Public Programs

The IFC regularly invites nationally-recognized scholars, practitioners, and observers of public affairs to campus in order to connect the St. Olaf community to the people and debates that are shaping our country today.


Glenn Loury

Truth, Justice and Racial Equality
Friday, September 27, 2019

Alice Dreger

Truth, Justice and the Science of Gender
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Beth Truesdale ’97

Truth, Justice, and America’s Aging Workforce
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

jeffrey ding, joy dantong ma, Xiao qiang

China: Big Data, AI, and Privacy
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

reihan salam, Amy Walter

The State of the Presidential Election
Monday, March 16, 2020

elizabeth economy, evan osnos

U.S.-China Today: The Third Revolution
Thursday, April 2, 2020

sheena greitens, Minxin Pei

Freedom and Coercion in China
Thursday, April 16, 2020


David brooks
Patriotism, Nationalism, and the Idea of America
Monday, September 24, 2018

The theater of public policy
in conversation with william J. doherty and Samara Klar

Political Polarization in America: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going, and Why It Matters
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Walter Russell Mead

History, American Greatness, and the State of Israel
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Walter Russell Mead

Examining ‘America First’: Nationalism and Jacksonian Democracy in the 21st Century
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Eugene Parta ’62

U.S. Global Media and American ‘Soft Power’: Cold War Successes, Current Challenges, An Uncertain Future
Thursday, November 15, 2018


Race, Immigration, and the American Dream in the 21st Century
Monday, January 21, 2019


The Moral Meaning of the United States, and Her Ethical Decline in Today’s Culture
Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Sexual Paranoia, Gender Strife, Cultural Revolution
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Jason Brennan, Natalia Molina, and Jan Ting

The Immigration Trilemma: Local Sovereignty, Freedom of Movement, and the Global Community
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Michael lind

Immigration and the New Class War
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

jane freedman, frank furedi, and arthur goldhammer

Immigration, Populism, and the European Union
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Peter Beinart, john b. judis, and Ana navarro

The Question of Assimilation/Incorporation in 21st Century America
Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Amitabh Chandra and tyler cowen

What Kind of Health Care System Should the U.S. Adopt? Part II
Thursday, April 26, 2018

David craig and joan tronto

What Kind of Health Care System Should the U.S. Adopt? Part I
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Gilbert meilaender

The Ethics of Palliative Sedation
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dr. Joanne Lynn

Sick to Death and Not Going to Take It Anymore! Reforming Health Care for the Last Years of Life
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Alan Page, Jackie MacMullan, and Nate Boyer

A Dialogue on Sport, Protest, and the NFL National Anthem Debate
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Danielle Allen and Peter Berkowitz

A Dialogue on Academic Freedom
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Joanna Williams

Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity
Thursday, September 21, 2017


Robert p. george, Cécile Laborde, and David Little

Debating Religious Freedom Today
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Robert benne

Trying to Live as a Christian in a Polarized Church and Society
Friday, April 21, 2017

mitri raheb

Religious Diversity, Political Conflict, and the Spirituality of Liberation: The Voice of a Palestinian Christian
Friday, April 21, 2017

Amy E. Black

Evangelicalism and Politics in the Trump Era: Definitions and Debates
Thursday, April 20, 2017

miroslav volf

Negotiating Difference Without Sacrificing Identity: Religion, Pluralism, and Globalization
Thursday, April 20, 2017

bruce cole

Boondoggle! The Struggle to Build the Eisenhower Memorial
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Martin Doblmeier, Richard crouter, anthony bateza, lori pearson, and edmund n. santurri

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Justin gest

Trump and the White Working CLass: The Politics of a New Minority?
Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Hope in a Time of Despair: Youth Politics in Putin’s Russia
Monday, November 21, 2016

larry bartels

Democracy for Realists and the 2016 Presidential Election
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

michael federici, michael lind, and margaret washington

Who’s in Your Wallet? Hamilton, Jackson, Tubman, and the Presidential Election
Tuesday, November 1, 2016


nadav shelef

Nationalism and Identity in Israeli Politics
Monday, May 2, 2016

dante chinni

American Fault Lines: Politics, Community, and the 2016 Election
Monday, April 18, 2016

Sarah sobieraj

Extreme Incivility and Political Voice
Friday, April 1, 2016

Jonathan Haidt

What on Earth is Happening to our Country? The Moral Psychology of Political Division
Friday, April 1, 2016

Mark kingwell

Jerks, Asshats, and the Unstable Politics of Civility
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Christina Peppard, robert stavins, and damon linker

Climate Policy and Religion: Perspectives on the Papal Encyclical
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Timothy p. Jackson

Sanctity vs. Dignity in the Beginning and End of Life
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Deirdre Mccloskey

The One True and Verified Theory of How We Got So Rich: Liberty and Dignity
Thursday, October 29, 2015

CHarles Mills

Liberalism and Racial Justice
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ember reichgott junge, john marty, and steve sviggum

The Role of Government in a Free, Fair, and Prosperous Minnesota
Friday, September 25, 2015

senator richard lugar

The Iran Nuclear Deal and American Partisanship
Tuesday, September 22, 2015


hedrick smith

Who Stole the American Dream?
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Traci Burch

The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment
Monday, April 20, 2015

George L. Kelling

Examining the ‘Broken Windows’ Theory
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Victor rios

Questioning the ‘Broken Windows’ Theory
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

theda skocpol

The Inequality Challenge in American Politics and Public Policy
Saturday, February 21, 2015

Steven Fazzari

Inequality, The Great Recession, and Slow Recovery
Friday, February 20, 2015

Casey Mulligan

The Redistribution Recession
Friday, February 20, 2015

David B. Robertson

The 2015 St. Olaf College Constitution Day Lecture
Thursday, September 18, 2014