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Teach-In on the Strength and Fragility of Constitutions
9/5/2017

Nation's Leading Historians to Headline OU Teach-In on the Strength and Fragility of Constitutions

NORMAN – Pullitzer Prize-winning author and historian Gordon S. Wood will headline the University of Oklahoma’s “Teach-In on the Strength and Fragility of Constitutions,” set for Monday, Sept. 25, on OU’s Norman campus. Wood will be joined by four additional leading historian scholars who will share their perspectives on this topic in history during the daylong event, which is open to the public.

Wood is the author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution, for which he won the
1993 Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize. His most recent work, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History, earned the 2009 Association of American Publishers Award for History and Biography, the 2010 American History Book Prize by the New York Historical Society and the Society of the Cincinnati History Prize for 2010. Wood is a professor emeritus of history at Brown University.

The Teach-In will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd St., with the first talk by Eric Weitz, titled “The Promise and Tragedy of a Constitution: Weimar Germany, 1918-1933.” He is a distinguished professor of history and past dean of humanities and arts at City College of New York. Trained in modern German and European history, Weitz has worked in international and global history. His most recent book, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, will be published in a third edition in 2018 in advance of the centenary of the Weimar Republic. He currently is completing A World Divided: A Global History of Nation-States and Human Rights since the Eighteenth Century. Weitz is a frequent lecturer in public and academic settings. He has written and lectured on international human rights, the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide and the genocide of the Herero and Nama of Namibia. Since 2006, he has edited a book series titled Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity with Princeton University Press.

The next session will begin at 10:30 a.m. on “The Reconstruction of Rights after the Civil War” by Laura F. Edwards, whose books include A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights and The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South. Edwards is a professor of history at Duke University and an affiliated scholar at the American Bar Foundation.

The luncheon will be held in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom in the Oklahoma Memorial Union and will feature an address on “Adams, Jefferson and American Constitutionalism” by Wood.

The afternoon sessions, which will be in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center, will begin at 2 p.m. and Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, will speak on “The Crisis of Modern Turkey.” Cagaptay is the author of The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey and has written extensively on U.S. and Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics and Turkish nationalism. He has been published in numerous scholarly journals and major international print media.

The event will conclude with a 3 p.m. talk titled “A Republic, If You Can Keep It: Public Education and American Democracy” by Johann Neem, a senior fellow of the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and professor of history at Western Washington University. He is the author of the recently published Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America.

Reservations are required for all sessions and lunch. For more information and accommodations, please call the OU Office of Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email specialevents@ou.edu. For information regarding the Teach-In and a complete schedule of events, please visit the website at www.teachin.ou.edu.

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For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.