This seminar will explore elite and popular debate leading to recognition of reproductive rights under the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of examining how constitutional decisionmaking unfolds through social conflict. Using the emergence of the claim for a right to abortion as an historical case study, we will probe the relation between social movement, politics, and law over the decades. How did mobilization and counter-mobilization shape and limit the law? What might this analysis suggest about the future trajectory of claims to sexual freedom, including same-sex marriage? The discussion will draw in part on material collected in a recently published documentary history, BEFORE ROE v. WADE: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling (Greenhouse & Siegel, 2010), as well as subsequent court cases.The announcement continues:
The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions. Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their ho/me departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar. Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities. Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org until November 22, 2010. Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter. For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to MMarcus@nyhistory.org.The seminar will meet at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City. Thursday afternoons, 3:00-5:00 p.m., January 20 and 27, February 3, 10, 17, and 24.