Friday, April 19, 2019

CFP: Constitution and Citizenship Day at SFSU

[We have the following call for papers, presentations, and panels.]

“Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University,” 16-17 September 2019

 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 Monday and Tuesday, 16-17 September 2019.

Over the last few years, people living in 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 state and federal elections, foreign collusion and domestic conspiracy, political and ethical corruption, voting rights, legislative redistricting, and presidential impeachment. Some have addressed core constitutional principles related to the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federal-state relationships. Others have concerned 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, 2018, and 2019—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 by the United States.

What have we thought about the Constitution in the past and what do we think of it today? When, how, and why have we thought about the Constitution? How has the Constitution been used as a legal and cultural touchstone in the past and present? Has the Constitution supported the expansion of citizenship, democracy, and equality or has it produced, preserved, and promoted social hierarchies? 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 or new threats to 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? 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 fourteen other colleges, schools, departments, centers, and campus organizations at SF State. More than 1000 faculty, students, and community members attended the event, which featured two keynote presentations and approximately forty faculty, graduate student, and community-based presenters, representing fourteen colleges, universities, and non-governmental organizations. As was the case last year, the 2019 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 20 June 2019 to We welcome individual and group submissions. Please submit short vitas/resumes for all participants.

[Lists of recommended topics and the members of Organizing  Committee appear after the jump.]

Recommended topics include but are not limited to:

    Academic Freedom for Faculty and Students
    Affirmative Action and Anti-Discrimination Law
    Amending the Constitution
    Asian American Legal Histories: Colonialism, Exclusion, and Internment
    Asylum, Migration, and Law
    Black Lives Matter and Racialized Policing
    Business, Religion, and the Freedom to Discriminate
    Campaign Finance, Citizens United, and the First Amendment
    Citizenship’s Inclusions and Exclusions
    Citizenship, Immigration, and the Census
    Civil Liberties in Times of War
    Colonies and the Constitution: Cuba, Guam, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Samoa
    Comparative Constitutionalism in World History
    Corporate Power and Constitutional Personhood
    Criminalization of Homelessness, Mental Illness, Drug Use, and Sex Work
    Disability Rights to Life, Liberty, and Equality
    Dreamers, Deportation, and the Constitution
    Educational Rights, Equal Protection, and Local Democracy
    Equal Protection, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Expression
    Executive Orders and the Imperial Presidency
    Free Speech at Colleges and Universities
    Gender, Law, and Justice
    Gentrification, Displacement, and Housing Rights
    Gun Control and the Second Amendment
    Immigration Law and the Politics of Exclusion
    Impeachment and Presidential Politics
    Indigenous Treaty Rights and Political Sovereignty
    Islamophobia and the Muslim Ban
    Jewish-Muslim Constitutional Coalitions
    Jim Crow: Past, Present, Future
    Labor Law and the New Economy
    Nationalism, Populism, and the Constitution
    Palestine, Israel, and Campus Politics
    Police Powers and Constitutional Law
    Press Freedoms in the “Fake News” Era
    Prisons, Prisoners, and the Carceral State
    Privacy and the Constitution in the Social Media Era
    Restorative Justice
    Sanctuary Cities, Federalism, and the Politics of Immigration
    Sexual Harassment in the Me Too Era
    Slavery, Freedom, and Reparations
    Socialism and the Constitution
    Student Activism and Constitutional Rights
    Supreme Court Appointments
    Surveillance, Security, and Constitutional Law
    Trans Rights and Freedoms
    Voting Rights and Legislative Redistricting
    War Powers and International Law
    White Supremacy, Race Privilege, and the Constitution
    Women’s Suffrage: Approaching the 100th Anniversary

Organizing Committee:
Conference Coordinator: Marc Stein, History Department
Rabab Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative
Soumyaa Behrens, School of Cinema
Deb Cohler, Women and Gender Studies Department
Robert Keith Collins, American Indian Studies Department
Nick Conway, Political Science Department
Marc Dollinger, Jewish Studies Department
Mali Kigasari, Paralegal Studies Program
Eric Mar, Asian American Studies Department
Blanca Maria Missé, Modern Languages and Literatures Department
Charles Postel, History 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