Sewanee hosts “Incorporating Equality: The First 150 Years of the Fourteenth Amendment”

In September, Sewanee will host a symposium marking the 150th anniversary of Tennessee’s landmark approval of the Fourteenth Amendment. “Incorporating Equality: The First 150 Years of the Fourteenth Amendment” will bring together some of the nation’s leading historians, constitutional scholars, lawyers, and judges to reflect on the Amendment’s future in light of its past. 

The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1866 to establish a new framework of law for a nation rebuilding from war and the abolition of chattel slavery. On July 19 of that year, Tennessee’s state legislature approved the Amendment, the first in the defeated Confederacy and the third in the nation to do so. Over the next 150 years, the application and enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment reconstructed the course of American history and law—and in ways the framers and legislators of 1866 could not have foreseen.

Distinguished presenters at the symposium include:

  • David W. Blight, professor of American history at Yale University, and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, professor of American legal history at Harvard Law School and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
  • Kareem Crayton, visiting professor of law at Vanderbilt University
  • Michael Kent Curtis, C'64, professor in constitutional and public law at Wake Forest University
  • Douglas Egerton, professor of history at Le Moyne College
  • Gerard Magliocca, Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law at Indiana University
  • Kate Masur, associate professor of history at Northwestern University
  • John Oldham McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law
  • Daniel J. Sharfstein, professor of law and history at Vanderbilt University, and co-director, George Barrett Social Justice Program