Dr. Joan Blauwkamp
chair of the Department of Political Science, 308.865.8759

Civility in Politics” is the focus of Political Science Week, Oct. 8-11, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Highlights of the week will be evening presentations by Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Sen. Mike Flood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Chris Sommerich, executive director of the Nebraska Humanities Council on Thursday, Oct. 11. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sen. Flood, who is the George Norris Distinguished Lecturer at UNK, will speak at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Copeland Hall, Room 142. Each year, the UNK Department of Political Science selects a George Norris Distinguished Lecturer in honor of former U.S. Sen. George Norris. Also, recipients of the Department of Political Science Norris Scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year will be recognized that evening.

According to political science chair and professor Dr. Joan Blauwkamp, Sen. Flood will be speaking about the benefits of a non-partisan, unicameral legislature in preserving civility in politics, and will discuss how the senators with their varying perspectives work together to make legislation and address issues important to Nebraska.

On Thursday, Sommerich will present “The Warner Evening on Nebraska Politics” at 7 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 142. The Warner Evening is named in honor of former Nebraska State Sen. Jerome Warner.

According to Dr. Blauwkamp, the Nebraska Humanities Council has created a program called “Nebraska Conversations: A Guide for Civil Discussion” in response to the lack of opportunity for people of different viewpoints to come together to explore issues from varying perspectives.

Sommerich will discuss what the council has learned in the pilot phase of the civil discussion program. Through community conversations across Nebraska, the council has discussed race relations, diversity in the workplace, religion, water issues, community leadership and the concept of civil discourse.