National Experts to Discuss Law and Democracy in University of Arizona Law Speaker Series

Oct. 5, 2022

Margaret Renkl, Thomas Frank, Steve Levitsky, Annette Gordon-Reed and Margaret Sullivan will participate in the third annual Pitt Family Foundation Speaker Series.

As we find ourselves in the midst of another contentious election cycle, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will host five influential voices to discuss law and democracy for the 2022-23 Pitt Family Foundation Speaker Series.        

The Pitt Family Foundation Speaker Series is part of the Participatory Democracy Initiative at the University of Arizona. The Participatory Democracy Initiative is an interdisciplinary and community-engaged program of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, the School of Government & Public Policy, and the School of Journalism. 

The free, online series will meet monthly and will be moderated by former Tucson mayor and current University of Arizona Law Professor of Practice Jonathan Rothschild. This semester’s lineup is (all times MST): 

Margaret Renkl - October 19, 2022, 5:30 PM 

Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, focusing on politics and culture in the American South. She is the author of "Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss" and "Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South." She has been a contributing writer to the Times since 2017 and her essays appear each Monday. She is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina and lives in Nashville. 

Register for Margaret Renkl 


Thomas Frank - November 30, 2022, 5:30 PM (In-person)

Thomas Frank is an American political analyst, historian, and journalist. He co-founded and edited The Baffler magazine. Frank is the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" and "Listen, Liberal" among others. From 2008 to 2010 he wrote "The Tilting Yard", a column in The Wall Street Journal. A historian of culture and ideas, Frank analyzes trends in American electoral politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism, and economics. His topics include the rhetoric and impact of culture wars in American political life and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.  


Steve Levitsky  

Steven Levitsky is David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is also Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. His research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism, political parties, and weak and informal institutions, with a focus on Latin America. He is co-author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018), which was a "New York Times" Best-Seller and was published in 25 languages. 


Annette Gordon-Reed  

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (UVA Press, 1997), Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan (PublicAffairs, 2001), Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Oxford University Press, 2002), a volume of essays that she edited, Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010) and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). Her most recent book is On Juneteenth (Liveright Publishing, 2021). Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford (Queens College) 2014-2015.  


Margaret Sullivan  

Margaret Sullivan is the media columnist for The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, she was the New York Times's public editor and previously the chief editor of the Buffalo News, her hometown paper, where she started as a summer intern. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Sullivan was a member of the Pulitzer Prize board from 2011 to 2012 and was twice elected as a director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, where she led the First Amendment committee.