Fall 2016

Fall 2016 Resources

The Original Class:

Join us during the Fall of 2016 for an experiment. “FORWARD? The Wisconsin Idea, Past and Present” is a new course offering in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The course combines a small undergraduate seminar with a public lecture series that examines the University of Wisconsin’s relationship with the people of the state. We examine our origins, from the birth of the university in 1849, a year following the birth of Wisconsin as a state in 1848. We explore our successes and failures along the way. In fifteen weeks we merely scratch the surface of suitable topics.

As a part of the course assignments, students have been encouraged to submit public blog posts as reflections on each of the public lectures.  Rather than write papers that would be read only by the instructor of the course, these blog posts would be made public and should be written in a way for public consumption and be written as starting points for further conversation, in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.

Fall 2016 Blog entries   (a collection of all the student essays from Fall 2016)

Fall 2016 Senior Guest Auditor Blog (six additional essays)

List of Fall 2016 Topics & Speakers

with speakers’ bios, links to videos, suggested readings & other resources

Week 1: September 06, 2016 by David Hoeveler:
John Bascom and the Origins of the Wisconsin Idea

Week 2:September 13, 2016 by Curt Meine:
Conservation and the Wisconsin Idea: An Evolving Legacy

Week 3: September 20, 2016 by Lisa Graves:
The Corruption of the Wisconsin Idea: ALEC and Other Developments

Week 4: September 27, 2016 by Jack Mitchell:
Broadcasting the Wisconsin Idea: 100 Years of Public Broadcasting in the State that Invented It

Week 5: October 04, 2016 by Dick Wagner:
Academics Shaping the Wisconsin Dialogue on LGBT History

Week 6: October 11, 2016 by Michele Lavigne, John Chisholm, and Pam Oliver:
Criminal Justice in Wisconsin: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Week 7: October 18, 2016 by Lewis Friedland:
Laboratory of Oligarchy

Week 8: October 25, 2016 by Kathy Cramer:
The Politics of Resentment

Week 9: November 01, 2016 by Matt Desmond:
EVICTED: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Week 10: November 08, 2016 by Sara Goldrick-Rab:
The Future of Wisconsin Public Higher Education

Week 11: November 15, 2016 by Paul Robbins:
Start with what people value: Environment, Land, and the Wisconsin Idea

Week 13: November 29, 2016 by Aaron Bird Bear:
Notes from the Ethnic Cleansing Zone – The Wisconsin Idea, Imperialist Nostalgia & the Remaking of a Shared Future

Week 14: December 06, 2016 by Corrie Norman, Susan Ridgely, and Jordan Rosenblum:
Lived Religion in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Idea

Week 15: December 13, 2016 by Noel Radomski:
The Future of the Wisconsin Idea (and Closing Remarks)