Skip Navigation

Harvard Professor and Award Winning Author to Deliver Rothbaum Distinguished Lectures at OU

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

Harvard Professor and Award Winning Author to Deliver Rothbaum Distinguished Lectures at OU

Thomas Patterson


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

lsb/10-8-13

CONTACT: LaDonna Sullivan, (405) 325-5406

NORMAN – Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, will deliver three public lectures on the theme “Feeding the Fire: The Media’s Role in Party Polarization,” Tuesday, Oct. 22, through Thursday, Oct. 24, as part of the Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government series at the University of Oklahoma.

“Political polarization is one of the most serious threats to America’s influence at home and abroad,” said OU President David L. Boren.  “Words from our Rothbaum Distinguished Lecturer could not be more timely.”

All of the lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium, Room 1140 in Gaylord Hall, 395 W. Lindsey St., on OU’s Norman campus. Patterson will discuss “The Broadcast Era” Tuesday, “The Cable Era” Wednesday and “The Networked Era” Thursday.

“Historically, the Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lectureship in Representative Government has taken on tough and provocative issues facing our body politic,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director and curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, which sponsors the lectureship.  “This year will be no different as Professor Thomas Patterson explores the role the media has played in party polarization.”

His most recent book, Informing the News, examines the declining quality of public information, the consequences for what people know and only think they know and what can be done to fix the problem.

“The rise of hyper-partisanship in national politics has come about at the same time that news reporting has morphed from the evening news to cable shouting matches to Twitter,” said Rosenthal. “There is no better analyst than Professor Patterson to help us understand these trends.”

Patterson has received numerous awards including the American Political Science Association Graber Award for his book Out of Order (1993) and a Choice Award for Mass Media Election (1980. His book, The Unseeing Eye (1976), was named one of the 50 most influential books on public opinion in the past half-century by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Other works include The Vanishing Voter (2003), which looks at the causes and consequences of declining electoral participation, and two general American government texts, The American Democracy, now in its 11th edition, and We the People, now in its 10th edition. The Carnegie, Ford, Markle, Knight, Smith-Richardson, Pew, and National Science foundations have funded his research.

"Professor Patterson is unique among political scientists in his career-long quest to connect the effects of mass media to the American political system,” said Joe Foote, Dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “He understands both fields extraordinarily well and will present highly stimulating observations and arguments as he delves into the causes of polarization of the electorate and of our elected officials."  Gaylord College is including these lectures in the Centennial Celebration of journalism at OU.

Patterson’s courses are based primarily on American politics, media and research design. Recently he was honored with both the Harvard Kennedy School’s Teacher of the Year and Advisor of the Year awards, becoming one of the first faculty members to be given both honors.

The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government was endowed in 1981 by Joel Jankowsky and his mother, Irene Rothbaum, in honor of her husband, Julian.

Mr. Rothbaum was an OU alumnus, a leader in Oklahoma civic affairs and a lifelong friend of the late Carl Albert, 46th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The lectureship, initiated in 1983, focuses on the role of representative institutions. Moreover, it deals with two principles significant to the honoree: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs.

In addition to administering the Rothbaum lecture series, the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center sponsors several other civic education programs and houses one of the largest archives of congressional papers in the country. A nonpartisan institution, the center is devoted to instruction and scholarship related to the U.S. Congress.

For information about the lectures, which are open to the public at no cost, or for accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the Carl Albert Center at (405) 325-6372.

Recent News

OU Student Named Goldwater Scholar

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma honors student Matthew Peters has been named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar, placing OU in the top ranks of universities nationally with 53 Goldwater Scholars since the competition began in 1991. The prestigious scholarships are awarded on the basis of potential and intent to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. Read more

OU to Hire Additional Clinical Psychologist

NORMAN—University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced Friday that adequate funding would be allocated to hire an additional psychologist at the University Counseling Center in order to further support mental health services for students and alleviate wait times. Read more

OU Radar Team Developing New Technologies for U.S. Navy Next-Generation Radar Systems

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center team is developing new antenna and related technologies for U.S. Navy next-generation radar systems with a two-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. The ARRC research and development program under way is designed to improve the agility and multi-functionality of radio frequency sensors and communication systems, while enabling future implementation on a variety of surfaces and platforms. Read more

OU Faculty Member Appointed Chair of International Astronomical Union Working Group

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma professor, Steven Gullberg, has been appointed world chair for archeoastronomy by the International Astronomical Union. As chair, Gullberg will work with 31 nations to further the research and global advancement of archeoastronomy and astronomy in culture. Read more

OU Math Professors to Research Active Learning in Undergraduate Math Education

NORMAN –A University of Oklahoma mathematics professor, Milos Savic, has received a two-year, $93,298 grant from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to help undergraduate students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees succeed in introductory math courses. Savic and team will use the grant to improve and assess a recently-developed active learning pre-calculus course taught to 1,000 OU students each year.  Read more

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

April 2018


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.