Dickinson State University (DSU) and the Theodore Roosevelt Center (TRC) will host the 18th annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium on the DSU campus Oct. 12-14.

This year’s public humanities symposium explores the idea of ‘Freedom Struggles.’ These struggles are older than the nation itself, and Theodore Roosevelt, in words and in action, found himself on every side of the issue. That, in itself, is unremarkable — many Americans were of divided minds on questions of immigration, African American rights, women’s rights, the exclusion of Asians from the polity, and questions about the fate of Native American peoples. This Symposium aims to step into a still-difficult topic: what does freedom mean and who gets to define it? 

“This year's TR symposium brings together a remarkable group of scholars, including a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Poet Laureate of North Dakota, to examine questions that remain as contested today as it was in Roosevelt's time: What does freedom mean and who gets to define it?” stated Chris O’Brien, director of TRC. “By looking into issues that formed the center of the contest over American identity in that earlier era, including religion, immigration, race, gender and crime, we are confronted with the reality that the past may not actually be past.”

Several award-winning authors will be speaking, including Dr. Ben Wetzel, who will speak on TR and religious freedoms; Dr. Julie Greene, who will speak on labor rights; Dr. Robert Bland, who will speak on Black politics in the Reconstruction Era; Michael R. D. Connolly, who will speak on TR's war against sex work in New York City; Pulitzer-Prize winning keynote speaker T. J. Stiles, who will speak on the tensions between progressivism and prejudice; and Poet Laureate of North Dakota, Dr. Denise Lajimodiere. The authors will be available for book signings and will be brought together for a panel on the final day of the event. Also, on the final day of the symposium, Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar Clay Jenkinson will lead an educational hike in the Badlands, or you may join TR reprisor, Joe Wiegand, for a walking tour of the town of Medora.

The symposium's schedule will also include an opportunity to tour the exhibit gallery and library of the Theodore Roosevelt Center, which opened to the public during the 2022 Symposium. The Center's staff of scholars will be on hand to speak with visitors and answer any questions you may have as you tour the space.

For more information, to view the complete schedule and to register, please visit dickinsonstate.edu/tr.