Campus to mark Constitution Day with free talk on ‘Freedom’s Futures’

The UC Berkeley campus will celebrate Constitution Day 2013 with a free lecture on America’s current concepts of freedom as shaped by the legacy of amendments to the Constitution during Reconstruction after the Civil War.

“In honor of Constitution Day, whatever your background, affiliations, or political views, I invite you to reflect on the values that are the foundation of our great university: academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the unimpeded, reasoned and civil exchange of a full spectrum of viewpoints on every issue,” Chancellor Nicholas Dirks wrote in a CalMessage to the campus.

Constitution Day, celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 17, marks the signing of the nation’s founding document. Federal law requires all schools that receive federal funding to hold educational programs in observance of this anniversary each year.

This year’s lecture will take place Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Free Speech Movement Café at Moffitt Library. Keith Feldman, a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, will focus on living in a political present that is shaped by the contested legacy of the Reconstruction amendments that abolished slavery, defined personhood and due process and granted voting rights.

More information about Feldman’s lecture, “Freedom’s Futures: Contested Legacies of the Reconstruction Amendments,” is available on the FSM Educational Program Series website. The lecture is free and open to the public.

More information about Constitution Day is available on the University of California Constitution Day website.