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USD to host conference on South Dakota political tradition

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will explore South Dakota’s political history with the conference, “Exploring South Dakota’s Political Tradition” on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Al Neuharth Media Center.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Department of History and University Libraries at USD, the daylong program will feature the launch of the book “The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture (Vol. 2)” and a keynote address by Tom Isern, a University Distinguished Professor of History at North Dakota State University.

“South Dakota has a wonderfully rich political tradition and this new book and conference will significantly advance our understanding of that tradition and how it shapes our everyday lives,” commented Jon K. Lauck, an adjunct professor of political science and history at USD and one of the volumes co-authors.

There will also be four panel discussions on South Dakota’s unique political history: “Early Development, Populism, and the Gubernatorial Tradition,” “Depression, Cold War and the 1960s,” “The View from The Trenches: Reflections on the South Dakota Political Tradition,” and “The Reporters’ View: A Postmortem on the Election and the South Dakota Political Tradition.” Guest panelists include Nathan Sanderson, senior advisor to Gov. Dennis Daugaard; Robert Wright of Augustana College; Ted Muenster, former president of the USD Foundation and Chief of Staff for former Gov. Richard Kneip; Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Carson Walker of the Associated Press and Seth Tupper with the Rapid City Journal.

The conference is free and open to the public but registration is required. The deadline to register is Friday, Nov. 7. For more information or to register, go to


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News