The Institute for Constitutional Studies at the George Washington University Law School, in cooperation with the American Historical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Association of American Law Schools, and the Organization of American Historians, is pleased to announce its sixth annual summer seminar for college teachers and advanced doctoral candidates. The topic for discussion this year is "Slavery and the Constitution," and Paul Finkelman, Chapman Distinguished Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, and Mark Tushnet, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center, will lead the seminar. Professor Finkelman is an expert on American legal history, race and the law, and First Amendment issues, and his books include: Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson; Slavery in the Courtroom; and An Imperfect Union: Slavery, Federalism, and Comity. A past president of the Association of American Law Schools and an expert on Constitutional law and American legal history, Professor Tushnet has published The American Law of Slavery, 1810-1860; The NAACP's Legal Strategy Against Segregated Education 1925-1950; Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961; and Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961-1991.
The seminar will explore how the U.S. Constitution affected slavery and how slavery affected the writing and development of the Constitution. The seminar will begin with a discussion of the Constitutional Convention and then turn to various constitutional issues stemming from slavery, including: the ending of the African slave trade; the rendition of fugitive slaves; the status of slavery in the territories; the interstate transit of slaves, the status of free blacks in antebellum America, and the problem of emancipation. Major Supreme Court decisions, including Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), and Ableman v. Booth (1859) will be covered. The seminar will also consider the "constitutional politics" of slavery through discussions of the fugitive slave laws, the Amistad case, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, secession, and emancipation. Seminar leaders will guide discussion around the topics of the participants' interests, share their own research, and organize activities that will take advantage of the unique riches of the Washington area for research on these subjects. They will also advise the participants regarding archival research and use of other primary resources.
The purpose of the program is to provide graduate students and younger scholars a chance to meet with senior scholars to do two things: discuss issues within the general topic of the seminar and present their early research for comment and refinement. Participants will be required to identify their topics or research interests in advance and provide a short bibliography of reading materials for seminar members to read. Each regular meeting will concentrate on these research topics. Time outside the scheduled meetings will be reserved for special events, as well as for individual consultation with the seminar leaders.
The seminar will meet in Washington, DC for two weeks, June 13 - 24, 2005. Generous funding from the Park Foundation has allowed for the reimbursement of transportation costs up to $300 per participant, shared accommodation in nearby university residence halls (single accommodation can be obtained for a supplement of $35 per night), and a set per diem to cover food and any additional expenses. Enrollment will be limited to fifteen participants.
Applicants for the seminar should send a copy of their c.v., a brief description (three to five pages) of the research project to be pursued in 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 1, 2005, only by email at (the e-mail address provided below). Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter. For further information, call Maeva Marcus or e-mail (telephone number and e-mail address follow).
Maeva Marcus, Director
Institute for Constitutional Studies
The George Washington University Law School
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
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