Dole Forum

The Dole Forum is a major part of the Dole Institute’s educational programming for students at the University of Kansas and the surrounding community. Dole Forums are diverse, covering a variety of topics that intersect politics.

Past Dole Forum

Dole Forum


Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine: planning, operations, and prospects

June 28, 2022

On February 24, 2022, Russia began a war on Ukraine, unleashing brutality on the European continent not seen since 1945. On June 28, two scholars of war; Kevin Benson, Ph.D., Colonel, US Army (ret), and Prof. Chris Marsh, Ph.D., Joint Special…

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John Della Volpe: "Fight: How Gen Z is channeling their fear and passion to save America"

April 13, 2022

On April 12 at 7 p.m., John Della Volpe will discuss his book “Fight: How Gen Z is channeling their fear and passion to save America." The book covers the coming of age of the 70 million young people in America born in a 20-year period beginning…

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The Last Liberal Republican

March 09, 2022

“The Last Liberal Republican"John Roy Price Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 7 p.m.Join us March 8 at 7 p.m. when author John Roy Price will discuss his book “The Last Liberal Republican: An Insider's Perspective on Nixon's Surprising Social…

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A Conversation on Race, Part V: Tribute to Black History

March 01, 2022

Join us for A Conversation on Race, Part V: Tribute to Black History to hear from guests Kevin Willmott, professor, Film & Media Studies; Mark McCormick, director of strategic communications, ACLU of Kansas; Dorthy Pennington, associate…

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The Modern History of Kosovo: Past, Present, and Future

December 01, 2021

The modern history of Kosovo is defined by transformative powers that have left an indelible mark on Southeast Europe and around the globe. Please join us for an event centered on the difficulties and optimism that have shaped Kosovo’s past,…

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THE COUNSELORS | Resolved: Cash bail will not be required for individuals who are not a flight risk or dangerous

November 18, 2021

On Nov. 17, the Dole Institute of Politics will debut The Counselors, an engaging series featuring two advocates arguing either side of an important national issue. In a cross between a courtroom trial and a debate, the two counselors will present…

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Careers in Public Service

November 16, 2021

The Dole Institute of Politics invites you to join us for an online panel discussion on careers in public service featuring four former Dole Student Advisory Board members. Julia Groblacher: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of StateAfter…

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A Conversation on Race Part IV: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero

October 20, 2021

Investigative political reporter and author Michael Kranish will join us for our fourth installment of our A Conversation on Race series. He will discuss the life, tribulations, and career of Major Taylor, the first American-born Black world…

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Laughing at Myself: My Education in Congress, on the Farm, and at the Movies

October 15, 2021

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 fascinating career path, which took him from…

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2021 CONSTITUTION DAY | The Constitution and COVID-19

September 16, 2021

As we continue to go through the worst pandemic in more than a century, there has been increased debate on whether the State can enforce health mandates — such as masking, distancing, and vaccine injections — as a legal matter. In observation of…

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The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage

September 08, 2021

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…

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President Juan Manuel Santos

June 10, 2021

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will live-stream a special event featuring former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m. CDT on the institute’s YouTube channel.“We are excited to…

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A Conversation on Race Part III: Baseball: The Color Barrier

April 14, 2021

The third installment of the series “A Conversation on Race” will feature the President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Bob Kendrick, Scout for the New York Yankees Darryl Monroe, and will be moderated by Senior Associate Director of the…

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Birch Bayh: Making a Difference

March 23, 2021

Author Robert Blaemire will share insights from his book, a biography of Senator Birch Bayh. Bayh served the people of Indiana for over 25 years and sponsored landmark legislation throughout his career, including the Bayh-Dole Act. The bill,…

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“UnRepresented” – Documentary Screening & Filmmaker Q&A

March 16, 2021

UnRepresented is an award-winning documentary that uncovers the mechanisms that drive the cycle of corruption in Congress—giving political insiders enormous, unchecked power. The film explores how special interests bankroll political campaigns and…

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Historians on “Hamilton”: How a Blockbuster Musical Is Restaging America’s Past

March 09, 2021

America has gone Hamilton crazy. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical has spawned sold-out performances, a triple platinum cast album, and a score so catchy that it is being used to teach U.S. history in classrooms across the country. But just…

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46: The Biden Presidency

February 03, 2021

Researcher for Richard Ben Cramer’s landmark book What It Takes: The Way to the White House and assistant for several autobiographical books for President-elect Joe Biden, including his latest, Promises to Keep, Mark Zwonitzer will use his in-depth…

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A Conversation on Race Part II: Asian-Pacific and Hispanic concerns

October 21, 2020

“The problem of racism in this country is multi-faceted and complex,” said Director Bill Lacy. “As we move forward in this series, we want to address additional communities and how racism affects them. For the second installment of ‘A…

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2020 CONSTITUTION DAY | Kansas in the U.S. Supreme Court

September 15, 2020

KU Law Professor Lou Mulligan leads guests: Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas, Lauren Bonds; Professor of Law Emeritus at Boston University School of Law, Larry Yackle and Constitutional Law Professor, Josh Blackman through a discussion of three…

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Marines Return to Vietnam

September 10, 2020

In 1967, John Musgrave was wounded in Vietnam. More than fifty years later, he, along with fellow marine John Solbach, journalist Lindsey Foat, and historian Bill Tuttle, returned to the Southeast Asian country. In this program, the four guests will…

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Commemoration of 30th Anniversary of the ADA

July 26, 2020

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement is joining the Dole Institute of Politics, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, George Bush Presidential Library & Museum and George W. Bush Presidential Library &…

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Let the Shameful Wall of Exclusion Come Down: The 30th Anniversary of the ADA

July 21, 2020

On Tuesday July 21st, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation will convene key activists, advocates and policymakers who helped make the Americans with Disabilities Act a reality for a bipartisan celebration of that landmark civil rights legislation…

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A Conversation on Race Part I

June 16, 2020

The justifiable outrage over the death of Mr. George Floyd has spread across the United States and beyond. As thousands of people take to the streets demanding racial justice, the need for civil and thoughtful discourse has scarcely been more acutely…

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A Powerful, Prevailing Truth: Women in Politics a Century After Suffrage

March 05, 2020

In the century since women gained the vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment, the role of women in the political sphere has increased dramatically in some ways with little advancement in others. This panel of women elected officials will…

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Battle for the Marble Palace: The Forging of the Modern Supreme Court

November 19, 2019

Author Michael Bobelian returns to the Dole Institute to explore a forgotten battle of 1968. Against a backdrop of the Vietnam War, riots during the Democratic National Convention and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy,…

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Taliban Safari: One Day in the Surkhagan Valley

October 24, 2019

In his book “Taliban Safari,” retired Lt. Col. Paul Darling offers an engrossing and true day-in-the-life narrative of a combat soldier in Afghanistan in 2009. From the mundane to the high-octane, Darling’s reflections will place the realities…

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The League of Wives: Heath Hardage Lee

October 22, 2019

Historian and author Heath Hardage Lee specializes in telling little-known stories of dynamic women throughout history. Her latest work, “The League of Wives,” explores a group of fearless military wives that bucked convention during the Vietnam…

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Marine, Public Servant, Kansan

October 17, 2019

The groundwork for Ernest “Ernie” Garcia’s life was laid by his ancestors through a decade of field labor, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and two world wars. Through hard work, education and some basketball, Ernie would rise to become a…

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Votes for Women: Suffrage and the 19th Amendment Centennial

September 24, 2019

One hundred years have not yet passed since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted many — but not all — U.S. women the right to vote. Passed by the House and Senate in 1919 and reaching the threshold to become law of the land in…

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2019 CONSTITUTION DAY | Kansas in the U.S. Supreme Court

September 19, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review to three separate cases involving the state of Kansas in 2019, which it will hear in October and November. Join Stephen McAllister, U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, and special guests as they explore…

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Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan

September 17, 2019

A former minister of the interior for Afghanistan and Afghan ambassador to Germany, Ali Ahmad Jalali has written extensively on the military history of the country. He visits the institute to look at the current state of affairs in the nation and…

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In Conversation with Kevin Willmott

September 11, 2019

With work on titles like “BlacKkKlansman,” “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America,” “Jayhawkers” and beyond, Kevin Willmott is both a renowned filmmaker and a local legend. Willmott will join the Dole Institute for a conversation on…

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HISTORICAL INTERPRETER | Miriam Reed on Susan B. Anthony

July 10, 2019

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POLITICAL PAGE-TURNERS: SPRING BOOK SERIES | An Evening with Major Garrett

April 02, 2019

With over two decades of experience reporting on the White House, Major Garrett has had a front-row seat to modern presidential history. He has covered four presidencies for three news outlets and currently serves as the chief Washington…

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POLITICAL PAGE-TURNERS: SPRING BOOK SERIES | Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?

March 19, 2019

In an era of sharp polarization, author Ira Shapiro places the U.S. Senate at “ground zero for America’s political dysfunction.” Shapiro visits for a talk on his latest book, “Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?” His writing…

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POLITICAL PAGE-TURNERS: SPRING BOOK SERIES | Movie Nights with the Reagans

March 07, 2019

A longtime staffer under President Ronald Reagan, Mark Weinberg shares an intimate look inside the Reagan presidency — told through the movies they watched together every week at Camp David. In a program that will fascinate movie buffs and history…

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Unmasking the Spy: Intelligence Gathering

October 30, 2018

Is intelligence gathering in the 21st century more like James Bond, Jack Ryan… or something else entirely? A 35-year veteran of the U.S. national security community, Ron Marks will guide guests through the realities and challenges of a career in…

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Work, Fight, Give: American Relief Posters of World War II

October 25, 2018

Hal Wert visits to present a new window on understanding a watershed event in our nation’s history. Using a vast collection of poster art, poster stamps, banners and programs issued during World War II, Wert focuses on those who gave of their…

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In Conversation with Sonia Warshawski

October 19, 2018

Follow up the screening of “Big Sonia” with an in-person visit from the film’s titular subject, Sonia Warshawski. Joined by her daughter, Regina Kort, Warshawski will discuss her experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust and reflect on the…

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“Big Sonia” Screening and Filmmaker Q&A

October 12, 2018

One of the last remaining Holocaust survivors living in Kansas City, Sonia Warshawski is a bridge between cultures and generations. Fondly nicknamed “Big Sonia” for her diminutive stature and larger-than-life personality, Warshawski has served as…

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Military Professionalism in the Modern Age

October 09, 2018

Nathan K. Finney and Tyrell O. Mayfield, editors of the new book “Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics,” join the institute to discuss the importance of re-examining the profession of arms during and between…

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Better Angels: Can We Depolarize America?

October 04, 2018

In strained political times, Better Angels is taking on deep divisions in the United States. A nonpartisan nonprofit, the core of the group’s mission is to heal political divides in our nation through community-based alliances, workshops and…

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2018 CONSTITUTION DAY | Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment

September 18, 2018

Proposed after the Civil War and ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment is perhaps the single most important amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guaranteed citizenship to the former slaves and their descendants, and it also guaranteed…

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HISTORICAL INTERPRETER | Judith Kalaora on Deborah Sampson

July 11, 2018

In the waning years of the American Revolutionary War, Deborah Sampson felt a higher calling as she heard news of the rebellion while in Massachusetts. Her response? The former indentured servant and schoolteacher disguised herself in men’s…

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The Class of '74: Congress after Watergate

April 04, 2018

In November 1974, following the historic Watergate scandal, Americans voiced their displeasure with the GOP by electing a wave of 76 Democratic freshmen to the U.S. House of Representatives. Commonly referred to as “Watergate Babies,” some…

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The Loneliness of the Black Republican

March 29, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School professor Leah Rigueur lays out a new understanding of the interaction between African-Americans and the Republican Party, exploring the seemingly incongruous intersection of civil rights and American conservatism. Her book,…

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Responses To WWI: Stadiums, Quarintines, Altruism and Resistance

March 08, 2018

Explore the many ways in which the Great War changed the world, from prisoner of war camps in Switzerland, to resistance movements in Belgium, memorial stadiums in the U.S. and a quarantine law in Kansas. A panel of KU faculty, staff and students…

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Leadership and Globalization in Sports: Bob Kendrick

March 06, 2018

The president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Bob Kendrick arrives to discuss the museum, a Kansas City institution. The NLBM is dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American baseball in the U.S. Kendrick will share insight into…

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America and the Armenian Genocide

February 15, 2018

Starting in 1915, the Ottoman Empire killed up to 1.5 million Armenians and evicted hundreds of thousands of others from their homes in an act of genocide that would later inspire Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust in Europe. The Dole Archives Archival…

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Fighting Hunger in a Changing World with Catherine Bertini

October 04, 2017

Catherine Bertini’s career has placed her squarely on the front lines of the fight to end world hunger, including time at the United Nations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and more. The 2003 World Food Prize Laureate, Bertini transformed the…

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Food: The Ultimate Weapon for Democracy

September 28, 2017

In 1946, starvation abounded in the world. World War II had led to hunger, and now coupled with world drought was causing massive starvation. Guns had started and won the war, yet peace would be written by bread. Don Loeslie shares the story of how…

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Vietnam: Three Who Served

September 21, 2017

Matt Keenan shares the unique stories of three local Vietnam combat veterans: John Gerstle, U.S. Army, John Solbach, U.S. Marine Corps, and Norm Fretwell, Army Ranger and paratrooper, and graduate from the 1966 West Point class described by Rick…

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2017 CONSTITUTION DAY | Religious Rights or Unlawful Discrimination?

September 19, 2017

Two experts in religious freedom law and anti-discrimination law will join the Dole Institute to discuss the difficult issues that arise when the assertion of religious beliefs conflicts with the rights of others. Does the constitutionally protected…

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Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown

September 13, 2017

Author Gerri Hirshey, Rolling Stone’s first female contributing editor, will join the Dole Institute to shine new light on the complex life of Helen Gurley Brown. One of the most incomparable women of the 20th century, Gurley Brown served as…

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Climbing Kilimanjaro

July 27, 2017

Standing as the highest point on the African continent at 19,341 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is considered a fairly accessible mountain summit, involving an arduous trek at high altitudes with no technical climbing. Mountain guide and trekker Ian Taylor…

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HISTORICAL INTERPRETER | David Shuey on John J. Pershing

July 12, 2017

Explore the life and times of General John J. Pershing, a Missouri native and commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I. Join the Institute to commemorate 100 years since the U.S. entry into the war and examine one of…

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World War II: Home Front to Battlefront

June 14, 2017

Frank Lavin shares the tale of a World War II foot soldier who finds himself thrust into a world where he and his unit grapple with the horrors of combat, the idiocies of bureaucracy, and the oddities of life back home—all in the same day.…

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Ronald Reagan’s 1968 Dress Rehearsal

April 04, 2017

Author Gene Kopelson shares the story of Ronald Reagan’s first quest for the presidency in the late 1960s. Mentored by Dwight D. Eisenhower and opposed politically by Robert Kennedy, Reagan’s first major foray into presidential politics set the…

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The Other Side: A Liberal Democrat Explores Conservative America

March 30, 2017

Documentary filmmaker Joe McGovern started with a question: is the source of our political anger with others caused, in part, by a lack of understanding? The result is his film “The Other Side,” documenting his travels across the U.S. and candid…

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INNOVATION SERIES | Finances of Innovation

March 08, 2017

In the 21st century, government financing plays an ever-increasing role in scientific innovation. Hosted in partnership with the KU School of Engineering, join a fascinating discussion on federal research and development funding with Kei Koizumi,…

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