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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Research Tool for Canadian Constitutional History through Canada's Human Rights History Website

via H-Law:
New Research Tool for Canadian Constitutional History

The latest addition to Canada's Human Rights History website ( is a complete collection of briefs to Canada's Special Joint Committee on the Constitution (1980-1). The committee solicited feedback from Canadians about the government’s proposal to patriate the constitution and entrench a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It heard from over nine hundred individuals and organizations, many of whom had a direct impact on the final drafting of the constitutional proposal. It was also a critical moment in Canada’s human rights history. The hearings highlighted how Canadians’ conception of human rights had evolved dramatically since the 1940s.
This section of the website's archival collection was first created in 2003 with a sample of briefs to the committee. The updated page now includes the entire collection of briefs available at the Library and Archives Canada. Many of these documents also provide useful background information on some of the leading non-governmental organizations in Canada during this period. The site includes an index of groups and individuals who participated in the hearings. There are also scanned copies of detailed briefing notes on the hearings and presentations.
To view the submissions, please visit

Friday, March 16, 2018

Interdisciplinary summer workshop in Anglo-American constitutional history

Via H-law: (note the Institute is American-constitution centric. Although the description would cover Canadian development, it would be prudent to check before applying if your work doesn't have an American angle/application.)

Interdisciplinary Summer Workshop in Constitutional History
July 8-13, 2018
Stanford, California
The Constitutional History of Anglo-American Empire
Sponsored by the Institute for Constitutional History
with the Stanford Constitutional Law Center
Building on the literatures on constitutional development in the British Empire, the constitutional origins of the American Revolution, and settler constitutionalism, the seminar will focus on colonization and territorial expansion, the law of slavery, and geopolitics from first settlement to the era of “Manifest Destiny.”
Workshop Leaders:
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, and formerly the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford (2014-2015).
Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2009), a subject she had previously written about in Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings:
An American Controversy (University Press of Virginia, 1997). She is also the author of Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010). Her most recently published book (with Peter S. Onuf) is “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). Her honors include a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities
Medal, the National Book Award, and the Woman of Power & Influence Award from the National Organization for Women in New York City. Gordon-Reed was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, Senior Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (Monticello), and Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2017-2018. Onuf’s work on Thomas Jefferson’s political thought, culminating in Jefferson’s
Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (University Press of Virginia, 2000) and The Mind of Thomas Jefferson (2007, also Virginia), grows out of earlier studies on the history of American federalism, foreign policy, and political economy. He and co-author Annette Gordon-Reed recently published Most Blessed of Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright, 2016); his Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions, and Empire is forthcoming (from Louisiana State University Press).

Stipends and Support: Participants will receive accommodation at the Munger Graduate Residence on thecampus of Stanford Law School and a modest stipend for meals. Participants will also receive a travel reimbursement up to $250. Workshop participants are expected to attend all sessions and engage in all program
Eligibility and Application Procedure: The summer workshop is designed for university instructors who now teach or plan to teach courses in constitutional studies, including constitutional history, constitutional law, and related subjects. Instructors who would like to devote a unit of a survey course to constitutional history are also welcome to apply. All university-level instructors are encouraged to apply, including adjuncts and part-time
faculty members, and post-doctoral fellows from any academic discipline associated with constitutional studies (history, political science, law, anthropology, sociology, literary criticism, etc.).
To apply, please submit the following materials: a detailed résumé or curriculum vitae with contact information;
syllabi from any undergraduate course(s) in constitutional studies you currently teach; a 500- word statement describing your interest in both constitutional studies and this workshop; and a letter of recommendation from your department chair or other professional reference (sent separately by e-mail or post). The application statement should address your professional background, any special perspectives or experiences you might bring
to the workshop, and how the workshop will enhance your teaching in constitutional studies.
The deadline for applications is May 1, 2018. Applications should be sent via electronic mail to Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Maeva Marcus
Director, Institute for Constitutional History
New-York Historical Society and
The George Washington University Law School
About ICH:
The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation’s premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future
generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at
the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored
by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political
Science Association. The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity. ICH prepares junior
scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played
in shaping American society. ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of
humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on American constitutional history.
About the Stanford Constitutional Law Center:
The Stanford Constitutional Law Center grows out of the long and distinguished tradition of constitutional law
scholarship at Stanford Law School. It carries on this tradition through a program of conferences, lectures, informal
“Constitutional Conversations,” and fellowships. The Center has no politics and takes no sides on controversial
cases—but it is committed to the rule of law and the idea that the Constitution can be studied and interpreted
objectively in light of its text, history, and purposes. It advances this mission through events and activities that foster
scholarship, generate public discussion, and provide opportunities for students and scholars to engage in analysis
of the Constitution across the ideological spectrum.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Conference: Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Atlantic, Montreal, May 28-30

The central aim of this conference is to draw together a dynamic group of international scholars from France, Canada, and the United States whose work stands at the interface of two emerging sub-disciplines: the history of the French Atlantic and the “new legal history” whose central vector insists on shifting the focus of the field beyond legal structures and frameworks, towards an understanding of how law was actively shaped and applied through the lives and experiences of ordinary men and women. By uncovering and identifying the “voices” of slaves, indentured servants, artisans, aboriginal people, women entrepreneurs, peasants, merchants, planter elites and government officials, we intend to provide a richer understanding of the ways in which French law was understood and integrated into the lives of ordinary people involved in the 18th century colonial enterprise. We hope, therefore, to open up new scholarly conversations which seek to re-imagine the French colonial world as less the product of metropolitan initiatives than a process shaped by a multiplicity of actors.

For more information, visit the conference website.