Multi-Day Seminars

Spring 2023 Multi-Day Seminars

Registration is now closed. Registration for our Summer and Fall Multi-Day Seminars will be open soon.

Immigration and American History

Austin, TX | February 10-12, 2023

This seminar will look at American immigration from the mid-1800s to the present day. We will examine an array of primary sources, including speeches, laws, Supreme Court decisions, government documents, political cartoons, and memoirs of immigrants. We will learn about the changes in immigration law through the years and how immigration enforcement has evolved. We will look at how native-born Americans reacted to immigrants, as well as the experience of immigrants once they arrived. Throughout the seminar, we will chart the differences and similarities over time, both in terms of immigrant demographics, immigration laws, and attitudes of Americans toward immigrants.

Discussion Leader: Vincent J. Cannato

Richard Nixon and American Politics

Yorba Linda, CA | February 17-19, 2023

This seminar will examine Richard Nixon’s presidency and its long-term consequences for federalism and the role of the national government in American politics.  We will look at Nixon’s “New Federalism” agenda and explore the ways in which Nixon promoted that agenda through an aggressive use and expansion of presidential power.  We will also examine the backlash against Nixon’s conception of federalism and the presidency, which set up a conflict between the two political parties that persists to this day. 

Discussion Leader: Joseph Postell

Race, Religion & American Politics

Dana Point, CA | February 24-26, 2023

What came first–slavery or racism? After briefly examining leadership, spiritual intelligence, social change theories, and the history of racism, slavery, and segregation, this seminar explores the influence of religion and spirituality on the Black, Mexican-American, and American Indian (AIM) civil rights movements from 1950-1978. 

Discussion Leader: Gastón Espinosa

From Brown v Board & Beyond: Desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement

Little Rock, AR | March 17-19, 2023

The 1954 Brown v Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court ruling was a landmark decision, but as the 1957 showdown at Little Rock’s Central High School showed, enforcing the decision’s constitutional mandate required the dedication and courage of ordinary heroes. In this seminar, we will use a variety of primary sources to learn about and discuss the legal campaign of the NAACP to put school segregation before the Supreme Court, the constitutional issues of the cases, the effort to enforce Brown in Little Rock, and the long, difficult effort to desegregate schools elsewhere in the United States.

Discussion Leader: David F. Krugler

Separation of Powers

Dallas, TX | March 24-26, 2023

“When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty…there is no liberty if the powers of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive.” (Fed. 48) This seminar will explore the concept of separation of powers in both the theory and practice of American politics. In particular, we will examine the question of how successfully the separation of powers has actually contributed to the protection of liberty and whether this system of divided branches promotes responsible government in the United States. 

Discussion Leader: J. David Alvis

The Failure of Reconstruction and the Rise of Jim Crow

Atlanta, GA | April 14-16, 2023

This seminar will examine the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the era of Jim Crow. In the span of only a decade, from approximately 1875-1885, the monumental effort undertaken by the federal government to make African Americans equal citizens of the United States was abandoned and replaced by a campaign of racial discrimination and white supremacy commonly referred to as Jim Crow. This seminar will explain why this critically important change that shaped the future of the nation occurred.

Discussion Leader: Brent J. Aucoin

Contested Presidential Elections: 1800, 1824, 1876, 2000, 2020

Boston, MA | April 21-23, 2023

This timely seminar will focus on five of the most contentious presidential elections in American history. All of these elections witnessed a deeply divided nation deal with outcomes that were suspect in the eyes of many citizens. These bitter contests highlight the importance of norms and traditions for healthy republican government–norms that can only prevail if embraced by the contending candidates.

Discussion Leader: Stephen F. Knott

Frederick Douglass: Slavery, Abolition, Women’s Suffrage

Rochester, NY | April 21-23, 2023

This seminar is dedicated to the life, reform leadership, and legacy of the abolitionist and civil rights crusader Frederick Douglass. We will trace Douglass’s evolving antislavery thought from his beginnings as a Garrisonian abolitionist, to his momentous change as a political abolitionist during the Civil War. We will then consider his subsequent struggle for Civil Rights and black suffrage during and after Reconstruction, including his epic break with Rochester Reformer and friend Susan B. Anthony over the Fifteenth Amendment’s exclusion of women.  Our conversations will focus on a close reading of the substance and style of the primary sources of Douglass’s greatest speeches and writings.

Discussion Leader: Joseph R. Fornieri

Abraham Lincoln, Race, and the New Birth of Freedom

Springfield, IL | April 21-23, 2023

This seminar will examine Lincoln’s speeches and letters, as well as those of select contemporaries, on emancipation, civil war, and reconstruction. We will focus on Lincoln’s consistencies and inconsistencies on race, his changing war goals, and his vision for a postwar reconstructed nation rededicated to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

Discussion Leader: Dan Monroe

Westward Expansion

St. Louis, MO | April 28-30, 2023

This seminar opens with a consideration of the West in the contest of empire. It proceeds to consider the connection between Manifest Destiny and the questions of Indian removal and the extension of slavery into the territories, concluding with a consideration of the Mexican War and the impact of westward expansion on the emergence of modern America.

Discussion Leader: William Atto

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