Kinder Institute: How the Founders Made the Constitution Their Valentine

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Kinder Institute: “How the Founders Made the Constitution Their Valentine”


In 1787, many questions surrounding the Constitution hung in the balance. Was it a written text? Was it a legal text? Was it finished or unfinished, and who would adjudicate competing readings of it? The Kinder Institute will host Stanford historian Jonathan Gienapp, who will show how, in fighting over how to imagine the Constitution, American political leaders ultimately gave it the shape and definition it had previously lacked. The Kinder Institute is a JMC partner program.

Thursday, February 14, 2019 • 3:30 PM
Jesse Hall, Room 410 • University of Missouri

Free and open to the public

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Jonathan GienappJonathan Gienapp is an assistant professor in the history department at Stanford University. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Principally a scholar of Revolutionary and early republican America, he is particularly interested in the period’s political culture, constitutionalism, and intellectual history. More generally, he is interested in the method and practice of the history of ideas, especially how it might profit from mutually beneficial exchanges with other disciplines in the human sciences, particularly recent philosophy of language.

Professor Gienapp is the author of The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era (Harvard University Press), and has published articles in Constitutional Commentary, Journal of the Early Republic, and Fordham Law Review.

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The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri is an interdisciplinary, signature academic center on the Columbia campus, jointly operated by faculty from the Political Science and History Departments, in cooperation with other scholars across campus. It is dedicated to excellence in research, teaching, and community engagement on the subjects of American political thought, history, and institutions, with a particular emphasis on the ideas and events of the American Founding and their continued global impact and relevance today. It was created in 2015 by a generous gift from the Kinder Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation started by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas.

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