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One Day University in Madison, WI

April 14, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
The Impossible Presidency: The Changing Role of America's Highest Office

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas

The American presidency is the most powerful political office in the world. Surprisingly, most contemporary presidents have found themselves severely constrained in their ability to pursue their chosen agendas for domestic and foreign policy change. This lecture will explain why, focusing on the nature of government bureaucracy, the range of American challenges and commitments, and the development of the modern media.

We will begin with the founding vision of the U.S. presidency and the actions of its first occupant, George Washington. Then, we’ll examine the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and the most recent office-holders. We will focus on how the power of the presidency has changed over time and what that has meant for American society. The lecture will close with reflections for how we can improve presidential leadership in future years.

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University's Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author of six books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His research and teaching have received numerous prizes, and in 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
The Civil War Revisited: What We Know Now

John Hall / University of Wisconsin-Madison

On the eve of the Civil War, few Southerners doubted the outcome of the impending contest. Whereas the Union would fill the ranks of its army with "mudsill" factory workers who lacked both personal independence and experience with firearms, Confederate men were reared in the manly pursuits of soldiers and exemplified the same independence of spirit that distinguished their Revolutionary forebears. Or so they told themselves.

Scholars have since deconstructed and debated the notion of a "martial South," sometimes arguing that it had a decisive influence on the way the Confederacy fought the war, other times arguing that it was a figment of the Southern imagination. Yet today, a great many Americans—from North and South—accept the idea that the South has always been distinguished by a rich martial tradition. What's the real story, and how important was the idea (if not the fact) of a martial South to the course of the Civil War? Professor John Hall will answer these questions, offer new interpretations, and suggest that—as in so many things—beliefs are often more powerful than facts.

John Hall / University of Wisconsin-Madison
John Hall holds the Ambrose-Hesseltine Chair in U.S. Military History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of "Uncommon Defense: Indian Allies in the Black Hawk War" and numerous essays on early American warfare. His current book project examines the contested place of American Indians in the Old South and its place in the republic during the Age of Jackson. A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Prof. Hall formerly taught at West Point, where he also graduated in 1994.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
The Science of Sleep and Stress: How they Affect Creativity, Focus, and Memory

Jessica Payne / University of Notre Dame

What's going on in your head while you sleep? The research of Notre Dame Professor Jessica Payne shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day life, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem solving. If you ever thought sleep was just downtime between one task and the next, think again.The fact is, your brain pulls an all-nighter when you hit the hay. Many regions of the brain - especially those involved in learning, processing information, and emotion - are actually more active during sleep than when you're awake. These regions are working together while you sleep, helping you process and sort information you've taken in during the course of the day. Professor Payne's research has focused on what types of information are submitted to memory, and has been instrumental in better understanding how the brain stores the information. 

Sound interesting? It is. And useful too, as Professor Payne will outline all sorts of practical information on how to control your sleep habits to insure maximum productivity.

Jessica Payne / University of Notre Dame
Jessica Payne is the Nancy O'Neill Collegiate Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Sleep, Stress, and Memory Lab. Her course, The Sleeping Brain, routinely sports a waitlist because of its immense popularity among Notre Dame students. In 2012, Professor Payne received the Frank O'Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is also a two-time recipient of the Distinction in Teaching Award, and won the Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard University's Derek Bok Center.

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