Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at SFSU

[We have the following announcement.]

Call for Papers, Presentations, and Panels: “Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University” – 17-18 September 2018

We welcome proposals for papers, presentations, panels, roundtables, teach-ins, and workshops at “Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference,” which will take place on 17-18 September 2018.

Over the last year, the people of the United States have participated in far-reaching debates and discussions about the U.S. Constitution. Many of these conversations have focused on democratic governance and its relationship to presidential elections, foreign collusion, political corruption, voting rights, legislative redistricting, and constitutional impeachment. Others have addressed specific constitutional provisions such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, separation of church and state, privacy rights, rights to bear arms, protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, birthright citizenship, due process rights, and rights of equal protection. Meanwhile, some of the most polarizing national discussions of 2017 and 2018—about racialized policing, immigration restriction, sanctuary cities, health care, sexual harassment, LGBT rights, hate speech, and gun control—have been framed as matters of constitutional meaning and significance. Just as important and revealing are the constitutional topics that much of the country has not been considering, including the rights of indigenous, colonized, incarcerated, and institutionalized peoples on lands currently claimed and controlled by the United States.

What did the U.S. Constitution say and do in the past and what does it say and do today? Has it produced, preserved, and promoted social hierarchies or has it supported the expansion of citizenship, democracy, and equality? What does the Constitution reveal and obscure? Is the United States experiencing constitutional crises? Have the country’s recent political troubles exposed longstanding problems with the U.S. constitutional “order”? Can the history of the U.S. Constitution serve as a resource for people troubled by today’s uses and abuses of U.S. power and politics? For those seeking social change, is the Constitution an opportunity or obstacle? Can and should it be followed, changed, modified, or abandoned? Who makes meaning out of the U.S. Constitution and what meanings are made of it? What are the implications of our interpretations and transformations of the U.S. Constitution?

Please join us to discuss these and other issues at “Rights and Wrongs.” San Francisco State University has a proud tradition of sponsoring Constitution and Citizenship Day conferences. Last year’s event was sponsored by the College of Liberal and Creative Arts and cosponsored by eleven other colleges, schools, departments, centers, and other campus organizations at SFSU. More than 1600 faculty, students, and community members attended the event, which featured faculty, graduate student, and community-based presenters. As was the case last year, the 2018 conference will provide multiple opportunities to reflect critically on the past, present, and future of constitutional rights and freedoms and larger questions about equality, democracy, and justice.

 Proposals for papers, presentations, panels, roundtables, teach-ins, and workshops (maximum 250 words) should be submitted by 25 June 2018 to We welcome individual and group submissions. Please submit short vitas/resumes for all participants. Recommended topics include but are not limited to: Affirmative Action; Amending the Constitution; Asian American Legal Histories: Colonialism, Exclusion, and Internment; Athletes and the First Amendment; Black Lives Matter and Racialized Policing; Campaign Finance, Citizens United, and the First Amendment; Civil Disobedience, Political Protest, and the Constitution; Colonies and the Constitution: Cuba, Guam, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Samoa; Disability Rights to Life, Liberty, and Equality; Dreamers, Deportation, and the Constitution; Educational Rights, Teacher Tenure, and Faculty Unions; Fascism, Nationalism, Populism, and the Constitution; Free Speech at Colleges and Universities; Guantanamo and the Constitution; Gun Control and the Second Amendment; Education, Health, Housing, and Welfare Rights; Immigration Law and the Politics of Exclusion; Impeachment and Presidential Politics; Indigenous Treaty Rights and Political Sovereignty; Islamophobia and the Muslim Ban; Palestine, Israel, and Campus Politics; Press Freedoms and “Fake News”; Prisons, Prisoners, and the Carceral State; Privacy and the Constitution in the Social Media Era; Sanctuary Cities, Federalism, and the Politics of Immigration; Sex Discrimination and LGBT Rights; Sexual Citizenship and Queer Rights; Sexual Harassment Law; Slavery, Freedom, and Reparations; Student Activism and Constitutional Rights; Supreme Court Appointments; Surveillance, Security, and Constitutional Law; Trans Rights and Freedoms; The U.S. Constitution in Comparative, Transnational, and Global Contexts; Voting Rights and Legislative Redistricting; War Powers and National Security: Congress, President, Supreme Court; Women’s Rights, Sex Discrimination, and Gender Equality.

The Organizing Committee is Marc Stein, History Department (Conference Coordinator:); Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies; Soumyaa Behrens, School of Cinema; Martin Carcieri, Political Science Department; Teresa Carrillo, Latina/Latino Studies Department; Mali Kigasari, Paralegal Studies Program; Catherine Kudlick, History Department and Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability; Blanca Maria Missé, Modern Languages and Literatures Department; Kym Morrison, History Department; Maria L. Quintana, Latina/Latino Studies Department; César "Ché" Rodríguez, Criminal Justice Studies Department; Wendy Salkin, Philosophy Department; Clare Sears, Sociology and Sexuality Studies Department; Kendra Van Cleave, J. Paul Leonard Library; Venise Wagner, Journalism Department.

The Sponsor is the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.  Co-sponsors are the History Department, College of Ethnic Studies, Division of Graduate Studies, College of Extended Learning, School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, Modern Languages and Literatures Department, Philosophy Department, Labor Archives and Research Center, Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Chair in U.S. History, and more to be announced.