7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Rogalski Center Ballroom
Cost: Free and open to the public; reception following
Contact: Joseph Hebert PhD, or 563/333-6402
The Slavery and the American Constitution lecture explores James Madison's observations during the Constitutional Convention that, "the real difference of interest between the states lay not between large and small but between North and South. The institution of slavery and its consequences," Madison noted, "formed the line of discrimination." The Constitution crafted in 1787 contained many well-known compromises with the institution of slavery, and these compromises continued to influence constitutional politics until the abolition of slavery in 1865. The lecture specifically focuses on the relationship between the Constitution and slavery, in particular on the development of antislavery constitutionalism in the nineteenth century.
Justin Dyer, PhD, canvassed the early thinking of John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass as he examined the growth of antislavery constitutionalism in the years preceding the Civil War. The result of that research was "Natural Law and the Antislavery Constitutional Tradition," a book published in February by the Cambridge University Press.
Dyer's work also has been published Polity, Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Political Science and PS: Political Science and Politics. He is completing a second book that will investigate legal and historical parallels between the issues of slavery and abortion in American politics.
Since 2009, Dyer has been an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, where he recently was awarded Provost's Outstanding Junior Faculty Research and Creative Award.
Dyer earned his doctorate in public law and political theory from the University of Texas at Austin after graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. Dr. Dyer's interests span American constitutional theory and development, constitutional law, and American political thought.
Lecture sponsored by the SAU Department of Political Science and by the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History.