Please Note

With an abundance of caution, the Cockefair committee is canceling the spring courses. The committee will look into rescheduling lectures and events for the future.

The Cockefair Chair and UMKC’s talented faculty deliver short, engaging courses on national issues, Kansas City interests and literature and the arts. Enjoy the experience of thoughtful analysis on a variety of subjects of interest.

Spring 2020 Cockefair Chair Courses

The 2020 Race for the White House

Steve Kraske, associate teaching professor
Department of Communication Studies, and
Dave Helling, The Kansas City Star
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, 19 and 26
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
$50 ($70 with parking permit)

Veteran political reporters Dave Helling and Steve Kraske are back to dissect the early stages of the 2020 race. They will focus on the intense Democratic primary race by leading class sessions right before the first four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Those states within four different regions of the country could well determine the Democratic nominee. Come ready to share in the conversation with your own thoughts on an incredibly important set of elections.


Register now


Voting Rights in the U.S.: History, Issues, and Ongoing Controversies

Diane Mutti-Burke, Ph.D, chair and professor
Department of History
Tuesdays, 10:30 – noon
Feb. 18 and 25 and March 3 and 10
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
$50 ($70 with parking permit)

This course will provide an historical overview of voting rights and issues in the U.S., beginning with movements in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The course will cover the movement toward universal suffrage, including Seneca Falls, various successes and failures post-Civil War, and attaining the vote. We also will look at post-19th Amendment issues in the 20th and 21st century, such as the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to suppress voting rights and access for those with a legal right to vote.


Register now


The Buildup and Development of Galaxies throughout Cosmic History

Daniel McIntosh, Ph.D., Distinguished Associate Professor
Department of Astronomy and Physics
Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. – noon
March 31 and April 7, 14, and 21
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
$50 ($70 with parking permit)

This course will focus on understanding galaxies within the context of a brief introduction to cosmic history, from Big Bang to initial formation of basic atoms, to first stars, first galaxies and up to the present. We will explain basic tools used by astrophysicists, such as images, spectra and super computer simulations. This will lead us into understanding extragalactic research and several big physical processes and concepts, such as dark matter, dark energy, black holes, our cosmic origins, and a cosmic inventory of stars and galaxies.


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Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Felicia Londré, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emerita
UMKC Conservatory
Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – noon
April 23 and 30 and May 7 and 14
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
$50 ($70 with parking permit)

Londré will focus on one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing and most performed plays, The Tempest. The course will place the play within the Shakespearean tradition and Elizabethan context and will also include discussion of the Oxfordian view of the authorship question, as both the plays and sonnets make much more sense if they are tied to the biography that fits them. And of course, the course sessions will dig into the text of The Tempest. In addition, will discuss the 400-year production history of The Tempest on stage.


Register now


View course brochure