LAWRENCE – The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced its fall 2021 programming lineup, featuring a wide array of journalists, authors, scholars and politicians. Additionally, after a year and a half of hosting programs exclusively online, the institute has announced that fall programs will be held in person, with the safety of its guests in mind.
“We’ll be taking appropriate precautions,” Director Bill Lacy said. “We have installed an air purifier in Hansen Hall, and we’ll be rigorously enforcing KU’s mask mandate. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and reserve the right to reschedule any program or transition to virtual at any time.”
Evening programs will launch Sept. 8 with political journalist Sasha Issenberg. He will share insights from his latest book, which chronicles the 25-year-long struggle to legalize same-sex marriage. It is based in part on research he conducted in the Dole Archives as a travel grant recipient.
The fall will also feature many of the institute’s annual programs. On Sept. 16, in observation of Constitution Day, KU law professor Lou Mulligan will moderate a timely discussion on the constitutionality of health mandates. On Oct. 6, for this year’s Journalism and Politics Lecture, the renowned broadcaster and Kansas icon Bill Kurtis will talk about his legendary career and the future of journalism.
For the fourth installment of A Conversation on Race series, investigative reporter and author Michael Kranish will talk about Major Taylor, who overcame insurmountable odds to become a world champion cyclist in Jim Crow America. As Lacy is an avid cyclist and will retire this November after serving 17 years as the institute’s director, this program is particularly meaningful to him in his final semester.
Additional evening programs, including the launch of a new series, will be announced later this fall.
This semester’s seven-part Discussion Group series will be led by political consultant Michele Watley. She will look at the issues and events of recent years and analyze their potential influence on the 2022 election season. Discussion Groups are supported by the Newman’s Own Foundation.
The popular Fort Leavenworth series will continue with monthly lectures from faculty from the Command and General Staff College. This year’s theme is “Military Theorists.”
This fall will also feature a new slate of exhibitions and activities in the institute’s museum galleries – including a memorial exhibition for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, an interactive activity for all ages inspired by former U.S. lawmaker Shirley Chisholm and the unveiling of the Kansas Veterans Virtual Memory Wall.
The fall schedule:
"The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage"
Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 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. However, the road to that historic decision was much longer than many realize. Nationally recognized political journalist Sasha Issenberg will return to the institute to guide the audience through the issue’s journey from unimaginable to inevitable as he discusses his latest book, “The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage,” based in part on research he conducted in the Dole Archives as a travel grant recipient.
This program includes a book sale and signing with the author.
2021 Constitution Day program
"The Constitution and COVID-19"
Lou Mulligan, Sharon Brett, Clay Britton, Brant Laue
Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.
As the world continues to endure the worst pandemic in more than a century, there has been increased debate on whether the government can enforce health mandates — such as masking, distancing and vaccine injections — as a legal matter. Lou Mulligan, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law, will lead a panel of legal experts in a discussion of the constitutionality of such mandates. The panel will consist of Gov. Laura Kelly’s General Counsel Clay Britton, ACLU of Kansas’s Legal Director Sharon Brett and Solicitor General of Kansas Brant Laue.
2021 Journalism and Politics Lecture
"The Future of Journalism"
Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.
Kansas’s preeminent broadcaster, the legendary Bill Kurtis, will join the Dole Institute to discuss his career and his thoughts on the future of journalism, returning to the state where he first started his career. Kurtis worked as a radio announcer at age 16 in his hometown of Independence, graduated from KU with a degree in journalism in 1962 and got his first job as a television news anchor in Topeka in 1966. His journalism career spans more than 50 years, including anchoring the news at CBS and hosting the television shows “Investigative Reports,” “Cold Case Files” and “American Justice.” Kurtis’ iconic, deep commanding voice has also led him to have a second career in comedy. He provided the satirical narration for the film “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” and he can be heard weekly on NPR as the co-host of the immensely popular, comical news quiz “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”
“Laughing at Myself: My Education in Congress, the Farm, and at the Movies”
Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m.
Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman returns to the institute to discuss his autobiography, “Laughing at Myself: My Education in Congress, on the Farm, and at the Movies,” based on his career path, which took him from Kansas to D.C. and Hollywood. Glickman served for six years for President Bill Clinton and represented Kansas’ 4th Congressional District for 18 years. Glickman served as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government from 2002 to 2004 and served as chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. from 2004 to 2010. He is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and the former vice president of the Aspen Institute.
This program includes a book sale and signing with the author.
A Conversation on Race Pt. IV
“The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero”
Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.
Investigative political reporter and author Michael Kranish will join the Dole Institute for the fourth installment of A Conversation on Race. He will discuss the life, tribulations and career of Major Taylor, the first American-born Black world champion in any sport, 50 years before Jackie Robinson became a Major League baseball player. Kranish spent years collecting thousands of articles written about Taylor for his book, “The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero,” in which he tells the story of how Taylor overcame insurmountable odds to become a world-class athlete during the Jim Crow era. Taylor's trailblazing accomplishments had widespread influence across society and are relevant to conversations we are having about African American athletes today.
This program includes a book sale and signing with the author.
"What’s the Matter with American Politics: How Fake News, Black Women, COVID-19, Presidents 45 and 46, and Protests Might Shape Politics in 2022"
Wednesdays from Sept. 22 to Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
The fall 2021 discussion group series will examine how the political issues, leaders and events of the past couple years have brought us to our current political climate and explore how these factors will influence the upcoming 2022 election season.
"Bring Your Own Chair"
An ongoing gallery feature beginning Sept. 1
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
Decorate your own mini-chair and share what you bring to the table in your community, service and leadership. Add your chair to the institute installation celebrating U.S. democracy’s diverse perspectives. An activity for all ages. Inspired by the leadership of Chisholm and in conjunction with Fall Fellow Michele Watley, founder of Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet. With thanks to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.
"September 11, 2001: A Day that Changed the World"
On display from Aug. 31 until Sept. 19 during museum hours
The Dole Institute will display a special poster exhibition in Simons Media Room to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The exhibition reviews the events of the day, highlights personal experiences and invites reflection. It was developed by the 9/11 Memorial Museum with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In Hansen Hall, visitors can also view two original beams from World Trade Center Tower One, a permanent memorial at the institute. The two columns were salvaged and presented to the Dole Institute by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in appreciation of Bob Dole’s work with former president Bill Clinton on the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund for the children of 9/11 victims.
In the galleries
Music and Meditation
Saturday, Sept. 11, from noon to 4 p.m.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, the Dole Institute will hold an open house, in which visitors can pay tribute to the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks. Visitors are encouraged to bring flowers or other small mementos to place in front of the two World Trade Center beams.
Save the Date
Tribute to Veterans
Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.
Free admission. RSVP required. More information to follow.
Kansas Veterans Virtual Memory Wall
Dedication planned for November 2021
The Kansas Veterans Virtual Memory wall honors Kansas veterans from World War II to today. By late 2021, veterans will be featured digitally in an online portal and in the halls of the Dole Institute, alongside Bob Dole and thousands of other Kansas servicemen and servicewomen. For more information or to submit a veteran profile, please visit the Kansas Veterans Virtual Memory Wall website.
The Fort Leavenworth Series
"Alfred Mahan and Naval Theory"
Thursday, Sept. 2, at 3 p.m.
John Kuehn will discuss naval theory as it relates to Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval officer and historian who was considered one of the most influential strategists of the 19th century. Pre-World War I, Mahan believed that real national power could only be achieved with a robust maritime empire. Kuehn will assess the influence of his ideas, including how they were misunderstood.
"Pre-World War I French Military Doctrine and its Consequences"
Thursday, Oct. 7, at 3 p.m.
In the years prior to World War I, the French military wrestled with how to defend itself against a larger, more industrialized foe. Like the Great War’s other major combatants, the French pre-war doctrine proved to be ill-suited to meet the realities of the 1914 battlefield. This lecture will examine the factors that influenced the French Army’s pre-war doctrine, how the army envisioned fighting “the next great war” and how it adapted its tactical strategy from 1915 to 1918, after its peacetime doctrine failed to secure France’s hope for victory in 1914.
"Vo Nguyen Giap and Le Duan: Vietnam’s Victors"
Thursday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m.
Between 1945 and 1975, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam fought and won two major conflicts against tremendous odds: one against France and the other against the U.S. and its South Vietnamese ally. The architects of these incredible victories were General Vo Nguyen Giap, the commander of the North Vietnamese Army, and Le Duan, the general secretary of the Vietnam Worker’s Party. Although they both utilized a hybrid politico-military approach that synthesized conventional war, guerrilla warfare and mass politics, they each pursued a unique variation of communist revolutionary warfare. In this lecture, Clemis will discuss how these men and their theories of war carried the communists to victory in Vietnam, and in doing so, brought the most far-reaching and consequential conflict of the Cold War to a conclusion.
"Kennan and Nitze: Early Cold War Theorists"
Gates Brown and Dave Mills
Thursday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m.
Gates Brown and Dave Mills will discuss two of the most influential Cold War theorists: George Kennan and Paul Nitze, who were exact opposites in strategy and outlook. Kennan was a realist who believed the U.S. should eliminate its arsenal of nuclear weapons. His guiding philosophy was that an individual or a nation that desired peace should act peacefully, although his opinions on dealing with the U.S.S.R. ironically led to the most aggressive foreign policy in American history. Nitze was a hawk who advocated a more assertive role in foreign affairs, believing that if a nation desired peace, it should prepare for war. More than any other American, Nitze was responsible for the arms race between the two superpowers throughout the Cold War.