Symposium Series

Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency

The Alan B. and Charna Larkin Endowed Fund supports an annual symposium and creates supporting graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for students who demonstrate interest in the American presidency. The annual Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency has a thematic focus, providing distinguished scholars each year with the opportunity to present papers that may be contributed to books, scholarly journals, essays and other publications. The Symposium is held each spring semester with the first held in 2007.

The John O' Sullivan Memorial Lectureship

The mission of the John O'Sullivan Memorial Lectureship is to provide students, secondary school teachers, faculty and public guests with exposure to a distinguished historian of 20th-century American History whose lectureship/presentation broadens and deepens our understanding of the major thematic and conceptual aspects of America's modern history.

Each year the department will print the lecture and make it available on our website at:, as well as in our department for public distribution.

Past Lectures

Spring 2020 

Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium: "Leaders in Turbulent Times" with Doris Kearn Goodwin

Spring 2019

Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium: "Origins of the American Presidency" with keynote speaker Caroline Winterer and a panel of nine historians.

Spring 2018

Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium:  "Covering the Presidency in the Modern Media Age" with Eugene Robinson

Spring 2017
Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium: "Critical Moments of the American Presidency: Past, Present and Future" with Michael Beschloss

Spring 2016
Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium: "The President and American Capitalism Since 1945" with keynote speaker Brian Balogh and a panel of sixteen historians.

Fall 2020

O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "Race and Politics:  The Crossroads of Modern American Political Culture"

Fall 2019

O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "Remembering the 1960s and Woodstock" featuring Dr. Kelly Shannon, narrator  and FAU Commercial Music

Fall 2018
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "Toward a New History of the TET Offensive:  Spies, Allies and Murder in Hanoi"

Fall 2017
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "The Modern Presidency From Kennedy to Trump" Intersections of Politics and Personality" with William H. Chafe

Fall 2016
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "The Evolution of a U.S. Ambassador: Policy and Perspective in a Global Age" with Ambassador Robert "Skipp" Orr

Spring 2015
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture "Eleanor Roosevelt and the Battle for Human Rights: 1945 to the Present" Allida Black, George Washington University

Alan B. Larkin Symposium: "Truman's Presidency and World War II at 70" with David McCullough moderated by historian Wilson D. Miscamble

Spring 2014
Alan B. Larkin Symposium : "Inside the White House from Nixon to Obama” A Conversation with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein moderated by historian Dr. Timothy Naftali

Fall 2014
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "Hitler and the Decisions for the Final Solution," Christopher R. Browning, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Fall 2013
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "The Role of Diplomacy in 20th Century American Foreign Policy," Jeffrey Morton, Florida Atlantic University

Spring 2013
Alan B. Larkin Symposium: "Abraham Lincoln's Presidency and Civil War America"

Keynote Address: "Lincoln's Constitutionalism and the Meaning of the Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus" Mark E. Neely, Jr.

Conference Presentations: --"The Age of Lincoln" Vernon Burton, Clemson University -- "The Union Home Front" Matthew Gallman, University of Florida -- "Lincoln the Leader" Richard Carwardine, Oxford University --"War-time Emancipation" Kate Masur, Northwestern University --"Presidential Reconstruction" Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State University

Fall 2012
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture : "Consuming our Way to Economic Recovery" Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University

Spring 2012
Alan B. Larkin Symposium : "Economy and Security in the 21st Century" Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State

Fall 2011
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "The Nuclear Promise: Global Consequences of an American Dream" Jacob Hamblin, Oregon State University

Spring 2011
Alan B. Larkin Symposium: “The Pentagon Papers Forty Years Later" Daniel Ellsberg

Fall 2010
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture : "Enemies Within: The Conspiracy Culture of Modern America" Robert Goldberg, University of Utah

Spring 2010
Alan B. Larkin Symposium: "America's Future in the Middle East: What is Obama to Do?" Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering

Fall 2009
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture : The Greatest Generation in A Good War? "A New Look at Wartime America" Thomas W. Zeiler, University of Colorado, Boulder

Spring 2009
Alan B. Larkin Symposium: "Civil Rights From Nixon to Obama" Keynote Address: “Winning While Losing?: The Conservative Movement and Civil Rights during the Reagan Years” Mary Frances Berry, University of Pennsylvania Conference Presentations: --“The Great Divide?: Race and Partisanship after the Civil Rights Movement” John D. Skrentny, University of California at San Diego --"A Peculiar Partnership: Egalitarianism and Free-Market Conservatism in the United States and the World since the 1970s" Thomas Borstelmann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln --“Barack Obama: ‘Turning the Page’ on the Conservative Era in American Politics” Ronald W. Walters, University of Maryland --“Rebuilding Institutions and Redefining Issues: The Reagan Justice Department and Civil Rights” Richard L. Pacelle, Jr., Georgia Southern University -- “In the Shadow of Ronald Reagan: Civil Rights Policy Making in the Clinton Administration” Robert C. Smith, San Francisco State University --“Old Vinegar in a New Bottle: Vote Denial in the 2000 Presidential Election and Beyond” Charles L. Zelden, Nova Southeastern University.

Fall 2008
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "Harry S. Truman, the Bomb, and the Transformation of U.S. Foreign Policy" Wilson D. Miscamble, University of Notre Dame

Spring 2008
Alan B. Larkin Symposium : “The First Lady of the Press Speaks on Women, Washington, and the War” Helen Thomas

Fall 2007
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: “Revisiting the Jazz Age” Nancy F. Cott, Harvard University

Spring 2007 Inaugural Alan B. Larkin Symposium “Selling War in a Media Age”
Keynote Address: "Selling War in the Media Age" David Halberstam Conference Presentations : --“Selling the New Empire: The War of 1898 and the Dawn of the American Century” George C. Herring, University of Kentucky --“War and the Health of the State: The U.S. Government and the Communications Revolution during World War I” Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California at Irvine -- “Franklin Roosevelt and American Public Opinion During World War II” Mark A. Stoler, University of Vermont --“The Hard Sell: Korea” Marilyn B. Young, New York University “Cementing Consensus in the Cold War” Robert D. Schulzinger, University of Colorado at Boulder -- “Eisenhower’s Dilemma: Talking Peace and Waging Cold War after Stalin’s Death” Kenneth Osgood, Florida Atlantic University "‘We Need to Get a Better Story to the American People’: Johnson, Nixon, and the Vietnam War on Television” Chester Pach , Ohio University -- “Selling Star Wars: Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative” Paul S. Boyer, University of Wisconsin at Madison --“The Ministry of Fear: Selling the Iraq Wars” Lloyd C. Gardner, Rutgers University

Fall 2006
O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "The Nazis and Dixie: African Americans, Jewish Americans, and Fascism, 1933-1939" Glenda Gilmore, Yale University

O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "Religion and Politics: An American Tradition" David Goldfield

Inaugural O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture : "Blind Spot: A Secret History of U.S. Counter-terrorism": Timothy J. Naftali, Director of the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library