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Making American Constitutional Consensus // with Aziz Rana

  • Wilder House 5811 S Kenwood Ave Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

3CT's inaugural Theorizing the Present lecture for 2014-2015 will be presented by Prof. Aziz Rana (Assoc. Prof. of Law), Cornell.  Introduction by Jennifer Pitts (Political Science).

In contemporary American politics, the Constitution enjoys widespread public support.   But this has not always been the case in national history. In fact, the dominance and substantive meaning of constitutional veneration is a relatively recent development -- the product of a series of interconnected political struggles between the American emergence onto the global stage with the Spanish-American War and World War I and the fallout of student and civil rights protest in the 1970s. This talk will explore how the Constitution rose above dissent and what the implications have been for public life.

Before joining the faculty at Cornell, Prof. Rana completed a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard and a J. D. at Yale Law School, where he was also a post-doctoral fellow.  His writing and research focuses on American constitutional law and political development, with a particular interest in the intersection of citizenship with topics in national security and immigration. He is also interested in Political and Social Theory, Law and Social Movements, Comparative Law (with a focus on Africa, the Middle East, and the Law of Emerging Nations), as well as Human Rights Law.   His current book project, The Making of American Constitutional Consensus, explores the modern rise of constitutional veneration in the twentieth century against the backdrop of the U.S.'s emergence as a global power.  His previous book, The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard Univ. Press, 2010) (paperback 2014), examines settler ideologies of expansion, membership, and freedom.  A more detailed list of his publications can be found here.