Call for Papers: Amending America’s Unwritten Constitution

Deadline: 
11/15/18
Event Date: 
05/16/19 to 05/17/19
Location name: 
Boston, MA
Organization: 
The Boston College Law School, with support from the Institute for Liberal Arts

Submissions are invited from faculty and graduate students for a two-day conference on “Amending America’s Unwritten Constitution,” a timely subject of importance in history, law and politics.

Convened by Richard Albert (Texas), Yaniv Roznai (IDC), and Ryan C. Williams (Boston College), this Conference will be held on the campus of Boston College on Thursday and Friday, May 16-17, 2019.

Subject-Matter of the Conference

Recent constitutional scholarship reveals renewed interest in how unwritten constitutional norms and conventions underlying U.S. constitutional practice can and do change. The conference aims to advance the field by focusing on theoretical, conceptual, and practical questions concerning what it means to “amend” America’s “unwritten constitution” (including what has been called the “small-c constitution”), how the “unwritten constitution” can be amended, and who the relevant constitutional actors are in catalyzing and concretizing these changes.

Structure of the Conference

The conference will be structured around eight keynote lectures in addition to concurrent panels comprised of faculty and graduate students in law, history, political science and other fields of interest.

In addition to the keynote lectures, the two-day conference will feature concurrent panels featuring papers selected from this Call. The purpose of the panels is to convene groups of faculty and graduate students for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions raised by the conference themes, broadly-defined. The panels will be chaired by the keynote lecturers. These panels will offer participants a combination of rigorous scholarly exchange and constructive guidance on the ideas in the papers. Conference meals will offer an opportunity for more relaxed social interaction.

Eligibility

Submissions for the concurrent panels are invited from faculty and students enrolled in graduate programs from various disciplines (e.g. history, law, political science, sociology). Papers are welcomed on any subject related to the eight keynote topics identified above. Papers may take comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical, philosophical, sociological, theoretical or other perspectives.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email a CV and abstract no longer than 750 words by November 15, 2018 to tdo@law.utexas.edu on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-conference draft to be submitted by April 15, 2019. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Conference on Amending America’s Unwritten Constitution” —Abstract Submission.” Please state in your submission to which of the above-mentioned eight themes your abstract suits. All materials should be submitted in PDF.

Notification

Successful applicants will be notified no later than December 1, 2019.

Costs

There is no cost to participate in this Conference. Group meals will be generously provided by Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for all other expenses.

Questions

Please direct inquiries in connection with this Symposium to:

Richard Albert
The University of Texas at Austin
richard.albert@law.utexas.edu

Yaniv Roznai
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya
Email: yaniv.roznai@idc.ac.il

Ryan C. Williams
Boston College Law School
willibit@bc.edu

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