U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Plenary Sessions for 2012 USIH Conference

The 2012 S-USIH conference committee is pleased to announce the following plenary sessions:

1. Speech Rights: Legal History as Intellectual History

Recent controversial Supreme Court decisions, from Citizens United v. FEC (2010) to Brown v. Merchants of Entertainment (2011), have inspired impassioned discussion over contemporary interpretations of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. This plenary offers an historical look at the ideas that have shaped definitions of speech, speakers, and speech rights in U.S. history. Accordingly, it interrogates the intersections between speech rights law and intellectual history.

Jack Balkin (Yale University)
Vincent Blasi (Columbia University)
Ronald Collins (University of Washington)
Catherine Ross (George Washington University)

2. The Most Commanding Theme of U.S. Intellectual History?

This session takes as its provocation a statement made by David Hollinger in Modern Intellectual History.  Hollinger argues that when American intellectual life is considered as part of the wider, trans-Atlantic West, “its most commanding theme is the accommodation of Protestant Christianity with the Enlightenment.” Participants are invited to respond to Hollinger’s claim in any way that they wish.  This should be an opportunity to engage in an interesting and wide-ranging conversation about the broad sweep of American intellectual history.

Daniel Wickberg (University of Texas-Dallas)
Joan Shelley Rubin (University of Rochester)
Jennifer Burns (University of Virginia)
Jonathan Scott Holloway (Yale University)

The deadline for submission is now two weeks away.  The call for panels can be found here.