NORMAN, OKLAHOMA – Award-winning author Keith E. Whittington will deliver three lectures on the theme of "The Idea of Democracy in America" at the University of Oklahoma on Oct. 20-22. The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government series is open to the public and will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium in Gaylord Hall, 395 W. Lindsey St., on OU’s Norman campus.
Whittington, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University, has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, federalism, judicial politics and the presidency.
Whittington will present “The Birth of a Democracy or of a Republic?” on Oct. 20, “The Challenge of Mass Democracy” on Oct. 21 and “The Crisis of Democracy in a Gilded Age” on Oct. 22. OU President David L. Boren will deliver a welcome before the first lecture on Oct. 20.
"Over the years the Rothbaum lectures have brought to the campus some of the leading political scientists and constitutional experts in our country," Boren said. "The idea of democracy in America is as diverse as its people. Professor Whittington will help us to understand the similarities and differences of those ideas and their relationship to today's current political atmosphere and events."
"Historically, the Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lectureship in Representative Government has taken on tough and provocative issues facing our body politic,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director and curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, which sponsors the lectureship. “Professor Whittington will explore the roots of American democracy and the enduring debates over American exceptionalism.
Whittington's book "Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History" (Princeton, 2006) won the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in law and courts and the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history.
His work also includes "Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning" (Harvard, 1999), "Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review" (Kansas, 1999), "American Constitutionalism" (Oxford, 2012) (with Howard Gillman and Mark A. Graber) and "Judicial Review and Constitutional Politics." His book "American Political Thought: Readings and Materials" is now in press, and he is completing "Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present."
Whittington has been a John M. Olin Foundation Faculty Fellow, an American Council of Learned Societies Junior Faculty Fellow, a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center and a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He is also a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences.
The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government was endowed in 1981 by Joel Jankowsky and his mother, Irene Rothbaum, in honor of her husband, Julian. Rothbaum was an OU alumnus, a leader in Oklahoma civic affairs and a lifelong friend of Carl Albert. The lectureship was initiated in 1983 and focuses on the role of representative institutions. It also aligns with principles which were significant to Rothbaum: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs.
The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at OU is a nonpartisan institution devoted to instruction and scholarship related to the U.S. Congress. It administers the Rothbaum lecture series, sponsors several other civic education programs and houses one of the largest archives of congressional papers in the country.
For information about the lectures, which are complimentary and open to the public, or for accommodations on the basis of disability, please call the Carl Albert Center at 405-325-6372.