Conference Speakers

Panelists, Speakers and Presenters

Jim Abrahams

Movie director and writer best known for spoof movies that he co-wrote and produced, such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun series. read more »

Panels:

  • What's so Funny About Madison?

Andrew Bergman

Screenwriter, film director, and novelist, he received a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has writt... read more »

Panels:

  • What's so Funny About Madison?

Lowell Bergman

Chair in Investigative Reporting at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, he is a producer/correspondent for the PBS document... read more »

Panels:

  • The State of the 4th Estate

Walt Bogdanich

Assistant editor for the New York Times Investigations Desk and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of... read more »

Panels:

  • The State of the 4th Estate
  • The Daily Cardinal

Doug Bradley

After being drafted in 1969, he served at Army Headquarters in Vietnam in from 1970 to 1971. He then relocated to Madison where he co-fou... read more »

Panels:

  • We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Paul Breines

A Freedom Rider imprisoned for three weeks in 1961 at Mississippi's notorious Parchman Farm, he chaired the Socialist Club in 1962, w... read more »

Panels:

  • The Legacy of George Mosse
  • Freedom Riding

Jane Brotman

Witnessing the Dow demonstration and attending Harvey Goldberg's lectures changed her life; after leaving the University of Wisconsin, sh... read more »

Panels:

  • Talking Harvey Goldberg

Paul Buhle

Former Senior Lecturer at Brown University, he is the author or editor of 35 volumes including histories of radicalism in the United Stat... read more »

Panels:

  • Beyond Zap: The History of the Graphic Novel
  • Radical Pedagogy

Tim Cahill

The author of nine books, he was a founding editor of Outside Magazine and has won numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award... read more »

Panels:

  • How You Travel Is Who You Are

Kaleem Caire

read more »

Panels:

  • Growing Up Madison

Fred Ciporen

read more »

Panels:

  • William A Williams; Studies on the Left

Peter Coyote

One of the founders of the Diggers, an anarchist improv group active in Haight-Ashbury during the mid-1960s, Coyote is an actor, writer a... read more »

Panels:

  • The Day of DOW

Katherine Cramer

Director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin... read more »

Panels:

  • The Politics of Resentment

Richie Davidson

Professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as founder and chair of the Center for Investigatin... read more »

Panels:

  • Searching for the Maharishi Within

André De Shields

Actor, singer, director, he made his mark in the title role of The Wiz, the 1975 Broadway musical, starred in the musical revue, Ain't Mi... read more »

Panels:

  • Peter Pan and Virginia Woolf

Hasia Diner

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Class of 1968, Hasia Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish Hi... read more »

Panels:

  • The Legacy of George Mosse

Joe Elder

Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, considered by many of his students and other faculty to be "the moral cons... read more »

Panels:

  • Talking Harvey Goldberg
  • Radical Pedagogy

Frank Emspack

Currently CEO and Executive Producer at Diversified Media Enterprises. read more »

Panels:

  • The War at Home

Stuart Ewen

A Distinguished Professor at Hunter College and the City University of New York Graduate Center in the departments of History, Sociology ... read more »

Panels:

  • The Day of DOW
  • Freedom Riding

Kathleen Falk

Served as Dane County Executive from 1997 until 2011; previously she worked as co-director and legal counsel of Wisconsin's Environmental... read more »

Panels:

  • Earth Day

Russ Feingold

U.S. Senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011, he received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and was the only Senator to vote ... read more »

Panels:

  • What's Left of the Wisconsin Idea

Vicki Gabriner

Long time Civil Rights and Anti-War activist, she was the first person arrested during the Dow demonstration in 1967. read more »

Panels:

  • The Day of DOW
  • Roots of the Women’s Movement

Peter Gilbert

Producer and Director of Photography of the award winning film Hoop Dreams, he is currently a professor in the Documentary Film Making pr... read more »

Panels:

  • Capturing the Truth: Documentary Films

Gwen Gillon

A longtime resident of Madison, she grew up in Anniston, Alabama and received a scholarship to Tougaloo College where she became part of ... read more »

Panels:

  • Freedom Riding

Stuart Gordon

Original co-founder of Madison's Broom Street Theater, which produced the infamous anti-war version of Peter Pan, he is currently a write... read more »

Panels:

  • Peter Pan and Virginia Woolf

Peter Greenberg

Got his start working at the Daily Cardinal and went on to become the Travel Editor for NBC's Today sho... read more »

Panels:

  • How You Travel Is Who You Are
  • The Daily Cardinal

Jeff Greenfield

Former editor of the Daily Cardinal, he graduated with a law degree from Yale where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal, then served as... read more »

Panels:

  • The State of the 4th Estate
  • The Daily Cardinal

Paul Higginbotham

A Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the first and only African American to serve on the court, he has been involved in the civil r... read more »

Panels:

  • Freedom Riding

Ben Karlin

Wrote for The Onion from 1993-1996 and is currently an American television producer and writer who has won eight Emmy awards, and is best... read more »

Panels:

  • What's so Funny About Madison?

Ann Lauterbach

Poet, essayist, and professor, she has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the John D. an... read more »

Panels:

  • Telling Stories

Barbara Lawton

Barbara Lawton served two terms as Wisconsin’s first woman to be elected lt. governor, and later co-founded Issue One, dedicated to reduc... read more »

Panels:

  • What's Left of the Wisconsin Idea

Gerald Lenoir

Part of the Black student strikes that won the establishment of the Afro-American Studies Department, he was also a leader in the antiapa... read more »

Panels:

  • Radical Pedagogy

Stuart Levitan

Madison-based historian, journalist and radio host, he is completing a history of Madison in the '60s, to be published by the Wisconsin H... read more »

Panels:

  • A Brief History of Madison

Daniel Levitin

Cognitive psychologist, neuroscientist, writer, musician, and record producer, he is James McGill Professor Emeritus of psychology and be... read more »

Panels:

  • Ecstasy and the Meaning of the Blues

Herb Lewis

read more »

Panels:

  • Radical Pedagogy

Bill Linton

Founded Promega Corporation in 1978 to provide restriction enzymes for biotechnology. The company now offers more than 3,000 life scienc... read more »

Panels:

  • Why We Get High

Tom Loftus

Served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1977 until 1991 and was speaker of the Assembly; he was then appointed by president Bill Clin... read more »

Panels:

  • What's Left of the Wisconsin Idea

David Maraniss

Journalist and author, he currently serves as an associate editor for The Washington Post. He received a Pulitzer Prize for National Repo... read more »

Panels:

  • What's Left of the Wisconsin Idea
  • The State of the 4th Estate

Tony Michels

The George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a special emphasis on immigration, p... read more »

Panels:

  • Tikkun Olam

Errol Morris

Film director best known for his 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line, commonly cited among the best and most influential documentaries ev... read more »

Panels:

  • Capturing the Truth: Documentary Films

Tia Nelson

Recognized for her work on climate change, she served for 17 years with The Nature Conservancy and was the first director of its global C... read more »

Panels:

  • Earth Day

Tracy Nelson

Nelson moved to San Francisco in 1966 from Madison, where she became part of the music scene there, and has been a recording artist for o... read more »

Concert: Shannon Hall, Friday, June 15, 2018

Panels:

  • Reunion Blues Unplugged

Kathleen Nichols

Active in the Madison LGBT scene, she was a Dane County Supervisor and is currently an advisor for the Communication Arts major at the Un... read more »

Panels:

  • The Beginning of the LGBT Movement

Ismael Ozanne

A lifelong resident of Madison, Wisconsin, he played varsity soccer for the Badgers men's soccer team, worked as an Assembly Page for the... read more »

Panels:

  • Civil Rights, Social Justice and the Law

Jonathan Pollack

Received his PH.D. from the University of Wisconsin, now Professor of history at Madison College (formerly MATC) and honorary scholar, UW... read more »

Panels:

  • Tikkun Olam

Carolyn Purdy-Gordon

Carolyn Purdy-Gordon has maintained her most frequent presence in horror outings, often directed by longtime husband Stuart Gordon. read more »

Panels:

  • Peter Pan and Virginia Woolf

Ron Radosh

read more »

Panels:

  • William A Williams; Studies on the Left

Steven Reiner

The Director of Video Journalism and an associate professor in the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, he is a thirty year veter... read more »

Panels:

  • The Daily Cardinal

Ken Robbins

Board certified in psychiatry and internal medicine, has also has a master's in public health from the University of Michigan, and is... read more »

Panels:

  • Why We Get High

Jerry Rousseau

Emeritus Clinical Associate Professor UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Social Work Field Education Program. Being a con... read more »

Panels:

  • Conscientious Objection

Jesse Samberg

A student at the UW Madison in the '60s, he went on to become Head of Business Services & Senior Director of Performance Management w... read more »

Panels:

  • Twenty Questions:

Boz Scaggs

After attending the University of Wisconsin, he gained fame in the 1970s with several Top 20 hit singles, including, "Lido Shuffle&q... read more »

Concert: Shannon Hall, Friday, June 15, 2018

Panels:

  • Reunion Blues Unplugged

Ira Schneider

A pioneer of video in the late 1960s and early 1970s, his video installation work and single channel tapes explored the manipulation of t... read more »

Panels:

  • The Raindance Experience

Anat Shenker Osorio

A communications expert, researcher and political pundit whose one-of-a-kind work is challenging the way dozens of organizations and poli... read more »

Panels:

  • Growing Up Madison

Ben Sidran

Madison musician, writer, journalist and teacher, he has recorded 35 solo albums and written five books, including There Was a Fire: Jews... read more »

Panels:

  • Talking Harvey Goldberg
  • Reunion Blues Unplugged

Glenn Silber

Filmmaker best known for his film, The War At Home, a documentary about the anti-war movement in Madison, Wisconsin which was nominated f... read more »

Panels:

  • The War at Home

Paul Soglin

Mayor of Madison for more than two decades, including stints in the 1970's, '80s, '90s and the 21st century; a former UW anti-war student... read more »

Panels:

  • The Day of DOW

Scott Spencer

Graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he has written eleven novels, two of which, Endless Love and Waking the Dead, were adapted into ... read more »

Panels:

  • Telling Stories

Rena Steinzor

A Professor at the University of Maryland School Law School, her career has focused on regulatory systems particularly health, worker saf... read more »

Panels:

  • Roots of the Women’s Movement
  • The Daily Cardinal

Dean Strang

A Wisconsin criminal defense attorney known to the general public for his appearance in the Netflix series Making a Murderer. read more »

Panels:

  • Civil Rights, Social Justice and the Law

Evan Stark

A self-described "student leader frozen in time," he is a forensic social worker, co-director of the Yale Trauma Studies, speci... read more »

Panels:

  • The War at Home

Peter Straub

Best selling novelist and poet, his horror fiction has received numerous literary honors such as the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Awa... read more »

Panels:

  • Telling Stories

Allen Swerdlowe

Holds masters degrees in Architecture from Columbia University and Fine Arts from the Chicago Art Institute and an undergraduate degree i... read more »

Panels:

  • The Daily Cardinal

Margery Tabankin

The first woman president of the National Student Association, she spent the last half century since graduating from the University of Wi... read more »

Panels:

  • Roots of the Women’s Movement

Marty Tandler

An original founder of SDS at the University of Wisconsin. read more »

Panels:

  • Talking Harvey Goldberg

John Tortorice

Director Emeritus, George L. Mosse Program in History, UW-Madison. read more »

Panels:

  • The Legacy of George Mosse

Dave Wagner

Journalist, investigative reporter and author of The Politics of Murder: Organized Crime in Barry Goldwater's Arizona. He was a contr... read more »

Panels:

  • Beyond Zap: The History of the Graphic Novel

Dick Wagner

Long time Madison activist in the LGBT community, he just completed a book about the gay history of Wisconsin. read more »

Panels:

  • The Beginning of the LGBT Movement

David Ward

Trained as a geographer, he was Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin from 1993 to 2001, then president of the American Council on Ed... read more »

Panels:

  • The Legacy of George Mosse

Craig Werner

Teaches in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the UW and is co-author of the recent book We Got To Get Out Of This Place with Dou... read more »

Panels:

  • We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Ben Wikler

The Washington Director of MoveOn.org, the nation's largest grassroots progressive organization, he led the group's award-winning work to... read more »

Panels:

  • Growing Up Madison

John Wiley

Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2008 and Interim Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, he is a scient... read more »

Panels:

  • How UW Science Changed the World