Theodore Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented third term as President in 1912, as the candidate of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party. He lost the election, but he earned the largest third party vote in American history. In this symposium we "placed" Roosevelt in the larger context of progressivism and the Progressive Movement. We also explored Roosevelt's relationship with the various threads of prairie discontentment between 1880 and 1919, including North Dakota's Nonpartisan League.
For more information, see the
symposium's brochure and explore the information in the tabs on this page.
Every man who fights fearlessly and effectively against special privilege in any form is to that extent a Progressive. Every man who, directly or indirectly, upholds privilege and favors the special interests, whether he acts from evil motives or merely because he is puzzle-headed or dull of mental vision, or lacking in social sympathy, or whether he simply lacks interest in the subject, is a reactionary."
Theodore Roosevelt, speaking in Louisville, Kentucky, April 3, 1912
Title: "Roosevelt at Osawatomie, 1910: A Reformer’s Political Evolution"
Kathleen Dalton is Cecil F. P. Bancroft Instructor of History at Phillips Academy Andover as well as an external fellow of Boston University’s International History Institute. Author of Biography: Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life and A Portrait of a School: Coeducation at Andover, she has spoken widely about Theodore Roosevelt, including appearances on C-SPAN’s Book TV, the History Channel, A&E, and public television.
Title: "The 'Inconsequential Playboy' versus the 'Self-seeking Demagogue': Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, and the Progressive Coalition That Wasn’t"
Nancy C. Unger is an Associate Professor of History at Santa Clara University and author of the just-published Biography: Beyond Nature’s Housekeepers: American Women in Environmental History and the prize-winning biography Fighting Bob La Follette: The Righteous Reformer. Her op-eds apply the progressive tradition to today and appear in newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, and Kansas City Star. Her radio appearances include Voice of America, Wisconsin Public Radio, Talking History, and AIR AMERICA, and she has served as a consultant for PBS.
Title: "The Power and Problem of Prairie Populism"
Jeffrey Ostler is Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History at the University of Oregon, where he has taught since 1990. After publishing his first book, Biography: Prairie Populism, Ostler became increasingly interested in the history of Plains Indians. His publications in that area include The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee, winner of the Caughey Prize from the Western History Association. He is currently working on a book about the question of genocide in U.S. history.
Kimberly K. Porter is a professor of history at the University of North Dakota, teaching U.S. history in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as the New Era and the New Deal. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, studying under the direction of Dr. Ellis Hawley. An expert in rural and agricultural history as well as oral history, she served as editor of Biography: The Oral History Review, the journal of record for the English-speaking oral history community, for six years. Dr. Porter is writing a biography of Henry Field, an Iowa businessman and ardent supporter of the agrarian way of life, whose legacy provides insight into the changes occurring in American agriculture in the 1920s and 1930s.
Title: "William Jennings Bryan: so Near and Yet so Far"
Frank Varney is the Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program and Assistant Professor of History at Dickinson State University. Specializing in the era of the American Civil War, he regularly takes student groups to historic sites – especially Civil War battlefields – and makes frequent speaking appearances before Civil War roundtables, historical societies, and other interested groups. Varney earned his undergraduate degree at William Paterson University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Cornell University. His first book, Biography: General Grant and the Rewriting of History, will be published in November.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Registration - May Hall
Welcome and Introductions
Keynote Address: Jeffrey Ostler - “The Power and Problem of Prairie Populism”
Friday, September 21, 2012
Registration/Breakfast - May Hall
Kathleen Dalton - “Roosevelt at Osawatomie, 1910: A Reformer's Political Evolution"
Q & A with Kathleen Dalton
Nancy Unger - "The 'Inconsequential Playboy' versus the "Self-seeking Demagogue': Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, and the Progressive Coalition that Wasn't"
Q & A with Nancy Unger
Panel: Jeffrey Ostler, Kimberly Porter, Nancy Unger, Clay Jenkinson (moderator) - "North Dakota and the 1912 Primary Election, Women and Progressivism, NPL, Bill Langer and Prairie Protest"
Frank Varney - "William Jennings Bryan: so Near and Yet so Far"
Q & A with Frank Varney
Clay Jenkinson - "A.C. Townley and the Nonpartisan League"
Q & A with Clay Jenkinson
Multimedia Presentation - "The Assassination Attempt on Theodore Roosevelt in October 1912"
Social - Alumni and Foundation House
Dinner - TBD
A Chautauqua Revue
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Field trip to Medora and Beach, ND
Registration for Field Trip/Breakfast - Student Center
Buses leave for Medora/Beach
Panel: Kathleen Dalton, Jeffrey Ostler, Nancy Unger, Frank Varney - A wide-ranging discussion and synthesis of symposium themes.
Lunch - La Playa Restaurant, Beach
Film Screening and Discussion of
Northern Lights (Docudrama)
Closing Reception - North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame
Dr. D. C. Coston and Clay Jenkinson give the opening remarks for the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium at Dickinson State University on September 20, 2012.
Jeffrey Ostler delivers his keynote address, "The Power and Problem of Prairie Populism," on September 20, 2012, at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium.
Question and answer session following Jeffrey Ostler's keynote address at the Theodore Roosevelt Symposium on September 20, 2012.
Opening remarks at the Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Kathleen Dalton gives her lecture, "Roosevelt at Osawatomie, 1910: a Reformer's Political Evolution," at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Nancy Unger delivers her lecture, "The 'Inconsequential Playboy' versus the 'Self-Seeking Demagogue': Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, and the Progressive Coalition that Wasn't," at the Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Kimberly Porter shares some insight regarding Theodore Roosevelt's reaction to the NPL at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
"ND and the Primary Election, Women and Progressivism, NPL, Bill Langer and Prairie Protest" panel with Jeffrey Ostler, Kimberly Porter, and Nancy Unger, moderated by Clay Jenkinson at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Frank Varney gives his lecture, "William Jennings Bryan: So Near and Yet So Far," at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Clay Jenkinson delivers his lecture, "A. C. Townley and the Nonpartisan League," at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Sympoisium, September 21, 2012.
The Theodore Roosevelt Center offers a multimedia presentation, "The Assassination Attempt on Theodore Roosevelt in October 1912," at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
Dickinson State University presents an old-fashioned Chautauqua Revue at the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium, September 21, 2012.
The closing panel of the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Symposium with Kathleen Dalton, Jeffrey Ostler, Nancy Unger, and Frank Varney, moderated by Clay Jenkinson in Medora, ND on September 22, 2012.