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Award-Winning Historian Gordon Wood to Speak at OU

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood will speak at the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage symposium.

CONTACT: Laura Birkett, (405) 325-7697

NORMAN – Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood is the keynote dinner speaker for the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage symposium, “The People, the Congress and the Constitution.” The complimentary one-day symposium is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 3, on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus.

“In this important symposium, OU is bringing together the greatest scholars from around the nation to have a conversation on a fundamental question that affects us all: ‘Who interprets the Constitution?’” said Kyle Harper, director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage. “We are excited to host such a first-rate event that will foster a deeper understanding of such an important part of our distinct political and constitutional tradition.”

The symposium features nine historians, law professors and political scientists who will discuss and debate some of the ways that our Presidents, members of Congress and ordinary people have played important roles in deciding what our Constitution means and what it should mean.

Many people assume that interpreting the Constitution is the exclusive domain of the Supreme Court. In nearly every political debate over topics ranging from gun control to health care, from voting rights to religious freedom, Americans frequently return to the same question: what does the Constitution have to say? These scholars from across the nation will explore the question of who interprets the U.S. Constitution.

The symposium begins at 9 a.m. with a panel discussion focusing on American constitutional history and politics, with topics ranging from the American founding to contemporary issues such as civil rights and eminent domain. Lunch will include a presentation on the latest activities of the Carl Albert Center for Congressional Research at OU. The afternoon continues with three additional panel discussions and concludes with a dinner featuring Wood, professor emeritus of history at Brown University and recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Radicalism of the American Revolution.

The symposium coincides with new initiatives by the Carl Albert Center for Congressional Research at OU to provide more of its archival holdings online.

Limited seating is available for lunch and dinner by contacting the Institute for American Constitutional Heritage at (405) 325-7697 or by email to For more information about the event, including a schedule of events, visit For accommodations on the basis of disability, call the institute at (405) 325-7697.