Rogow Lecture Series

The Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecturers Program brings celebrated authors, journalists, historians, academics, and artists to the Greater Hartford area. The series is part of the wide array of public programming that the University offers, fulfilling an important responsibility to serve the larger community.

2023–24 Lecture Series Programming

Mary Ziegler
Mary Ziegler
spring 2024

An Examination and Implications of the Dobbs Decision with Mary Ziegler

Tuesday, April 9 | 5:30 p.m. | Wilde Auditorium

This is a crucial moment in our democracy: our courts and politics are divided, and the binding trust that we place in our institutions is fast eroding. But historian Mary Ziegler says that we can move beyond polarization - we can achieve a better dialogue and fairer future for all. Widely hailed as a nonpartisan authority on the Constitution and the legal history of reproductive rights, Mary is a professor at UC Davis School of Law, the author of five acclaimed books, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and The Atlantic. “There’s a lot of demonization of people we don’t agree with that stems from a lack of empathy,” Mary says. “This isn’t a women’s issue, it’s a democracy issue.”

Mary Ziegler is a leading authority on reproductive and constitutional rights within the American justice system. As a lawyer, she understands how our courts affect every facet of our lives; as a historian, she investigates how we got to this level of political division and polarization - and how we can still get ourselves out. Mary reveals that the abortion debate and the political landscape after Roe v. Wade is a symptom of larger shifts in our democracy: “abortion can be the canary in the coal mine when it comes to other changes in the US political system.”

In her latest book, Roe: The History of a National Obsession, Mary argues that Roe v. Wade has repercussions far beyond the abortion debate and the medical field. She shows how Roe helps explain broader aspects of America today: from racial justice to our constitutional rights, and from our democratic institutions to the role of science in politics. She helps us make sense of our current political climate - Publishers Weekly called her book “a must-read for those seeking to understand what comes next.”

Her previous book Dollars for Life traces how the battle to reverse Roe v. Wade changed the rules around our economy, our elections, and our democracy at large. Her previous three books offer a compelling view of American abortion law and politics, and how they connect to our trust in the justice system. She’s currently a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, and has provided critical commentary and expertise to news outlets including CNN, NPR, Bloomberg TV, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She is also a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow, chosen “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.”