U.S. Federalism Panel – Oslo

Reprinted from lawprof|at|chicagokent.kentlaw.edu:

Greetings lawprofs. This is a call for papers and panelists, seeking proposals from senior academics and from LLM and SJD students as well.

I am co-hosting a panel on U.S. federalism that will convene in Oslo, Norway between May 9-12, 2008, at the biennial conference of the European Association of American Studies Conference whose theme for this session is “E Pluribus Unum or E Pluribus Plura?” The conference will provide a unique opportunity to engage scholars from other countries and numerous disciplines on topics concerning legal and other dimensions of federalism in the United States.

My panel, co-chaired with Elisabeth Boulot of Marne-la-Vallee in France, will address the theme “Expounding the Constitution: Fulfilling the Founding Father’s Ideal: E Pluribus Unum.”

Our call for papers asks participants to contribute a paper and a 20 minute presentation (to be followed by questions and discussion) that addresses our theme along the following lines —

The Supreme Court has set itself the task of interpreting the Constitution under the national motto. The purpose of this workshop is to examine the part played by the Court in the shaping of American identity and legal culture. It seeks contributions on the following topics: has the Court played an essential role in creating American norms only by seeking to forge a consensus about a neutral “Unum,” or has it revisited its precedents in order to accommodate a societal and cultural “Plura?” During periods of dissension in the Court concerning the two versions of the formula, did Court divisions mirror those existing within larger American society? If so, can one say that the people’s trust in the ability of the law to find common ground and take differences into account was undermined as a result of the divisiveness on the Court?

One paragraph proposals and CVs should be sent by September 1st to bill.merkel[at]washburn.edu or elisabeth.boulot[at]wanadoo.fr

Participants should be members of the American Studies Association of their home country or the country where they work. Proposals from senior scholars and from graduate students are equally welcome. No more than two members of our panel may come from the same country, so proposals from persons (grad students?) who are not U.S. nationals or who are affiliated with non-U.S. institutions would be particularly well received. Participants will have to provide their own funding.

Best Regards,

Bill Merkel

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