Constitution and Citizenship Day

The Clough Center and Schiller Institute mark the day with events September 14

Boston College faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates will present their views on the United States Constitution—its centrality to American life, its exceptional durability, and its vulnerability in times of national conflict—as part of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy’s second annual campus-wide celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Day, on September 14 from 5-7 p.m.

Co-sponsored with the University’s Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, “What the Constitution Means to Us” will feature a panel of cross-disciplinary scholars, including: Moakley Endowed Professor of Political Science Kay Schlozman; BC Law School Professor and Provost’s Distinguished Fellow Aziz Rana; BC Law Associate Professor Paulo Barrozo; BC Law Professor and Carney Distinguished Scholar Daniel Kanstroom, faculty director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy; and Assistant Professor of Political Science Thibaud Marcesse.

Also speaking will be 2008 alumna Sarah Lunnie, who was dramaturg for the award-winning Heidi Schreck play “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

“It is thrilling and fitting to be joined by Sarah, because of her close ties to the Theatre Department here, and for her role in the creation of Schreck’s influential play,” said Professor of Political Science Jonathan Laurence, director of the Clough Center. “The play is unique because it implores audiences to leave the theater more engaged with the Constitution than when they went in, and to join the debate on American democracy. We are responding to Schreck’s challenge by inviting the BC community to directly participate in our first event of the year.”

The Clough Center and Schiller Institute are soliciting graduate and undergraduate students’ reflections on the Constitution in a variety of media: written, spoken, musical works, and visual art or digital art, including video. A sampling of these contributions will be showcased as part of a celebratory reception featuring faculty and student speakers and an art gallery. The Clough Center will award a prize of $200 to the top general contribution, and the Schiller Institute will award a prize of $200 to the top contribution specifically geared toward the Constitution and energy, health, or the environment.

“Each year’s proceedings will be published as a record of oral history,” Laurence said. “These will be time capsules that capture our preoccupations and reassurances at a moment of democratic fragility and, hopefully, constitutional endurance.”