Week-Long Faculty Seminar Explores Key Aspects of the U.S. Presidency

How do scholars evaluate Franklin D. Roosevelt’s foreign policy leadership during the events leading up to Pearl Harbor, and how do they assess his diplomatic and military leadership during the Second World War? Why does John F. Kennedy, who had the seventh-briefest presidency in U.S. history, hold front rank among Americans in polls that evaluate recent presidents? And how do historians evaluate Lyndon B. Johnson’s domestic and foreign policy leadership? Faculty members explored these and other questions about presidential leadership during a seminar on “The 20th Century Presidency” that took place July 23–27, 2017, at Stanford University’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center in Washington, DC. This was the 16th seminar on a topic in American history cosponsored by CIC and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This series is the only Gilder Lehrman seminar program that focuses on professional development for faculty members who teach at colleges and universities.

Twenty-nine CIC faculty members from history, political science, and related fields were selected for the seminar from 77 nominations (see participants list). The seminar focused on the administrations of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson and was led by Robert Dallek, emeritus professor of history at UCLA. Dallek is the author of numerous books, including Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House; Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power; Lyndon B. Johnson, Portrait of a President; the number one New York Times best-seller, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963; and Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945. Dallek also has contributed articles on, or been quoted about, the current administration in recent New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR stories.

As Tim Bailey, director of education at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, remarked, “This summer’s seminar led by Robert Dallek was a wonderful experience for all involved. Professor Dallek’s depth of knowledge is remarkable, and his ability to convey the ‘feel’ of the events being discussed and to get inside of the heads of those national leaders is an experience that the participants will long remember. This was an incredible opportunity for a true icon of American history to pass his knowledge and understanding to a new generation of scholars who can then impart them to their own students.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously supported the seminar. CIC and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will announce the 2018 American history seminar this fall. View more information about the seminar series.

group photo of participants
Historian Robert Dallek (front, right) led “The 20th Century Presidency” seminar, held at Stanford University’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Tim Bailey of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)


Alverno College (WI)
Kevin Casey
Professor of History

Augustana College (IL)
Xiaowen Zhang
Associate Professor of Political Science

Berry College (GA)
Michael Bailey
Associate Professor of Government

Butler University (IN)
Gregory Shufeldt
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Carroll University (WI)
Lilly Goren
Professor of Politics and Global Studies

Dakota Wesleyan University (SD)
Sean Flynn
Professor of History

Duquesne University (PA)
John Hanley
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Grinnell College (IA)
Barbara Trish
Professor of Political Science

Hanover College (IN)
Mi Yung Yoon
Professor of International Studies

Hartwick College (NY)
Caleb Goltz
Assistant Professor of Political Science

John Brown University (AR)
Preston Jones
Professor of History

Judson University (IL)
Craig Kaplowitz
Professor of History

Lourdes University (OH)
Alvin Beggs
Assistant Professor of History

McKendree University (IL)
Ann Collins
Associate Professor of Political Science

Morehouse College (GA)
William Kelly
Assistant Professor of History
Nichols College (MA)
Erika Smith
Assistant Professor of History

Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL)
Roger Chapman
Professor of History

Principia College (IL)
Brian Roberts
Professor of Political Science

Salve Regina University (RI)
William Leeman
Associate Professor of History

Sewanee: The University of the South (TN)
Andrea Hatcher
Associate Professor of Politics

St. John Fisher College (NY)
Wesley Renfro
Associate Professor of Political Science

Texas Wesleyan University
Brenda Taylor Matthews
Professor of History

Trinity College (CT)
Kevin McMahon
Professor of Political Science

University of Mount Union (OH)
John Recchiuti
Professor of History

Ursinus College (PA)
Gerard Fitzpatrick
Professor of Politics

Wabash College (IN)
Sabrina Thomas
Assistant Professor of History

Washington and Lee University (VA)
Robert Strong
Professor of Politics

Westminster College (MO)
Tobias Gibson
Associate Professor of Political Science

Wingate University (NC)
Magdalena Krajewska
Assistant Professor of Political Science