Michael Patrick Cullinane, the Lowman Walton Endowed Chair of Theodore Roosevelt Studies at Dickinson State University (DSU), will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Theodore Roosevelt Symposium. The event will be held on the DSU campus and virtually Sept. 15-17, with Cullinane speaking Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. MDT.

In keeping with the theme of this year’s symposium, The Athlete in the Arena: Theodore Roosevelt and the Development of Modern Sports, Cullinane will speak on The Field of Play: Strenuous Living in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His abstract for the talk explains what audience members can expect: “Theodore Roosevelt’s lifetime (1858-1919) spans what historians call the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Do these terms accurately define that period of American history? What happened that made it gilded, or progressive? This lecture explores the way we characterize these years sandwiched between the Civil War and World Wars to understand how the era continues to shape our contemporary experience. Roosevelt famously called for Americans to live a strenuous life. But what did that mean in practice? Sport was a metaphor for living as much as a literal yardstick. Only the physically fittest joined Roosevelt on the field of play or as allies in the political arena. To better understand the strenuous life, we will meet some of Roosevelt’s ‘tennis cabinet’ – the men who played and politicked with the president.”

Cullinane is one of the world’s foremost scholars of Theodore Roosevelt and his era. Cullinane is the author of “Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost: The History and Memory of an American Icon,” which received the Theodore Roosevelt Association prize “[p]resented for exceptional scholarship to the most distinguished published book on Theodore Roosevelt.” In his most recent book, “Remembering Theodore Roosevelt: Reminiscences of His Contemporaries” (2021), Cullinane discovered long-forgotten interviews from Roosevelt’s wide circle of friends, colleagues, and family members. He is also the co-editor of three other books and author of “Liberty and American Anti-Imperialism” (2012). Cullinane hosts a popular and well-respected podcast entitled “The Gilded Age and Progressive Era” and has appeared in several documentaries.

For more information and to register, please visit the Theodore Roosevelt Center website at www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org. For specific inquiries, contact William Hansard at william.hansard@dickinsonstate.edu or 701-483-2814.