The Program for Democratic Governance supports scholarly inquiry and educational programming on democratic institutions, behavior, and dilemmas. Begun in 2008 by Philip H. Knight Chair and founding Director Daniel Tichenor, the program is home to the Center’s Public Affairs Speaker Series (PASS) and Wayne Morse Scholars.
Wayne Morse Scholars is a program for undergraduate students interested in public policy, governance, and activism. All current UO students (not incoming freshman) are eligible to apply. Applications will be available in the spring.
Public Affairs Speaker Series upcoming events
Past Public Affairs Speaker Series events
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At a moment of urgent racial reckoning, this program will explore the significance of Black mental health and ask what role it plays in the movement for Black lives. How have ideas about Black mental health and illness intersected with enduring associations between Blackness and criminality? What impact has the culture of incarceration had on the experiences of Black individuals with mental illness? How might Oregon's specific history of racial oppression and its tiny Black population contribute to the mental health challenges facing Black Oregonians right now?
Featuring Martin Summers, Department of History, Boston College; and Larissa Miller, PhD, Clinical Psychology Resident, Strong Integrated Behavioral Health, Eugene, OR.
Miller earned her doctorate in clinical child psychology from the University of Denver, where her research focused on unconscious bias and nonverbal communication. Dr. Miller provides evidence-based psychotherapy to individuals from childhood through young adulthood and is currently recruiting participants for a free support group for BIPOC youth.
Summers is a professor of history and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College, where he regularly teaches courses on gender and sexuality in African American history, medicine and public health in the African diaspora, and the African diaspora and the world. Summers’ most recent book, Madness in the City of Magnificent Intentions: A History of Race and Mental Illness in the Nation’s Capital, is a social and cultural history of medicine which focuses on African American patients at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, a federal mental institution in Washington, D.C., from its founding in 1855 to the 1980s.
Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics in partnership with Eugene-Springfield NAACP, Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center, and University of Oregon Division of Equity and Inclusion.
Featuring Jason DeParle, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.
His new book, A Good Provider is One Who Leaves, tells the story of an unforgettable family as they endure years of sacrifice and separation, willing themselves out of shantytown poverty into a new global middle class. Migration is changing the world–reordering politics, economics, and cultures across the globe. With nearly 45 million immigrants in the United States, few issues are as polarizing. But if the politics of immigration is broken, immigration itself—tens of millions of people gathered from every corner of the globe—remains an underappreciated American success.
Jason DeParle is a senior writer at The New York Times and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine. Previously he served as a domestic correspondent in Washington for The Times. Prior to joining The Times, Mr. DeParle was an editor at The Washington Monthly since 1987.
A Democratic Governance Speaker Series event, sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center and the UO School of Journalism and Communication.
Featuring Marisa Abrajano, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests are in American politics, particularly in developing ways to increase politics participation and civic engagement amongst racial/ethnic minorities. Her most recent book is White Backlash: Immigration, Race and American Politics (with Zoltan Hajnal, 2015).
Featuring Jane Junn, University of Southern California.
Jane Junn is a professor of political science and gender and sexuality studies at the University of Southern California. She is an expert on voting, political participation, public opinion, Asian American politics, gender and politics, racial and ethnic identity, and the politics of immigration in the United States. She is the author of five books, including The Politics of Belonging: Race, Immigration, and Public Opinion and Education and Democratic Citizenship in America. Her research on the intersection of gender, race, and voting has been widely cited by journalists and political commentators in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center as part of its Democratic Governance Speaker Series. Cosponsored by the UO Center for the Study of Women in Society and UO Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Featuring Colin Koopman, associate professor of philosophy and director of the New Media and Culture Program at the University of Oregon. His books include: Pragmatism as Transition: Historicity and Hope in James, Dewey, and Rorty (2009); Genealogy as Critique: Foucault and the Problems of Modernity (2013); and How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person (2019). His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times and Aeon as well as in academic journals such as Critical Inquiry, Contemporary Political Theory, Diacritics, and New Media & Society.
Presented by the Wayne Morse Center’s Program for Democratic Governance. Cosponsored by the UO Department of Philosophy and Oregon Data Science.
Join us for an online discussion and Q&A with Robert Kuttner, co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute and current editor of The American Prospect. Kuttner was a longtime columnist for BusinessWeek, and continues to write columns for Huffington Post, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times international edition. He has been writing extensively about averting economic catastrophe during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Moderated by Dan Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science at the UO Department of Political Science and director of the Wayne Morse Center’s Program for Democratic Governance. Part of the Wayne Morse Center's Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Free; registration required. Spaces are limited.
Featuring E.J. Graff, senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Graff researches and reports on gender and sexuality issues and is a board member of the Journalism & Women Symposium, or JAWS.
An award-winning journalist, commentator, and author, Graff's work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Democracy Journal, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, Ms., The Nation, The New Republic, Salon.com, Slate.com, The Village Voice, and The Women’s Review of Books, and has been excerpted in dozens of anthologies and textbooks.
Featuring Norman Solomon, journalist, activist, and author. Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where he is coordinator of its ExposeFacts program. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State.
A collection of Solomon’s columns won the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. The award, presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, honored Solomon’s book "The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media."
Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. Cosponsored by Eugene PeaceWorks and KEPW Community Radio 97.3 FM.
A discussion featuring Alison Gash, UO Political Science; Margaret Hallock, Wayne Morse Center; Jeff Mapes, OPB; and Kerry Tymchuk, Oregon Historical Society.
Alison Gash is a political science professor at UO and an expert in U.S. courts, gender, race, sexuality, same-sex marriage, constitutional rights and public policy. Her research explores how advocates work to overcome contentious policy debates and how their efforts ultimately influence the "facts on the ground." She is the author of Below the Radar: How Silence Can Save Civil Rights (Oxford University Press 2015). Her work as been featured in Washington Monthly, Politico, Slate, Huffington Post, Newsweek and The Conversation.
Margaret Hallock is a Ph.D. economist who has been engaged in public policy in Oregon
for over 4 decades. She is the founding director of the University of Oregon’s Wayne
Morse Center for Law and Politics where she served from 2001-2015 and again in fall
2018. Formerly Hallock taught economics at the UO, directed the UO Labor Education and
Research Center, served as senior economist for the State of Oregon, and worked for the
Service Employees International Union 503, where she led the struggle for pay equity for
women workers. During 2003-04 Hallock served as a policy advisor to Governor Ted
Kulongoski for labor, revenue and workforce development. She has contributed to public
policy issues in labor, taxes, healthcare and workforce development.
Hallock is also active in the community, having served on numerous boards and
committees. She is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors of Sponsors, Inc, a
Eugene nonprofit that assists people returning to the community from prison.
Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Prior to working at OPB, Mapes covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has reported on numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, and legislative sessions.
Kerry Tymchuk has been the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society since 2011. His career includes service as a Marion County deputy district attorney, director of speechwriting to U.S. Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole, director of speechwriting and legal counsel to U.S. Senator Bob Dole, and state director to U.S. Senator Gordon Smith. He was recognized by the Portland Business Journal as the Most Admired Non-Profit Executive in Portland and as the 2018 Statesman of the Year by Oregon Business and Industry.
Featuring Sarah E. Igo, history professor, director of the American studies program, and faculty director of the E. Bronson Ingram College at Vanderbilt University.
Igo's work focuses on modern American cultural and intellectual history, the history of the human sciences, the sociology of knowledge, and the history of the public sphere. She is the author of two books, The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public (Harvard University Press, 2007), and The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2018).
Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and cosponsored by the UO History Department and the UO New Media and Culture Certificate program.
Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia politics professor, and Dan Tichenor, Wayne Morse senior faculty fellow, will discuss their forthcoming book.
Featuring Paul Pierson, political science professor at UC Berkeley. His most recent books are The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the Rise of Conservatism (Princeton University Press 2007), which was co-edited with Theda Skocpol; and Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (Simon and Schuster 2010), co-authored by Jacob Hacker.
Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center in partnership with the UO Department of Political Science.
The University of Oregon invites you to hear from guest speaker Keith Hall, director of the Congressional Budget Office, with remarks from Sarah Nutter, dean, Lundquist College of Business.
Since 1975, the Congressional Budget Office has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. Each year, the agency’s economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.
Keith Hall has directed the Congressional Budget Office since 2015. He has more than 25 years of public service, most recently as the chief economist and director of economics at the International Trade Commission (ITC). Before that, he was a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chief economist for the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, chief economist for the Department of Commerce, a senior international economist for the ITC, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, and an international economist at the Department of Treasury. In those positions, he worked on a wide variety of topics, including labor market analysis and policy, economic conditions and measurement, macroeconomic analysis and forecasting, international economics and policy, and computational partial equilibrium modeling. He earned his PhD and MS in economics from Purdue University.
Sponsored by the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.
Featuring Cecilia Muñoz, vice president for public interest technology and local initiatives at New America.
Prior to joining New America, she served for eight years on President Obama’s senior staff, first as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs followed by five years as Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Before working in government, she was Senior Vice President at the National Council of La Raza (now UNIDOS US), the nation’s largest Hispanic policy and advocacy organization, where she served for 20 years.
Guest speaker Christopher Nichols is the director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities. Nichols specializes in history and its relationships with isolationism, internationalism, and globalization.
This event is part of Democracy under Pressure, the Wayne Morse Center 2017-18 Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Guest speaker Nancy MacLean is an American historian and the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Maclean’s research focuses on race, gender, labor history and social movements in 20th century U.S. history, with particular attention to the U.S. South.
This event is part of Democracy under Pressure, the Wayne Morse Center 2017-18 Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Guest speaker Alvin Tillery is an associate professor and associate chair of political science and African American studies at Northwestern University. His interests include American political development, racial and ethnic politics, and critical race theory.
This event is part of Democracy under Pressure, the Wayne Morse Center 2017-18 Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Featuring Regina Lawrence, nationally recognized authority on political communication, civic engagement, gender and politics, and the role of media in public discourse about politics and policy. Her two latest books are Hillary Clinton’s Race for the White House: Gender Politics and the Media on the Campaign Trail and When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina.
Featuring Robert Kuttner, cofounder and coeditor of The American Prospect. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. He cofounded the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and serves on its executive committee.
Part of the Wayne Morse Center’s Program for Democratic Engagement and Governance. Cosponsored by the UO Department of Political Science and the UO Labor Education and Research Center.
How well does our constitutional democracy work when one party
controls the levers of power and crucial rights are at stake?
This panel will try to answer this question by bringing together experts on social movements, the media, the courts, state governments, the presidency, and Congress to assess our system of checks and balances today.
Stuart Chinn, UO law professor
Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon’s attorney general
Hector Tobar, UO journalism professor and best-selling author
Dan Tichenor, UO political science professor and director of the Wayne Morse Center’s Program for Democratic Engagement and Governance
Kelley Weigel, executive director of the Western States Center
Featuring UO President Michael Schill. Schill became the 18th president of the University of Oregon in 2015. He previously served as the dean and Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. President Schill is an expert in the fields of property, real estate, and housing law and policy. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.
To support access, President Schill announced the Oregon Commitment program which invests $17 million to increase UO’s graduation rate 10% in five years.
This event is part of the Wayne Morse Center's Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Featuring Kim Williams, Portland State University. An associate professor of political science at PSU, Williams also directs the Center for Women, Politics & Policy in PSU’s Hatfield School of Government. She previously taught at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research focuses on race and immigration in American politics. Williams is the author of Mark One or More: Civil Rights in Multiracial America (University of Michigan Press, 2006) as well as numerous book chapters and articles. This event is part of the Wayne Morse Center's Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Join us for a panel discussion featuring a great lineup of political experts:
Betsy Boyd, Assoc. VP of Federal Affairs, University of Oregon.
Before joining UO in 2000, Boyd worked for Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) for fourteen years. She serves as a liaison between the university and Oregon’s congressional delegation.
Jeff Mapes, Senior Political Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Mapes has been covering Oregon politics since 1984 and reported on numerous legislative sessions and political campaigns at local, state, and federal levels. Part time author, part time avid bike commuter, Mapes published his book, Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities, in 2009.
Jack Roberts, Oregon Lottery Director.
Roberts held the position of Oregon’s Commissioner of Labor and Industries from 1995 to 2003. From 2009 to 2013 he wrote in the Oregonian newspaper as a biweekly political column. In October 2013, he was selected to be the director of the Oregon Lottery by Governor John Kitzhaber.
Serena Cruz, Executive Director, Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation.
As executive director, Cruz oversees the foundation’s activities. Before joining Virginia Garcia, she managed Albina Construction LLC, in which she founded in 2007. She served eight years on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners for District 2, and at age 31, she was the youngest woman ever elected to Multnomah County government.
Series focused on the 2016 election. Join us as we explore the meaning and context behind the glitz and headlines in a dramatic election year. We’ll be discussing economic populism alongside our special guest speakers.
Margaret Hallock, formerly of the Wayne Morse Center
Ellen Herman, UO History
Joe Lowndes, UO Political Science
Dan Tichenor, UO Political Science
Moderated by Rebecca Flynn, Wayne Morse Center
Featuring Nadine Strossen, former president of ACLU.
Nadine Strossen is a professor of law at New York Law School. She served as president of the ACLU from 1991-2008 and is a member of the ACLU's National Advisory Council. She was named as one of the “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” twice by the National Law Journal. She is both a scholar and practitioner in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, and international human rights.
This is the keynote address for the Val R. and Madge G. Lorwin Lectureship. Part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, the World Affairs Council of Oregon and the University of Oregon. Cosponsored by the Oregon Country Fair, KLCC, and ACLU.
Featuring Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospect and weekly columnist for The Washington Post. In 2009, he was named one of "the most influential commentators in the nation" by The Atlantic Monthly. He serves as a vice chair of National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America. Part of the Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Featuring Randall Balmer, Dartmouth College; part of the Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Vesla Weaver is an assistant professor of political science and African American Studies at Yale University. She received her doctorate in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University. Weaver is broadly interested in understanding racial inequality in the United States, how state policies shape citizenship, and the political causes and consequences of the growth of the criminal justice system in the United States.
Her newest book with Amy Lerman, Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control, is concerned with the effects of increasing punishment and surveillance in America on democratic inclusion, particularly for the black urban poor. She is also the author of Frontlash: Civil Rights, the Carceral State, and the Transformation of American Politics (under contract with Cambridge), which uncovers a connection between the movement for civil rights and the development of punitive criminal justice. Weaver is also the co-author of Creating a New Racial Order, which explores how multiracialism, immigration, the genomics revolution, and generational changes are reshaping the racial order in the United States (with Professors Jennifer Hochschild and Traci Burch).
Weaver’s research has been supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Brookings Institution. She is currently regional leader of the Scholars Strategy Network, member of the Executive Session on Community Corrections, and co-leader of SPIRE (the Symposium on the Politics of Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity). She has previously worked for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
This is a Val R. and Madge G. Lorwin Lectureship event and is part of the Wayne Morse Center's Public Affairs Speaker Series.
Featuring Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, authors of Dollarocracy: The Money and Media Election Complex That is Destroying America.
In addition to Dollarocracy, McChesney and Nichols have written four other books together and co-founded the Free Press, a national network dedicated to media reform.
Featuring Beatrice Dohrn, Director Nonprofit Clinic, UO Law School, Alison Gash (UO Political Science), Ellen Herman (UO History). Part of the "We the People? From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall" speaker series. Cosponsored by the UO departments of Political Science, History, and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Featuring Distinguished Speaker Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago Department of Political Science.
Cathy J. Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago where she also served as the director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. She is the author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (Oxford University Press 2010) and The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press, 1999).