Missouri Summer Teachers Academy

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The Missouri Humanities Council and Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri are excited to announce that the second annual Missouri Summer Teachers Academy will be held June 12-15, 2017, in Columbia, MO. The Missouri Summer Teachers Academy provides high school social studies educators from all corners of the state with an opportunity to gain new insight into their primary subject fields by spending three days exploring a theme from American political and constitutional history alongside MU faculty and other scholars from around the region. The 2017 Academy will address the theme of the origins, creation, and legacy of the Bill of Rights through lectures and seminars emphasizing topics ranging from 18th century arguments about the very need for a Bill of Rights to contemporary questions about money, electoral politics, and the First Amendment.

There will be an opening reception for the Academy on the evening of June 12 for all who are able to attend. Each full day of the Academy (June 13-15) will consist of two 75-minute seminars before lunch and an additional seminar after lunch. The afternoon seminar will be followed by a pedagogy breakout session, during which teachers can discuss strategies for incorporating the day’s materials into the high school curriculum and classroom with colleagues in the field of education. On June 13 and 14, programming will conclude with a dinner reception and lecture.

Missouri Humanities and the Kinder Institute provide all attendees with lodging for the duration of the Academy, breakfast and dinner each day, and a small stipend to offset travel costs and other incidental expenses. In addition, teachers can receive up to 20 hours of professional development credit for participating in the Academy.

A full recap of the 2016 Missouri Summer Teachers Academy, which looked at the theme of majority rule and minority rights, can be found here.

Any questions about attending can be directed to Kinder Institute Communications Associate Thomas Kane, KaneTC@missouri.edu.


The inspiration for the theme of this year’s Academy came in part from the Missouri Humanities Council’s participation with the National Archives in providing a traveling exhibit, with accompanying public programming and online educational resource material, to local libraries across the state, in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791.  Spotlighting one of the most remarkable periods in American history, the pop-up exhibit contains simple messages conveying the importance of the Bill of Rights, its history and implementation, and its impact today. More information about the exhibit can be found at www.mohumanities.org, or by contacting Missouri Humanities at 314.781.9660.

As for exploring this theme, we have put together an exciting program of seminars, detailed below, that approach the idea of “Amending America” from a wide array of perspectives, from thinking about the arguments for and against a Bill of Rights, to looking at Prohibition and its repeal, to examining constitutionalism in global perspectives. Readings for each seminar are in the final stages of being aggregated, but those which are currently available can be accessed in the links below.

NOTE: All 9:00, 10:30, and 1:00 seminars listed below will be held in the Kinder Institute seminar room in Jesse Hall (room 410).

Day 1: June 13, 2017


9:00 – 10:15  “Libel and the First Amendment, from English Roots to the American Present,” University of Missouri Enoch H. Crowder Professor of Law Christina Wells

Readings (links in titles): from The First Amendment: Cases and Theory (pp. 5-15), from New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), “Can Trump Change Libel Laws

10:30 – 11:45  “Why Did the Anti-Federalists Want a Bill of Rights,” Sweet Briar College Assistant Professor of Government Nicholas Drummond

Readings (link here): “An Old Whig IV” (27 October 1787), “Brutus II” (1 November 1787), “Agrippa XVI (5 February 1788), “Brutus” (18 October 1787), “Bill of Rights”

As Sweet Briar College Assistant Professor of Government (and former Kinder Postdoc) Nick Drummond noted in opening his June 13 seminar for the 2017 Missouri Summer Teachers Academy, to answer the question that the title of his talk poses, one needs to first look at the broader debates that raged during the Constitutional Convention, as they provide a philosophical backdrop for the particular back-and-forth between Federalists and Anti-Federalists concerning the need for a Bill of Rights. In fact, he added, one might do well to go back even one step further, to Shays’ Rebellion. The pre-Convention rising up of Western Massachusetts farmers against Boston political elites sparked anxiety among certain delegates regarding the levers of power falling into the hands of a majority uninterested in the common good, which in turn led Federalists to believe that an energetic national government might be necessary to quell perilous factionalism. What did the Federalists mean by ‘energetic,’ exactly? A government that would be empowered to interfere with the domestic policies of states. On the other side of the aisle, it was precisely this license for state-level meddling that drove the Anti-Federalists to view the Constitution, as it was presented in 1787, as a pathway to tyranny.

For New York Anti-Federalist judge Robert Yates, who published under the alias of “Brutus,” particularly concerning was the Constitution’s elastic “necessary and proper” clause, which he felt not only gave Congress unlimited power over the states but also opened up a way to abuse this power through coupling it with other clauses contained in the text: the commerce clause, for example, or taxation, spending, or supremacy. Compounding this potential problem, he argued, was Federalists’ practical and philosophical support for a large republic with a strong central government. As he famously hypothesized in “Federalist 10,” Madison believed that the sociocultural diversity inherent to large republics might prove the salvation of the new nation by providing a natural check on the nefarious life of factions. Following Montesquieu’s critique of large republics, Yates countered that a large republic was unsustainable and would inevitably descend into plutocracy and, eventually, tyranny. Why? For one, representation in a large republic would be imperfect, sequestering power in the hands of the few and thus creating a federal government that was ignorant, if not indifferent, to the interests of many pockets of society. Secondly, the difficulty of monitoring an energetic national government at a distance would, he feared, lead to iniquitous professionalism in Washington.

Circling back to where his talk began, Prof. Drummond concluded by showing how this fear of a central government with excessive power and license was the driving force behind Anti-Federalists’ call for a Bill of Rights. For their part, Federalists argued that such an annex to the Constitution wasn’t necessary, since the powers of the national government had been clearly and carefully enumerated and, by virtue of this, were strictly limited. A Bill of Rights, they added, might actually undermine its own purpose by supporting the skewed perspective that the government’s powers were unlimited so long as the Bill of Rights remained unviolated. The Anti-Federalists emphatically rejected this line of argumentation on both a textual and philosophical level. In regard to the former, they pointed out that the Constitution already contained safeguards to prevent certain rights violation (suspension of habeas corpus, subjection to ex post facto laws), a fact that betrayed a collective recognition of the central government’s potential to extend its authority to include powers beyond those that it had been expressly granted. As for the latter, Agrippa, reiterating a central tenet of Anti-Federalist thought, warned that, without a sacred barrier, the rights of a minority would be trampled by a tyrannical majority, given the way in which constitutional ambiguity promoted the kinds of corrosive ambition to which he and his compatriots believed humans were naturally given.

1:00 – 2:15  “Black Founders of the United States,” University of Missouri Associate Professor of Education LaGarrett King

Readings (link here): “More than Slaves: Black Founders, Benjamin Banneker, and Critical Intellectual Agency”

Day 2: June 14, 2017


9:00 – 10:15  “What Is Freedom of the Press,” University of West Florida Associate Professor of Government David Ramsey

Readings (link here): “An Act for Preventing the Frequent Abuses in Printing Seditious, Treasonable, and Unlicensed Books and Pamphlets” (1662), Notes from the Fifth Congress, Sess. 11, Ch. 73, 74 (1798), “Kentucky Resolutions” (10 November 1798), People v. Croswell (1804)

10:30 – 11:45  “How the Bill of Rights Came to Be Applied Against the States,” MU Professor of Political Science and Kinder Institute Director Justin Dyer

Readings (link here): from American Constitutional Law, Ch. 9 “The Bill of Rights, Incorporation, and Capital Punishment”

1:00 – 2:15  “The Primacy of the 10th Amendment in the Jeffersonian Tradition,” Missouri Humanities Council Executive Director Steve Belko

Required Readings (links in titles): “Kentucky Resolution (Draft)” and “Kentucky Resolution” (1798); “Virginia Resolution” (1798) and “Report of the Committee…” (1799-1800)

Recommended Readings: “Speech in Congress on Internal Improvement” (February 1817), “Views of the President on the Subject of Internal Improvements” (4 May 1822), “Maysville Road Veto” (27 May 1830)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

—Amendment X, U.S. Constitution

Picking up on a discussion of the Alien and Sedition Acts from the 9:00 session on June 14, Missouri Humanities Council Executive Director Dr. Steve Belko used the controversial 1798 Acts as a springboard for examining the somewhat chameleonic legacy of the Tenth Amendment in American history and politics. Before entering the 1798 fray, though, Dr. Belko laid out the pre-history of the Amendment, tracing its origins back to the Articles of Confederation and then explaining how, during the ratification debates, Anti-Federalists championed it as an absolutely necessary safeguard against the federal government seizing excessive power over state affairs (or, alternately, as a necessary safeguard for the perpetuity of a confederated, versus a consolidated, republic). As for the Alien and Sedition Acts themselves, both Madison (in the “Virginia Resolution”) and Jefferson (in the “Kentucky Resolution”) invoked the language and spirit of the Tenth in declaring the Acts null on the grounds that the Constitution did not expressly “delegate to the United States” a power to limit free press or suspend due process.

Out of Madison and Jefferson’s rhetoric, “the Principles of ‘98” emerged as a battle cry of sorts for those claiming that the federal government had overstepped its delegated bounds. As Dr. Belko went on to show throughout the remainder of his talk, what is perhaps most interesting about petitions to “the Principles of ‘98” is what he termed their “shifting locus.” On one hand, he noted, we might understand this “shifting locus” in geographical terms. Around the time of the War of 1812, for example, it was New England Federalists, rather than Jeffersonian Virginians, invoking the Tenth Amendment in protest of, among other things, what they perceived as coercive, overreaching national economic policies. As Dr. Belko argued, we also see a trend beginning to form here, with those out of power using the Tenth as a means of obstructing the agendas of those who displaced them.

Continuing to follow the twists and turns of Tenth Amendment history, Dr. Belko then observed how, during the Jacksonian era, the locus expanded to encompass the nation itself and, in doing so, often pitted branches of government against one another. Specifically, he argued that “the Principles of ‘98” evolved into a partisan tool that pro-Jackson states could wield in support of—or to quash opposition to—their federal allies’ stances on contentious issues of the time (the Bank of the United States, internal improvements, etc.). In wrapping up, Dr. Belko noted how things reached a problematic peak in 1832, when Calhoun & Co.—using ‘null’ as a verb, rather than an adjective—unduly “pled the Tenth” in an attempt to free states from otherwise constitutional acts of legislation. What remained constant though, he concluded, was that the Tenth Amendment served as a historically complicated, important, and often self-promoting check on the central government that will continue to gymnastically rise to the surface of American politics so long as sectional and partisan interests remain in play.

Day 3: June 15, 2017


9:00 – 10:15 “We Are Not Children: College Students and Constitutional Rights,” University of Missouri Ph.D. Candidate in History Craig Forrest

Readings (link here): Papish v. University of Missouri Curators (1973)

To kick off the final day of the 2017 Teachers Academy, incoming Kinder Graduate Fellow in Political History Craig Forrest brought participants into the twentieth century with a talk on the history of in loco parentis—the college acting in place of the parent—a constitutional narrative that Mizzou found itself in the thick of in the 1970s. As Forrest noted in introducing the topic, this narrative began far earlier, in the decades after the Civil War. Specifically, in Pratt v. Wheaton College (1866), Stallard v. White (1882), and Gott v. Berea College (1913), the Supreme Court, siding with the defendant in each case, set a precedent of upholding the constitutionality of colleges’ in loco parentis right not only to regulate (or ban) anything from fraternity membership to off-campus dining but also to punish offenders at their own discretion. What emerged from this precedent seems almost unimaginable by modern standards: campus rules that censored speech, prevented political activism, and imposed curfews on students (and, moreover, that suspended any notion of due process in litigating infractions). When it came to the University of Missouri, the central actor in the tale of the rise and fall of in loco parentis was former Dean of Students “Blackjack” Matthews, who, from 1950-1970, handed out punishments ranging from expulsion to rescinding completed credit hours for “crimes” as grave as tardiness and speeding tickets.

At Mizzou (and elsewhere), push back against this system started small, with juvenile transgressions such as the May 1950 publication of a “sex issue” of ShowMe, a student-run, university-sanctioned magazine. The Cold War era, however, brought with it greater student vigilance. Forrest explained how, as mass culture became more pervasive and accessible during the late 1950s, students increasingly confronted a stark contradiction between the idealized, sitcom vision of the United States and the reality they were seeing on the news of a nation in which violent injustices had long festered and were being addressed on a collective, organized level. As a result, and in defiance of the rules in place, political activism spiked at colleges across the nation, with students becoming both vocally and actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement’s push for equality in particular. From this participation in national politics, a revolt against campus politics spun off. At MU, the student rights movement began with planned protests against dress codes, and quickly grew to engage with more recognizably constitutional issues. As Forrest noted in bringing his talk to a close, building on precedents set in Dixon v. Alabama (1961) and Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), 1972’s Papish v. University of Missouri Board of Curators, which secured college students’ First Amendment right to free speech on campus, effectively nailed the coffin shut on in loco parentis, before the ratification of the 26th Amendment put one more nail in, just in case.

10:30 – 11:45  “President for Life: Simón Bolivar’s Constitutional Vision,” MU Associate Professor of History Robert Smale

Readings (links in titles): from Latin America since Independence, Ch. 2 “The Independence of Latin America,” “Project of Constitution of the Republick of Bolivia

1:00 – 2:15  “Prohibition Blues: New Approaches to America’s Dry Years,” Wilmington College Assistant Professor of History Keith Orejel

Readings (link in title): “Drunk with Power: What was Prohibition really about?

In addition to the daily seminars, there will be pedagogy breakout sessions held each day from 2:30 – 4PM, and programming on June 13 and 14 will conclude with a dinner lecture at the Broadway Hotel.