Hall Center For The Humanities

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Diana Carlin
Professor of Communication Studies

America's First Ladies:  More than the Women Behind the Men
New Generation Society of Lawrence (NGSL members only)

Wed., Apr. 6, 2011, 9:00am - 10:00am
Location: Watkins Museum of History

Since Martha Washington created the role of the president's wife, each First Lady has approached the unpaid job differently and has left a mark for others to follow or avoid.  This presentation traces the early history of America's First Ladies, including the origination of the name and examines some of the more interesting and lesser known facts about famous First Ladies and some who are not well known but made major contributions to America's history.

Although they were not elected in their own right, the wives of the Presidents have had an impact on the country through their influence on their husbands and increasingly through their own interests.  Diana will share with us her research into the wives of the Presidents.

Dr. Carlin's research and writing interests focus on political communication, especially political debates, speech writing, public sphere, and women in politics. She developed a national research project on presidential debates, DebateWatch, which began in 1996 and has been a part of the Commission on Presidential Debates voter education programs in every election cycle since. Carlin served on the advisory board for the Commission for 13 years and conducted research that provided input into current debate formats. She was selected by the U.S. State Department and several Nongovernmental Organizations to lecture or serve as an advisor on debate and voter education projects in Russia, Moldova, Benin, Belarus, and Georgia.

 

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