Haley Proctor

MU Law and Kinder Institute Visiting Fellow in Constitutional Litigation
Haley Proctor joins the Kinder Institute and MU Law School as a jointly-appointed Visiting Fellow in Constitutional Litigation after having practiced law for seven years at Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, where she specializes in constitutional litigation and will remain of counsel. She previously served as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Thomas B. Griffith on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Her research focuses on civil procedure and constitutional law, and specifically on the rules that allocate and guide decision-making. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2012, and from Yale College, magna cum laude, in 2009.

Anne Twitty

Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Professor of Legal History, atwitty@missouri.edu
Broadly defined, Professor Twitty’s research focuses on questions of nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, with a special emphasis on legal and labor history, slavery and freedom, gender and women’s history, and the history of the South and Midwest. She joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2010 after completing her bachelor’s degree in political science at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her master’s and doctoral degrees in history at Princeton University.

Her first book, Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. It draws upon a remarkable collection of nearly 300 freedom suits filed in the St. Louis circuit court to examine the legal history of slavery and freedom in the American Confluence, a site where portions of present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri meet. In this fluid region, it argues, ordinary people—including masters, slaves, indentured servants, and all those they came into contact with—developed a distinctive legal culture characterized by a sophisticated and widespread knowledge of formal law, the hallmark of which was the landmark United States Supreme Court case Scott v. Sandford. You can listen to Professor Twitty discuss this research on podcasts with New Books Network and the Institute for Justice’s Bound by Oath episode on “John Rock and the Birth of Birthright Citizenship.”

Professor Twitty has also written about the enslaved woman Winny’s quest for freedom against the backdrop of the Missouri Crisis as a contributor to Jeff Pasley and John Craig Hammond’s edited volume, A Fire Bell in the Past, which marks Missouri’s bicentennial. She is currently pursuing a new book project that examines the multiple forms of unfreedom that persisted across the putatively “free North” in the early national and antebellum eras.

She has also been active in efforts to study and contextualize the practice of slavery on college campuses generally and at the University of Mississippi, specifically. She has been a dedicated member of the University of Mississippi Slavery Research Group since its founding. In addition to presenting her own research on student slaveholding wealth, she has represented the UMSRG at national conferences, advised the graduate student researchers it employs, maintained both its website and social media accounts, and helped establish a campus slavery tour program that introduces current students and visitors to the history of slavery and enslaved people on campus. Professor Twitty has likewise worked to help the University of Mississippi confront its racially divisive past. In the Spring of 2016 she was at the forefront of the history department’s efforts to persuade the administration to revise the text on a plaque it had placed in front of the Confederate monument on the University’s campus and co-authored a departmental report detailing the historical context and meaning of the Confederacy and the Confederate monument at the University. She was subsequently appointed to serve on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context, which produced a comprehensive set of recommendations about how the University should contextualize important historical sites on campus in the Summer of 2017.

In the summer of 2020, Professor Twitty discovered the full text of the address that was given by Mississippian Charles Scott at the 1906 unveiling of the Confederate monument on the University of Mississippi’s campus. This speech was reprinted by the Vicksburg Herald on May 11, 1906, and has been transcribed in full. Professor Twitty subsequently wrote about the discovery and its significance for The Atlantic.

In addition to this work related to slavery and its legacy on the University of Mississippi’s campus, Professor Twitty also serves as the Secretary for the American Society for Legal History. Professor Twitty teaches courses on the rise and fall of American slavery, the early national and antebellum eras, gender history, and historical methods.

Thomas Bennett

Kinder Institute Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy, MU Law Associate Professor and Wall Family Fellow, thomas.bennett@missouri.edu
Thomas Bennett is Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy at the Kinder Institute and Associate Professor and Wall Family Fellow at MU’s School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and civil procedure. His research focuses on how complex civil litigation strains the relationship between state and federal courts and impacts the separation of powers. Professor Bennett’s scholarship has appeared or will appear in the NYU Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, and the Minnesota Law Review. Before joining the faculty in 2020, he was a Furman Academic Fellow at NYU School of Law and spent four years in private practice litigating appeals, complex civil cases, and administrative matters. Professor Bennett is also a former law clerk to the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He holds a JD magna cum laude from NYU School of Law and a BA with honors from Swarthmore College.

Rob Fletcher

Kinder Professor of British History, Professor of History, r.fletcher@missouri.edu
Rob Fletcher is Kinder Professor of British History and Professor of History at the University of Missouri. His work explores the history of Britain and its empire in the modern period, and the interplay of national, transnational, and global histories. He grew up in Colchester, England, and read Modern History at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He lived in Tokushima, Japan, before returning to Oxford to complete his doctoral studies. He has previously held positions as the Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Global History at Oxford, Lecturer in Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter, and Reader in the History of Britain and Empire at the University of Warwick.

Professor Fletcher’s research on the history of Britain’s empire is wide-ranging, and has appeared in Past and Present, The English Historical Review, Journal of Historical Geography, and Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. He is the author of British Imperialism and ‘The Tribal Question’: Desert Administration and Nomadic Societies in the Middle East, 1919-1936 (Oxford University Press, 2015), which told the story of what happened when the British empire and Bedouin communities met on the desert frontiers between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. His second book, The Ghost of Namamugi (Amsterdam University Press, 2019) provided an examination of mercantile ambition and imperial power in Shanghai and Yokohama in the mid-nineteenth century.

Professor Fletcher has been the Principal Investigator on a number of research projects supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, including a Science in Culture award on the international campaign against the desert locust in the twentieth century. In conducting his research, he has collaborated with a number of museums and public organisations in the UK, Europe, and Australia. His current book project examines Britain’s historic relationship with the world’s desert environments.

Jennie Ikuta

Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, jcikuta@missouri.edu
Jennie Ikuta is a Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy and Assistant Professor of Political Science. Born in San Diego and raised in Yokohama, Japan, she returned to the United States as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago (2007) and completed her Ph.D. in political theory at Brown University (2014). Before arriving at Mizzou, she taught political theory at the University of Tulsa.

As a political theorist, Ikuta’s research interests center on the role of moral psychology in politics, especially in 19th- and 20th-century political thought. Her first book, Contesting Conformity: Democracy and the Paradox of Political Belonging (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines the thought of Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche in order to investigate the notion of nonconformity and its relationship to modern democracy. Her second book project turns our attention to another dimension of moral psychology—willful ignorance—to examine how it sustains racial injustice in the United States.


Alan Gibson

Kinder Institute Distinguished Faculty Fellow, argc5f@missouri.edu
Alan Gibson is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Chico. His focus is American political thought, especially that of the American founding. Gibson has held fellowships from the International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville, Virginia, the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has published articles in, among other journals, American Political Thought, Polity, History of Political Thought, and The Review of Politics. Gibson is the author of two books on the historiography of the American founding, both published by University Press of Kansas, and he is currently working on a study of the political thought of James Madison, tentatively titled James Madison and the Creation of an Impartial Republic. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame.

Rodolfo Hernandez

Kinder Institute Assistant Teaching Professor of Constitutional Democracy, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, hernandezrk@missouri.edu
Rodolfo (Rudy) Hernandez is a Kinder Institute Assistant Teaching Professor of Constitutional Democracy and Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science. His research focuses on political theory and American political development, and his dissertation considers the political economy of Abraham Lincoln’s thought, especially as it relates to the principle of equality expressed by the Declaration of Independence. Recently his work has appeared in The Political Science Reviewer.  He frequently teaches American Government, American Political Thought, and Race and the American Story. Dr. Hernandez received his Ph.D. in Political Theory from Louisiana State University (2017) and his B.A. from St. John’s College (Annapolis, 1999). He previously taught as a Visiting Instructor at Louisiana Tech University and as a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University, and he served from 2018-20 as a Kinder Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Thought & Constitutionalism. He also has prior government experience, including having been in AmeriCorps, having worked as a tax examiner in the U.S. Treasury Department, and eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve.


Jeffrey L. Pasley

Kinder Institute Chair of Early American History, Professor & Frederick A. Middlebush Chair of History, pasleyj@missouri.edu
Jeffrey L. Pasley is Professor of History and Journalism, Frederick A. Middlebush Chair of History, and the Kinder Institute Chair in of Early American History. A graduate of Carleton College, he was a reporter-researcher for The New Republic and a speechwriter for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign before entering academia. He completed his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University and taught at Florida State University before coming to Missouri in 1999. His teaching and research focus on American political culture between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Professor Pasley is co-editor of Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic (2004) and author of “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic (2001) and The First Presidential Contest: The Election of 1796 and the Beginnings of American Democracy (2013), the latter of which was named a finalist for the prestigious George Washington Book Prize.

Jay Sexton

Kinder Institute Director, Professor of History and Constitutional Democracy, sextonj@missouri.edu
Jay Sexton is the Kinder Institute Director and a Professor of History and Constitutional Democracy. A native of Salina, Kansas and graduate of KU, he returned to the Midwest to the University of Missouri in 2016 after spending the better part of two decades at Oxford University in England. Sexton started in Oxford as a grad student Marshall Scholar and worked his way up to being Director of the Rothermere American Institute and, upon his departure, being elected to the honorary title of Distinguished Fellow.

Sexton specializes in the political and economic history of the nineteenth century. His research situates the United States in its international context, particularly as it related to the dominant global structure of the era, the British Empire. He is the author of Debtor Diplomacy: Finance and American Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era, 1837-1873 (Oxford, 2005; 2nd ed. 2014) and The Monroe Doctrine: Empire and Nation in Nineteenth-Century America (Hill and Wang, 2011). He also has published two major collaborative projects: The Global Lincoln (co-edited with Richard Carwardine, Oxford, 2011) and Empire’s Twin: U.S. Anti-Imperialism from the Founding to the Age of Terrorism (co-edited with Ian Tyrrell, Cornell, 2015). His newest book, A Nation Forged by Crisis: A New American History, was published in October 2018 from Basic Books.

Currently, Sexton is at work on a book that explores how steam infrastructure conditioned the connections and relations between the United States and the wider world in the second half of the nineteenth century. He also is co-editing the second volume of Cambridge University Press’ Cambridge History of America and the World with Prof. Kristin Hoganson of University of Illinois, and the two are additionally working on a collaborative project on “transimperialism”–the crossings and intersections between empires in the nineteenth century.

Sexton enjoys working with enterprising students, undergrad or grad, who set their own intellectual agenda. When he is not reading or talking history, he is cheering for KC sports teams and following British politics.

Carli N. Conklin

Kinder Institute Associate Director, Associate Professor of Law and Constitutional Democracy, conklinc@missouri.edu
Carli N. Conklin is the Kinder Institute Associate Director, Associate Professor at the School of Law, and Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy in the College of Arts & Science.

Professor Conklin’s research interests are in American legal and intellectual history. She completed her B.S. in English and M.A. in Education at Truman State University and studied law and history at the University of Virginia through a joint J.D./M.A. program in American legal history. She was awarded the School of Law’s Madeleine and John Traynor Prize for her Master’s thesis, which explored state court treatment of arbitration in early America. Professor Conklin served as Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the Pre-Law Professional Program at John Brown University before returning to U.Va. to complete her Ph.D. in History. Her dissertation explored the meaning of the pursuit of happiness in historical context.

Professor Conklin’s research has been published by the American Journal of Legal History, the Ohio State University Journal on Dispute Resolution, the University of Missouri Journal of Dispute Resolution, and the Washington University Jurisprudence Review. Her recent book, The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era:  An Intellectual History, was published through the Kinder Institute’s Studies in Constitutional Democracy monograph series with the University of Missouri Press.

Professor Conklin teaches courses in lawyering and dispute resolution at the School of Law and courses on intellectual history at the Kinder Institute. She serves as the Kinder Institute Director of Undergraduate Studies, coordinating, among other things, the Society of Fellows program and the Constitutionalism and Democracy Honors College course series.