Spring 2017 Schedule
JFK: The First Television President
Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EST
A collaboration with
JFK Library

Mass media has transformed not only presidential politics but the American presidency itself. This webinar focuses on John F. Kennedy, the nation's first television president. In 1950, only 11% of U.S. households owned a television; by 1960, when Kennedy campaigned for the presidency, that number had reached nearly 90%. Had all the forces of nature conspired, it is hard to imagine they could have created a candidate and president better suited to emerge in this new era than JFK. He understood the power of television, made masterful use of the medium and was ideally suited to it. From his campaign for the White House, throughout his presidency, and even in his tragic death, Kennedy would define the medium that made him president even as it deeply etched the nation's 35th president into our national memory. This webinar will explore the impact of television on Kennedy's presidency and on the country in a tumultuous and defining era in modern political history. It is presented as part of the JFK Centennial.

Leader: Ellen Fitzpatrick, Professor of History, University of New Hampshire

Rushmore Series: Roosevelt at Rushmore
Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

Why was Teddy Roosevelt chosen as the fourth and last face to be sculpted into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore? This webinar will take a closer look at Gutzon Borglum's political support for Roosevelt in order to analyze the aspects of his personality and ideas that the Rushmore monument dramatizes. We will discuss Roosevelt's views on nature and the strenuous life, and we will explore his application of those concepts to public issues of race and war. Join us for a re-examination of Borglum's effort to depict in granite one of the liveliest and most intellectually vigorous American presidents.

Leader: Thomas Brown, Professor of History, University of South Carolina

Black Lives Matter in Historical Context
Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT
A collaboration with NCHE

In this presentation, Dr. Yohuru Williams explores the history of the struggle for racial equality in the United States from the Civil Rights era through the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement with an exploration of key episodes and moments in U.S. History using a variety of primary sources.

Leader: Yohuru Williams, Professor of History, Fairfield University

A History of Immigration Control: Contesting Nation, Citizenship and Race in America
Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT
A collaboration with Primary Source

The issue of immigration control has become a lightning rod in American political discourse. At stake is how we define ourselves in relation to each other and to the state, which is perhaps why many Americans across the political spectrum feel so passionately about the issue. Join us as Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) unravels the complicated history of immigration control in the United States, and in doing so sheds light on 20th-century contests over identity and belonging.

Leader: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Associate Professor of History, UCLA

A History of Violence: Mexico and the United States
Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT
A collaboration with
American Historical Association

In the recent presidential election, Mexico as a country of violence became a campaign issue. The United States and Mexico share a two thousand mile border; both countries are major trading partners; and U.S.-Mexican relations have long and complicated histories. This webinar explores this complex relationship through key historical moments from the Mexican Revolution to the contemporary drug wars by focusing on violence and policing on both side of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo).

Leader: Elaine Carey, Professor and Chair, Department of History, St. Johns University

Teaching John Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath'
Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT
A collaboration with OAH

While working on his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 novel, Steinbeck wrote to a friend: "I'm trying to write history while it is happening and I don't want to be wrong." Upon publication, Steinbeck's controversial book met with a vehement and coordinated response from California's corporate farming interests who labeled its author a Communist and a liar for his portrayal of their mistreatment of migrant agricultural workers and their families. However, Steinbeck received validation from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and from Philip LaFollette's Senate Committee on Education and Labor, which held hearings in California in 1940. Yet, unlike so many literary works set in the present, The Grapes of Wrath has endured as a classic. This webinar explores both the contemporary conditions that gave rise to the novel, and its multi-layered nature, including its emphasis on human dignity, its biblical dimension, and its charting of a shift in social consciousness from individualism to group-centeredness--from "I to We”--that help explain its continuing popularity and relevance.

Leader: David Wrobel, Professor, Merrick Chair of Western History, Oklahoma University

Cultivating Students' Philosophical Thinking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM EDT

This interactive webinar will explore how introducing philosophy in the classroom can enrich student learning, and will provide ideas and resources for encouraging deep and well-reasoned thinking about some of life's "big questions.” Participants will learn about some of the methods of pre-college philosophy, and will engage in philosophical discussions and activities on topics such as: "What can we know? What makes something right or wrong? Are we free? What is a mind? How do we define happiness?”

Leader: Dr. Jana Mohr Lone, Director, University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children

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