Tang Museum offers chance to re-engage with the Constitution

"We the People", a new exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum, will host a series of events that invite the public to explore the U.S. Constitution. The show, which opened on Sept. 8, will run through April 7.

Organized by faculty in a range of academic areas, the events will highlight the Constitution as lived experience, focusing on themes including citizenship, community, voting and elections. Formats for the events include lectures, films, workshops and local government meetings.

"We the People" is co-organized by Ian Berry, Malloy Curator at the Tang Museum, and Rachel Seligman, associate curator, in consultation with Beau Breslin, interim dean of the faculty.

"Our relationship with the Constitution is direct," said Breslin. "The unfortunate thing is that we tend to look at the Constitution through a prism of political institutions. But we don't have to go through the Supreme Court or what Congress or the President says the Constitution is. So let's engage with it in a creative way, directly, one-on-one."

Breslin expressed enthusiasm about helping U.S. citizens reconnect with their constitution, a document that he says "animates and regulates our lives in very meaningful ways on a daily basis." He notes that while the vast majority of Americans think the Constitution is important, few are able to name a single thing it says, a commentary on what he points out is "the longest enduring constitution in history."

Special events this fall for "We the People":

? Monday, Sept. 24, Constitution Day Lecture: Completing the Constitution: The 14th Amendment, by Michael Zuckert, the Nancy R. Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Zuckert is a leading scholar of American political philosophy, constitutional law and theory, and political thought. Sponsored by Skidmore's Department of Government.

? Thursday, Oct. 4, 2-7 p.m.: We the People Voter Registration Drive, co-sponsored by the Saratoga County League of Women Voters

? Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m.: The Science and Law of Biotechnology Policy, lecture by Dr. William Henri Lesser, the Susan Eckert Lynch Professor of Science and Business, Cornell University

? Saturday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: Saratoga Springs City Charter Open Forum. Experts and audience will discuss the issues around reforming the Saratoga Springs City Charter in advance of a November vote on the question.

? Tuesday Nov. 6, 5:30 -11 p.m. : What to Expect When You're Expecting the Election and Election Returns Extravaganza. A discussion with Government Professor Ronald Seyb on the battle for the swing states, followed by live coverage of the election returns, with refreshments, contests, balloons, and more.

? Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m: The Return on the Returns: Two Different Views. A discussion with Erica Seifert (Skidmore Class of '02), a senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner who conducts research on American politics and elections, voter participation, and economic issues; and Benjamin Clarke (Skidmore '01), former chief political writer for GOP strategist Frank Luntz and former speechwriter for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN).

For more information and a full listing of events go to Skidmore.edu/tang.

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