuehn

Thursday, April 2, at 3 p.m.

Kuehn’s talk will dispute the claim that the Battle of Midway is the turning point of the Pacific War and offer an argument that the campaign on Guadalcanal from August 1942 to early February 1943 constitutes the actual turning point in the war. This presentation examines the campaign from this vantage point and emphasizes how what began as the seizure of an undefended island airfield turned into a war of attrition on land, sea, and air between the Empire of Japan and the United States and its allies.

1941: The Turning Point in the Holocaust

Dave Cotter, director of the Department of Military History at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Thursday, May 7, at 3 p.m.

Few years in modern history have been as eventful as 1941. For most Americans, the Dec. 7 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resonates as the year’s signal event, an action that thrust the United States into World War II. For the Soviet Union and its clients, Operation Barbarossa, the sudden Nazi attack of June 22, earns the distinction as the most eventful, as the Wehrmacht turned its mechanized might onto its erstwhile ally. 1941 also marked the beginning of the Shoah, the designed destruction of the Jews of Europe. During the 1930s, Hitler’s regime had applied ever-increasing methods of persecution onto the Jews of Germany and other European countries as they were occupied. Before 1941, the Nazi actions were primarily designed to dispossess the Jews of their wealth and compel their emigration. Coincident with Barbarossa, however, persecution turned into a more generalized European slaughter; it was the great turning point in the Holocaust.

Barbarossa’s Siege of Rome, 1167: The Turning Point for Medieval Italy

John Hosler

Thursday, June 9, at 3 p.m.

In an effort to thwart the ambitions of his political rivals, the Hohenstaufen ruler Frederick Barbarossa invaded Italy in 1167 with the goal of driving all the way to Sicily. Following successful sieges in northern Italy, he took his army to Rome: He captured the city on July 24 and then stirred its citizens into revolt against Pope Alexander III, who was forced to flee to Benevento. Six days later, Barbarossa installed an antipope (Paschal III) on St. Peter’s throne and Paschal, in return, crowned him Holy Roman Emperor. Matters abruptly changed thereafter. A destructive storm and widespread plague ultimately drove the emperor out of Rome and back north, into the waiting arms of the Lombard League, a coalition of 16 Italian cities that had formed an alliance against him. What followed was a series of military defeats and humiliating near-captures as Barbarossa frantically tried to escape to Saxony. It was the beginning of the end of imperial control over northern Italy: in 1176, the Lombard League decisively defeated Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano, and in 1183 he granted its members the right to self-governance. In the following century, the Italian Renaissance was born in these independent states.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in these events, please contact the Dole Institute of Politics at least four business days prior to the event date by calling 785-864-4900 or emailing doleinstitute@ku.edu.

The Robert J. 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 U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website, www.doleinstitute.org.