Professor Emeritus Dennis Dresang is teaching a course this fall on The History of Progressive Politics in Wisconsin through UW–Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. The five-session weekly course begins Wednesday, September 23 and concludes October 21. Each 90-minute class begins at 7 p.m.
Dresang will open the course with the rise of Robert M. La Follette, Sr. – the La Follette School’s namesake – as a political leader in Wisconsin. He then will cover the rise and demise of the Progressive Party, the re-invention of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (including the incorporation of socialists in Milwaukee), and the current status of Progressivism in the state.
A political scientist, Dresang was director of UW–Madison’s Center for Public Policy and Administration from 1981 to 1983 and founding director of the La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, the School’s predecessor. He also was a founder of the Wisconsin Women in Government (WWIG) Leadership Seminar, which the La Follette School and WWIG launched in 2001.
Dresang, who leads the Leadership Seminar with La Follette School Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee, received his bachelor’s degree in international studies from UW–Madison and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California-Los Angeles. His most recent book, Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy, is published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and will be published in September 2020.