The 2021 First Ladies Symposium will be a day-long event, hosted by the White House Historical Association in partnership with American University's First Ladies Initiative. This symposium will feature prominent scholars, historians, and professionals who will discuss first ladies and gender; first ladies reconsidered; first ladies and communications; and first ladies and their role in historic preservation efforts.
The First Ladies Symposium is a day-long virtual event, hosted by the White House Historical Association in partnership with American University's First Ladies Initiative. It will feature opening statements from First Lady Jill Biden, Director of the First Ladies Initiative at the American University and Association Board Member Anita McBride, Association Chairman Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., and Sylvia Burwell, President of American University.
These remarks will be followed by morning and afternoon sessions with different thematic approaches to understanding the first ladies. Association Senior Vice President Colleen Shogan will moderate a discussion on first ladies and gender with Sara Georgini, Cassandra Good, Marie Jenkins Schwartz, and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw. McBride will discuss reconsidered first ladies with Amy Greenberg, Lois Romano, and Julia Sweig. Following a break for lunch, Susan Swain will discuss the evolution of communications and first ladies with Diana Carlin, Stacy Cordery, and Christopher Brick. Katherine Malone-France will moderate a conversation with Barbara Perry, Nancy Kegan Smith, and Mary C. Brennan on first ladies and historic preservation at America's most famous home.
This final panel will be followed by a conversation between author Karen Tumulty and White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin, who will discuss Tumulty's new book, The Triumph of Nancy Reagan. The day will conclude with closing remarks by McLaurin.