Past Events

Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America Book Launch

Friday, December 8 | 12:00 PM | 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Book Launch for Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America by Carol Hardy-Fanta, Pei-te Lin, Dianne Pinderhughes, and Christine Marie Sierra

Commentators: Jane Junn - University of Southern California and Christina Wolbrecht - University of Notre Dame

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More than a Feeling: Personality, Polarization, and the Transformation of the U.S. Congress Book Launch

Friday, December 1 | 12:00 PM | 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Book Launch for More than a Feeling: Personality, Polarization, and the Transformation of the U.S. Congress by Adam Ramey, Jonathan Klingler, and Gary Hollibaugh

Commentators: Justin Grimmer - University of Chicago and Matthew Hall - University of Notre Dame


Perseverance in the Parish?: Religious Attitudes from a Black Catholic Perspective Book Launch

Friday, November 10 | 12:00 PM | 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Book Launch for Perseverance in the Parish?: Religious Attitudes from a Black Catholic Perspective by Darren Davis and Donald Pope-Davis

Commentators: Eric McDaniel - University of Texas at Austin and Geoffrey Layman - University of Notre Dame


"Counting Women's Ballots" Book Launch

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"Pizza, Pop & Politics 2017: Demonstration & Protest in Democracy"


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"Media and Gender Politics in the 2016 Election: A Faculty Roundtable"

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Notre Dame faculty panelists Susan Ohmer, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, Jason Ruiz, American Studies, and Christina Wolbrecht, Political Science, provided an interactive discussion of the impact of gender on the 2016 presidential campaign, from how the candidates present themselves to how they are covered in the media. Through video clips and discussion, we will consider how gender shapes this historic election. 

The panel was held on November 2 at 5:00 p.m. at the Browning Cinema.

Shamrock Series Panel, "Turning Points: Election 2016 and Beyond"

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Friday, November 11, 2016 in the Republic Room, Grand Hyatt San AntonioNotre Dame faculty and elected officials discussed issues at the forefront of the 2016 presidential election as well as the implications for the incoming president and the future of the United States. Panelists included, David Campbell, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Notre Dame, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), U.S. House of Representatives, Luis Ricardo Fraga, Co-Director at the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, and Christina Wolbrecht, Director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. The panel was moderated by Ricardo Romo, President of University of Texas at San Antonio.

Notre Dame Lecture on Educational Policy

Dr. Patrick Wolf (Professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice,  University of Arkansas) presented "Private School Choice: What We Know and Don't Know" on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. in Remick Commons. This event was hosted by the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.

About Patrick Wolf

Dr. Patrick J. Wolf is Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. Previously he worked as a lobbyist for people with hearing impairments, a janitorial assistant, a state government administrator, and a pizza deliverer – though not necessarily in that order. As principal investigator of the School Choice Demonstration Project, he has led or is leading major studies of school choice initiatives, including longitudinal evaluations of school voucher programs in Washington, DC, Milwaukee, and the state of Louisiana. Research projects led or co-led by Dr. Wolf have been supported by 27 research grants and contracts totaling over $20 million. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited four books and over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports on school choice, civic values, special education, public management, and campaign finance.

Film Series: Campaign Concerns

The Rooney Center and the Center for Civil and Human Rights cosponsored Campaign Concerns, which focused on issues relating to the 2016 presidential election, such as the use of drones, voting rights, and immigration. Additional information about the films and schedule for the series can be found here

Kathy Cramer presented "The Politics of Resentment" on January 27, 2017

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Katherine Cramer is a professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service.  Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs.

Authors Meet Critics: Seeking the Promised Land


Many joined us February 6, as we celebrated a recent book co-authored by Notre Dame's David Campbell.  Dave and his co-authors, Quin Monson (Brigham Young University Political Science) and John Green (University of Akron Political Science), responded to "critics" Laura Olson (Clemson Political Science) and Kraig Beyerlein (ND Sociology) in this event titled "Authors Meet Critics: Seeking the Promised Land," based on the title of the book Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics.

Authors Meet Critics - "Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics"
Featuring Commentary by: Laura Olson (Clemson) and Kraig Beyerlein (ND Sociology)
and Authors: Dave Campbell (ND Political Science), J. Quin Monson (BYU), and John C. Green (Akron)

About the book:

Mormons have long had an outsized presence in American culture and politics, but they remain largely unknown to most Americans. Recent years have seen the political prominence of Mormons taken to a new level – including the presidential candidacy of Republican Mitt Romney, the prominent involvement of Mormons in the campaign for California's Proposition 8 (anti–gay marriage), and the ascendancy of Democrat Harry Reid to the position of Senate Majority Leader. This book provides the most thorough examination ever written of Mormons' place in the American political landscape – what Mormons are like politically and how non-Mormons respond to Mormon candidates. However, this is a book about more than Mormons. As a religious subculture in a pluralistic society, Mormons are a case study of how a religious group balances distinctiveness and assimilation – a question faced by all faiths.

Dave Campbell and Quin Monson on Research on Religion

Listen to the interview here!

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This week's top episode of Research on Religion ( ) features our very own Prof. Dave Campbell talking about his new book Seeking the Promised Land about Mormon political values.  This makes him “almost famous” since that show is just shy of The Daily Show’s audience on Comedy Central (though higher than most MSNBC shows.)  He shares the microphone with co-author Quin Monson of BYU.  The discussion of their book will likely have wide appeal to the Notre Dame community interested in religion and politics and is both informative and fun. 

Research on Religion is a free weekly podcast series coming from Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion and has featured other ND Political Science faculty such as Dan Philpott and Phillip Muñoz.

Women in the Civil Rights Movement

The Rooney Center co-sponsored two great talks on Women in the Civil Rights Movement in October.

Prof. Jane Rhodes from Macalaster College gave a talk, "Black Women, Black Power, and the Media's Glare," on Thursday, October 30 at 5:00 at the Hesburgh Auditorium.

Prof. David Stovall (University of Illinois at Chicago) gave a talk on Friday, October 31 at noon at Saint Mary's College. The title is "Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Current Struggle for Human Dignity."

Jane Rhodes is Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and Professor and Chair of American Studies at Macalester College. The subject of her talk is on women, the media, and Black Power. Dr. Rhodes specializes in the study of race, gender and mass media; the black press; and media and social movements. Rhodes’ first book Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century (Indiana University Press, 1998), was named the best book in mass communication history by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her most recent book is Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon It is noteworthy that Dr. Rhodes was featured in the award-winning documentary The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (California Newsreel), and has been the recipient of a President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of California, a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a research fellowship from the University of London.

David Stovall is Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates four areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) concepts of social justice in education, 3) the relationship between housing and education, and 4) the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he has spent the last ten years working with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of social justice. His current work has led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the Fall of 2005 where he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher.

David Campbell's AEI Paper on Civic Education

David Campbell wrote a paper for the American Enterprise Institute on civic education, which was released on September 17, 2014, in conjunction with Constitution Day. The paper shows that state-level civics exams lead to higher civic knowledge among Millennials. Follow the original link, or read it here.

"The 'Silent Epidemic' Revisited: Can Catholic Educators  Reignite the Fight to Improve Urban Schools?"
Friday, September 5, 2014

It can be viewed here!

"Father Tim Scully, CSC Lectures on Education in the Service of Citizenship” series inaugural lecture was given by John J. DiIulio, Jr., who is the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, and Professor of Political Science, at the University of Pennsylvania.

“American Politics in the 21st Century: Latino Civic Engagement”
Monday, April 7, 2014

Featuring San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his former Stanford faculty mentor Luis Fraga. The two discussed the mayor’s journey into the world of politics.

“American Politics in the 21st Century: The Latino Vote and the 2014 Elections”
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Notre Dame’s Christina Wolbrecht  moderated the three-person panel consisting of Michael Jones-Correa of Cornell University, Sophia Jordan Wallace of Rutgers University, and Notre Dame’s Ricardo Ramirez.

The Life and Legacy of President Ronald Reagan

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A symposium sponsored by The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

This event featured a stimulating discussion of the life and legacy of President Reagan, in honor of his 100th birthday. The discussion featured four panelists who worked closely with the President Reagan during his two terms. The discussion focused on the President's domestic and economic policies, and how the lessons learned during the Reagan years could be applied to the current economic climate. Panelists included: * Ed Meese, former Attorney General of the United States * James Burnley, former Secretary of Transportation * Manley Johnson, former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors * James Miller, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget
The moderator for the panel was Judy Woodruff (The PBS Newshour and Bloomberg News).

Held November 11, 2011 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC, and the event can be viewed on C-SPAN in its entirety by clicking here This symposium is the final of six similar events sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Centennial Celebration, a historic year-long celebration to commemorate the 100th birthday of the 40th president of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan. You can learn more about the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration here.

Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada (Detroit). His talk was titled “235 Years of Canada-USA Relations — In Less Than One Hour!” (2/20/2012)

Faith in America: A town hall meeting confronts religion and politics (Pittsburgh, PA 9/23/11)

Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling: Fifty Years After the Election of America’s First Catholic President

The University of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the College of Arts&Letters hosted an Academic Roundtable titled “Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling: Fifty Years After the Election of America’s First Catholic President” at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City (click here or on the event graphic above to view the roundtable). This event was held November 19 as one of the many events held during the Notre Dame vs. Army football weekend. Featured panelists for “Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling” included: * E.J. Dionne, syndicated columnist Washington Post, columnist for Commonweal, and Prof. at Georgetown University * John Dilulio, Prof of Political Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania and first Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based&Community Initiatives * John McGreevy, Dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts&Letters, author of Catholicism and American Freedom: A History and Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North * Robert Putnam, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and, with David Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (to be published October 2010) * Moderator: David Campbell, Director of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center and Associate Prof. of Political Science

235 Years of Canada-USA Relations — In Less Than One Hour! (Feb. 20, 2012)

Co-sponsored with the Kellogg Institute for International Relations

Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, addressed a packed room on the recurring themes in relations between the U.S. and Canada — countries sharing the world’s longest border and the world’s largest two-way trading relationship.
A strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the USA is Canada’s greatest foreign policy priority, one that Americans also regard as vitally important. It is especially worth noting that Canada is Indiana’s largest export market. Hoosiers sell more goods to Canada than to their next seven largest foreign markets combined.

As the Consul General of Canada based in Detroit, Roy Norton represents Canada in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. The Canadian Consulate General, which he heads, promotes Canadian interests – trade, investment, the environment, culture and academic relations being among the principal ones. The office also provides consular, passport, visa and immigration services.

Rooney Center Welcomes Former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder (Oct. 7, 2011)

The Rooney Center will host former Commonwealth of Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder for the 2011 Rooney Lecture on Friday, October 7 in the Geddes Hall Auditorium. As Virginia’s 66th governor, and the first elected African American governor in United States history, Gov. Wilder served the Commonwealth from 1990-1994. During his administration, he was praised for his sound fiscal management and his ability to balance the state budget during difficult economic times. He also sponsored new construction projects at many of Virginia’s colleges and universities, mental health facilities, and state parks. For a brief time in 1991 Gov. Wilder was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. His most recent political office was Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, which he held from 2005 to 2009.

Rooney Center Honors JFK Election Anniversary in NYC (November 19, 2010)

Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling: Fifty Years After the Election of America’s First Catholic President

Sponsored by the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, and the College of Arts and Letters

When John F. Kennedy ran for the presidency, he encountered resistance because of his Catholic faith. Public opinion polling at the time revealed that roughly 1 in 4 Americans said they would not vote for a Catholic. In winning the election, Kennedy shattered the “stained glass ceiling;” the public today is widely accepting of Catholic politicians. What are the lessons to be learned from Kennedy’s historic election victory? What are the parallels between resistance to Kennedy’s religion in the past and the “religion problems” faced by some politicians in the present?

The roundtable discussion featured four prominent experts of religion and the public life. These included E.J. Dionne (Washington Post columnist, author, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University), John DiIulio (Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, and Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania), John McGreevy, Dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters), and Robert Putnam (Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvards’ Kennedy School of Government, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and, with David Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us). The roundtable was moderated by David Campbell, Director of the Rooney Center and the John Cardinal O’Hara, CSC Associate Professor of Political Science. As noted, he is also co-author, with Robert Putnam, of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.


Inaugural Rooney Lecture: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

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The Rooney Center was proud to host Governor Bob McDonnell for the inaugural Rooney Lecture on October 29, 2010 in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. Drawing upon his Notre Dame undergraduate education (ND ’76), Gov. McDonnell addressed a standing-room only crowd with a talk that focused on young people and public service.


American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us

Authored by David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam, American Grace was released in October 2010. This book is a major achievement and takes a fascinating look at religion in today’s America. Unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse and remarkably tolerant. But in recent decades, the nation’s religious landscape has been reshaped. American Grace is based on two of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on religion and public life in America. It includes a dozen in-depth profiles of diverse congregations across the country, which illuminate the trends described by Putnam and Campbell in the lives of real Americans. Nearly every chapter of American Grace contains a surprise about American religious life. The recently completed paperback edition contains further survey results, analysis, and commentary based on 2011 follow up studies.

For more on the book and its release, please visit