Monday, December 21, 2015

Seminar: ICH, “Capital as a Constitutional Issue”

The Institute for Constitutional History has announced a seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty: "Capital as a Constitutional Issue: Land and Money, 1776-1900." Instructors will be Christine Desan, the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of Making Money:  Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism, and Elizabeth Blackmar, professor of history at Columbia University. Her scholarship focuses on the history of property relations in the United States; her books include Manhattan for Rent, 1785-1850 and The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, co-authored with Roy Rosenzweig.
    According to the announcement, the seminar will
focus in particular on land and money, critical to state formation and capitalist development in the U.S. from the Revolutionary era to the Gilded Age. The contests to define or control each expose competing sovereignties (native American, imperial, settler; state and federal) before and long after ratification of the Constitution. Those contests have also informed the development of political ideologies, party formation, and modes of constitutional interpretation, as well as the architecture of governmental authority. The seminar will examine classic Constitutional cases . . . in relation to underlying political and economic debates over the meaning of territorial and jurisdictional sovereignty; over the powers of Congress, the Presidency and state legislatures to govern money and banking; and over the legitimacy of state actions to set the terms for the accumulation and/or redistribution of wealth.
The seminar will meet at the New-York Historical Society on Friday afternoons, 1:00-4:00 p.m., March 18, April 1, 15, and 29.
     The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines. All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions.  Space is limited; applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development. Materials will be accepted only by email at until January 15, 2016. For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to Please also see the full seminar announcement.