How Presidents Control the Past to Interpret the Future


This looks like a great one-day conference.  I wish I could attend.  Great topic. Great lineup of speakers.

Center for Presidential History and the George W. Bush Library and Museum

Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 8:45 AM to 3:30 PM (CDT)

Presidents make history but they also write it. From the Oval Office, they shape not only public policy but collective memory.  Presidents, in short, are our historians-in-chief. The possibilities and limits on a president’s ability to articulate and reconfigure the nation’s historical memory will be the focus of this symposium hosted by Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History. Co-organizers Seth Cotlar and Richard Ellis have assembled a group of ten historians and political scientists to explore the concept of the president as historian-in-chief. Each presenter has been asked to characterize the historical imagination of a particular president and probe the broader significance of their work as the nation’s “historian in chief.”


8:30AM:      Guest Registration

8:45AM:      Welcome and Introduction:  Thomas J. Knock, Interim Director of the CPH, SMU

9:00AM:      Panel 1:    David Waldstreicher: John Quincy Adams, Elvin Lim: Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, Jonathan Earle: Abraham Lincoln

                             Moderator: Seth Cotlar

10:45AM:    Panel 2:    Kathleen Dalton: Theodore Roosevelt, John Milton Cooper: Woodrow Wilson, David Sehat: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

                             Moderator: Brian Franklin

12:30PM:    Luncheon Speaker: Edward Countryman: George Washington

                               Lunch provided for all registered guests.

2:00PM:      Panel 3:    Jeffrey Pasley: John F. Kennedy, Rick Perlstein: Ronald Reagan, James Kloppenberg: Barack Obama

                               Moderator: Richard J. Ellis

3:30PM:      Program Concludes

Registered educators can receive CPE credit for attending, but must sign in before each session to receive credit for that session.

Parking will be available on the SMU campus. FREE passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event.