This two-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, held in Norman, Oklahoma, from June 14-29, 2014, offers a comprehensive examination of westward expansion and the Constitution in the early American republic. This program focuses on the role of government and constitutional limits in a nation that aggressively extended its borders. During the first week we begin with colonial antecedents, trace the story through the American Revolution and the establishment of the Constitution, and then explore how Americans interpreted that Constitution in the first half of the nineteenth century as the nation reached across a continent. The second week continues with the saga of expansion but also examines two essential constitutional issues raised by that expansion: the treatment of Native Americans and the institution of chattel slavery. The Institute ends with a discussion of the Mexican-American War. Without describing this great story of American history as the inevitable triumph of a mystical manifest destiny or offering a politically inspired critique, this Institute portrays American expansion as a halting, debated, and contingent set of experiences that included crucial questions central to citizenship, race, ethnicity—and, of course, the Constitution.
This Summer Institute will be held on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this program is cosponsored by the Department of History and the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, an interdisciplinary center for constitutional studies formed at OU in 2009. For more information on this program, visit our website at expansion.ou.edu. Applications will be accepted until March 4, 2014. Those accepted to participate will receive a stipend of $2,100 to help meet expenses of travel and accommodations.
Faculty: Kevin Butterfield (co-Director), Paul Gilje (co-Director), Andrew Cayton, Amy Greenberg, Peter Kastor, Peter Onuf, Lindsay Robertson, Fay Yarbrough
Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage
University of Oklahoma
650 Parrington Oval, Carnegie Bldg. Rm 210
Norman, OK 73019
(405)325-7697 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://expansion.ou.edu
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