2021 Events

Fall 2021

October 26,2021

The Youth Vote and the U.S. Constitution - How the 26th Amendment was Enacted

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the 26th
Amendment, which lowered the voting age across the nation to 18. In this
talk, Jennifer Frost, author of “Let Us Vote!” (NYU Press, 2021) and associate professor of History at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, joins us to tell the story of how a broadly based coalition of activists and reform groups overcame the forces of inertia to expand the American electorate and change the face of American politics.

Jim Obergefell

September 14, 2021

2021 Lloyd and Mary O’Hara Lecture on Law and Politics
Courts, Law and the Right to Marriage Equality: The Story and Legacy of Obergefell v. Hodges

A self-described accidental activist, Jim Obergefell secured his place in American constitutional history when his fight for legal recognition of same-sex marriage culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015. In this lecture, Mr. Obergefell will discuss his journey from private citizen to civil rights activist. He will also discuss the legacy of the Obergefell decision for LGBTQ+ rights and the state of civil rights and liberties for marginalized groups and communities today.

If you are interested in viewing this lecture please email lehmana6@MiamiOH.edu

September 13, 2021

Are Women Full Citizens? What the Long History of #MeToo Reveals

Kimberly Hamlin is a professor of history and global and intercultural studies at Miami University.
Her most recent book, “Free Thinker: Sex, Surage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener” (W.W. Norton, 2020), explores the story of one of America’s most influential women’s rights activists and a key leader in the movement to enact the 19th Amendment. 


Spring 2021 Dialogues on Democracy Series

May 3, 2021

The Constitution and American Life

Judge McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, is a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. One of the nation’s leading authorities on the U.S. Constitution, Judge McConnell clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. at the United States Supreme Court. His distinguished career has included service as an assistant general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, an assistant to the Solicitor General in the Justice Department and as the William B. Graham Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Judge McConnell holds a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago (where he served as editor of the University of Chicago Law Review).

April 19, 2021

How Thomas Edison Invented @POTUS

Dr. Spellman, Associate Professor of History at Miami University, is the author of Cornering the Market: Independent Grocers and Innovation in American Small Business, 1860-1940 (Oxford University Press, 2016). In this presentation, Dr. Spellman will explore the ways in which contemporary techniques of political campaigning in America reflect only the latest ways in which candidates and political parties adapt emerging communications technologies to reach voters and supporters. Dr. Spellman, the incoming chair of Miami's Department of Humanities and Creative Arts, holds a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon University.

April 5, 2021

The Civil War, Reconstruction and the Problem of Freedom

Dr. Eric Foner is one of America’s pre-eminent historians and public intellectuals. Author of over two dozen widely acclaimed books on American history – including the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010) and Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988), which won Bancroft and Parkman Prizes – Dr. Foner is a past president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association and the Society of American Historians. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018. Dr. Foner holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he studied under Professor Richard Hofstadter.

March 29, 2021

Should We Keep the Electoral College?

Mr. Jesse Wegman, author of Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College (St. Martin’s Press, 2020) sits on the editorial board of the New York Times, where he has written about the Supreme Court and legal affairs since 2013. Mr. Wegman has also worked as a reporter, editor and producer at various news organizations including National Public Radio, the New York Observer, Reuters, The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Mr. Wegman graduated from the New York University School of Law in 2005.

March 22, 2021

The Legacy of the Nineteenth Amendment

Presented by Paula Monopoli, author of Constitutional Orphan: Gender Equality and the Nineteenth Amendment (Oxford University Press, 2020). Professor Monopoli is the the Sol & Carlyn Hubert Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, the Founding Director of the Carey School of Law’s Women, Leadership & Equality Program and a former (2017-2020) Visiting Leadership Scholar at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Author of four books and over 30 scholarly articles, her most recent book, Constitutional Orphan: Gender Equality and the Nineteenth Amendment (2020) explores how the meanings ascribed to that Amendment over time have been shaped by a wide array of actors in American government and society. Professor Monopoli, who holds a BA degree from Yale University and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, is the recipient of the Baltimore Bar Foundation’s 2020 Fellows Award for her contributions to our understanding of the role of law in democratic society.

March 16, 2021

Why Civility is Necessary for American Democracy

Alexandra Hudson is a nationally recognized expert on civility, civil society, and American civic renewal. A contributor to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME Magazine, POLITICO Magazine, Newsweek, and other national and international outlets, Ms. Hudson previously served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration and a consultant at the Liberty Fund. She is currently writing a book for St. Martin’s Press that explores the importance of civility in supporting and sustaining a free society. Ms. Hudson holds a BA in history from Trinity Western University and a Masters in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

March 8, 2021

Money, Power and Politics: Campaign Finance and American Democracy

Michael Toner, former Chair of the Federal Election Commission, Chief Counsel of the Republican National Committee, General Counsel of the 2000 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and Counsel for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign, is currently a partner at Wiley LLP in Washington, DC and chair of that firm’s Election Law and Government Ethics practice. An adjunct professor of law at the College of William & Mary, Mr. Toner also serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in political science from The Johns Hopkins University.

March 1, 2021

Populism and Anti-Populism in American Democracy

Dr. Frank, a nationally prominent political analyst and historian, is a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Harper’s and the author of numerous books on American politics including What’s the Matter With Kansas? (2004), The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008), Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016) and most recently, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism (2020). Dr. Frank holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

February 22, 2021

The Laws Behind Jim Crow

Dr. Paschal explores the roots of the Jim Crow era in the American South and how early post-Civil War legal developments fostered the rise of a regime of legalized discrimination and oppression.