Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Religion and the Constitution: An ICH Summer Seminar

[We are moving this post up as the deadline of May 15 is approaching.]

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce a residential summer research seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, which will be co-sponsored by the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. This year's seminar is entitled “Religion and the Constitution.”

The instructors will be Michael McConnell, the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and Jack Rakove, the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of Political Science and (by courtesy) Law at Stanford University.

This seminar will combine discussion of works-in-progress by the participants (on a variety of subjects) with a focused set of conversations about religion in the American Republic. We will examine the relation between the principles of religious freedom embodied in the First Amendment to the Constitution and the growth of the spiritually active, multi-denominational, and religiously tolerant culture that distinguishes the United States from most other societies. Seminar readings will follow a historical arc. We will begin with the emergence of practices of toleration in early modern Europe and the birth of a commitment to the free exercise of religion as a natural right in 18th- century America. After that we will examine the developing law of religion in 19th- and 20th-century America before concluding with the debates over religious accommodation that have become so controversial over the past few years. The relationship of history, law, and culture will be a subject of recurring interest.

The seminar will meet at Stanford Law School, from July 12-17, 2015. The Institute for Constitutional History will reimburse participants for their travel expenses (up to $350), provide accommodation at the Munger Graduate Residence on the Stanford campus, and offer a modest stipend to cover food and additional expenses. Seminar enrollment is limited to fifteen participants.

Applicants for the seminar should send a copy of their curriculum vitae, a brief description (three to five pages) of the research project to be pursued during the seminar, and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted until May 15, 2015, and only by email at MMarcus@nyhistory.org. 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 Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation's premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association. The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity. ICH prepares junior scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society. ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on American constitutional history.

The Stanford Constitutional Law Center grows out of the long and distinguished tradition of constitutional law scholarship at Stanford Law School. The Center seeks to carry on that tradition by directing attention to the most fundamental questions of constitutional order, especially the allocation and control of governmental power through law. The Center advances this mission through events and activities that foster scholarship, generate public discussion, attempt to transcend ideological divides, and provide opportunities for students to engage in analysis of the Constitution.