- Scholar Session: June 21, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET
- Scholar Session and Pedagogy Session: June 22, 11:00 a.m.–1:15 p.m. ET
- Scholar Session and Optional Social Hour: June 23, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. ET
- Pedagogy Session: June 24, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET
- Additional sessions led by the National WWII Museum will be announced in the coming weeks.
Melvin I. Urofsky, Professor Emeritus of History, Virginia Commonwealth University
The Constitution is the founding document of the United States. Yet ever since the process of ratification, the document’s meaning—and questions about who gets to decide its meaning—have spurred pitched political battles, campaigns for elected office and social change, and arguments among ordinary voters from all walks of life. Americans have debated the question of what the Constitution means in courtrooms and legislatures, at lunch counters and on picket lines, outside medical clinics and in schools. Studying the Constitution in the twentieth century means learning about how law, society, politics, and culture all interact.
Through examination of nine defining cases and themes, the seminar explores how regular people, social movement activists and organizations, politicians, scholars, lawyers, and judges have fought about what the Constitution should mean inside and outside of the courtroom:
- Lochner v. New York (1905) and the Role of the Constitution in the Workplace and the Economy
- Debs v. United States (1918), Schenck v. United States (1919), Abrams v. United States (1919), Whitney v. California (1927) and the Rise of Free Speech
- Korematsu v. United States (1944) and Changing Ideas of Citizenship and Belonging
- Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the Struggle for Racial Equality
- Roe v. Wade (1972), the Abortion Debate, and Women’s Rights
- Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and the Gay Rights Movement
In the process of studying the meaning of the Constitution throughout the twentieth century, the seminar looks at how we remain integral parts of the process of constitutional change today.
We are excited to be offering this seminar in partnership with the National WWII Museum. The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Thanks to the Museum’s support, teachers participating in this seminar will have the opportunity to participate in two additional live sessions and will get exclusive access to related resources provided by the National WWII Museum.