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Presidential Lecture Series

Community, Society and History

Youth, Social Movements, and Community Change

Dr. Kristen Kremer, Assistant Professor of Social Work

This lecture will examine how youth, individually and collectively, can achieve social progress through nonviolent methods. Students will be introduced to different types of civic engagement — such as advocacy, rallying, and political campaigning — and will learn how these practices have been used historically to promote social change. The lecture will provide an introduction to political activism and explore current opportunities for youth to become involved in social movements.

African-American Communities in the United States – An Overview Since 1865

Ms. LaBarbara James Wigfall, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

African-American settlements were established in every region of the United States following Emancipation. This presentation traces the founders’ lifestyles and the evolution of their communities.

Conducting a Community History Study

Ms. LaBarbara James Wigfall, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

This presentation focuses on techniques a student or community group might use to record the history of a place. Analyzing photographs, maps, county records, and interviews can be fascinating if you know how and where to use the clues. Learn more about community genealogy techniques.

Collegiality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Chardie L. Baird, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Executive Director of the Kansas State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering (KAWSE), Spainhour Family Chair

As we are increasingly connected with people who have different backgrounds and experiences than our own, we need to expand our communication and problem-solving skills to incorporate knowledge from diverse experiences. In this interactive lecture, we explore the meaning of collegiality and practice how to create inclusive conversational spaces.

The Motherhood Penalty

Dr. Chardie L. Baird, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Executive Director of the Kansas State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering (KAWSE), Spainhour Family Chair

While few may initially think of being a mother as having penalties, there is evidence that it has negative consequences in the workplace. In this interactive lecture, we explore U.S. cultural beliefs about being “ideal” mothers, fathers, and workers. We also take a deep dive into a study testing whether mothers are penalized at work compared to fathers, childless men, and childless women and in what ways.

Save It or Tear It Down? The Choices We Make For Progress

Ms. LaBarbara James Wigfall,  Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

Have you ever passed an old school house, church, or office building scheduled for demolition and wondered what it was like in its heyday? Isn’t it funny how we take ordinary places for granted until they’re threatened by redevelopment? This presentation highlights the issues and choices associated with removing or replacing a historic site or structure in a community.

The Fifth Down Game: The 1990 Missouri-Colorado Football Game

Dr. Daniel A. Hoyt, Assistant Professor of English

In this lecture and discussion, we will examine the 1990 Fifth-Down Game between the University of Missouri and the University of Colorado football teams in which the referees made a mistake and gave CU an extra down. We will discuss this game, the famous figures involved, and how mistakes like this are made and avoided. This talk will also examine issues of leadership, decision-making, and the growth of big-time college football.

The History of Nicodemus, Kansas

Ms. LaBarbara James Wigfall, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

Nicodemus, in western Kansas (off Highway 24, between Stockton and Hill City), is the only remaining post-Civil War African-American settlement west of the Mississippi. Discover how the early settlers survived on the Plains and why Nicodemus still exists today.

Kansas Women's History: What we can Learn from the Kansas Women's Suffrage Campaign of 1867

Dr. Angela Hubler, Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

The hopes of both blacks and women to gain the vote in Kansas in referenda in 1867 were dashed after a nasty campaign that pitted the two groups against one another.  Despite this, current efforts to advance the position of women and people of color can learn much from this historic failure. 

What’s the Point of Democracy?

Dr. Rosa Terlazzo, Assistant Professor

“All actual democracies are imperfect – including ours. We’ll use the tools of philosophy to look at how they might be better. Questions we’ll explore include: Who should get to vote? How should we decide who to vote for? Whose interests should our elected officials be representing? How should our votes be apportioned? And most basically, why should we bother voting at all?”

Just Deserts: The Moral Foundations Libertarian, Democratic and Socialist Thought

Bruce Glymour, Professor of Philosophy

This presentation introduces students to the simple but powerful and fundamental moral insights that underpin liberal democracy (the liberalism of the founding fathers) and the classical objections to it from both libertarian and socialist positions. In discussion, students will be led to elaborate ideas about rights and well-being while exploring the notion of what we deserve, as persons, workers, owners and citizens.

Why are Americans so Polarized? The Formation of Political Identity

Dr. Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Associate Professor of Political Science

A casual observer of politics can identify how polarized the country is. How did it get this way? The answer is more complicated than you might think. In this talk, we discuss how things like our genetics, our social environment growing up, and psychology all interact to shape our political identities. While we cannot promise to solve polarization by the end of the talk, we can certainly increase our understanding for this important issue.

The Effects of US Non-Invasion Troop Deployments on Host Countries

Dr. Carla Martinez Machain, Associate Professor of Political Science

My lecture would consist of a discussion of how it is that the United States massive overseas military presence (ranging from small deployments of special operations forces, to large, permanent military installations in key locations like Germany and Japan). In particular, it would discuss how the US military presence influences perceptions of the US abroad. I would draw examples from surveys that my colleagues and I have conducted across 14 different countries, as well as from qualitative interviews that we carried out over the summer in Peru and Panama.