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Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law, George Washington University


At the beginning of the twenty-first century, breathtaking changes in technology are posing stark challenges to our constitutional values in democracies around the world. From free speech to privacy, from liberty and personal autonomy to the right against self-incrimination, basic constitutional principles are under stress from technological advances unimaginable even a few decades ago, let alone in the founding era. Constitution 3.0 will ask questions such as the following:

  • Is privacy obsolete in an age of ubiquitous cameras, GPS devices, and unlimited data storage and processing, or can the law somehow restrict surveillance without crushing innovation and hobbling government?
  • How vigorously should society respect the autonomy of individuals to manipulate their genes and design their own babies?
  • Does the Constitution restrict the government’s ability to look within our brains, and should it?
  • How can we protect free speech and privacy in a world in which most speech is online, where lawyers at Google and Facebook have more power over who can speak and who can be heard than any king, president, or Supreme Court justice? Should there be a right to escape your past on the Internet?

There is no question that democracies around the world will change in response to developing technology, as they have always changed in the past. But it is far from clear how that change will take place, what form it will take, and how effective it will be. In this seminar, we will identify the range of options that judges, technologists, legislators, and citizens have as they struggle to respond to technological shifts and to offer an analytical blueprint for translating democratic values into the twenty-first century. 


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Rosen, Jeffrey, and Benjamin Wittes. Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2011.

Travel & Accommodations

There are several options for traveling to and from Washington, DC. The George Washington University offers easy taxi or subway (Metro) access to Reagan National Airport and Union Station (Amtrak).

Amtrak offers service to Union Station in Washington, DC. Please visit the Amtrak website for fares and schedules. There is a taxi stand outside Union Station for transportation to George Washington University's Mount Vernon campus.

Participants will stay in George Washington University housing on the Mount Vernon campus. GWU will provide participants with a linen pack in each room upon arrival. This includes 1 pillow, 1 blanket, 1 pillowcase, 2 flat sheets, and 2 towels. Participants should remember to bring hair dryers, irons, alarm clocks, etc. Participants will be provided with a guest user name and password at check-in and may connect via wireless Internet.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Each summer seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar.

Participants traveling internationally or from Alaska and Hawaii receive a $500 stipend in lieu of reimbursement upon completion of the seminar. Applicants to seminars should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the $400 allowance is insufficient to cover all travel expenses.

Our reimbursement policy has changed from previous years. For more information on our policy click here.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 14th, 2013 5:00 PM   through   July 20th, 2013 9:00 AM
George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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