One Decade, Four Amendments, and the Transformation of America | Newberry

One Decade, Four Amendments, and the Transformation of America

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

3 to 4 pm

Cathleen D. Cahill, Lisa McGirr, and Wendy Schiller
Open to the Public
Exhibitions

This program will be held virtually on Zoom. Please register for free in advance here.

For more virtual learning and research opportunities from the Newberry, please visit: https://www.newberry.org/explore-at-a-distance

Between 1913 and 1920, Americans dealt with economic and racial unrest at home, on top of a world war and a global pandemic. During that same period, the United States ratified four amendments to its Constitution, ushering in the federal income tax, mandating the direct election of US senators, prohibiting alcohol manufacturing and sales, and enfranchising women.

In this virtual conversation, a panel of experts from across the country will discuss how these four amendments radically transformed American politics, culture, and everyday life and set the stage for the 1920 presidential election.

Partial list of speakers:

Cathleen D. Cahill is a social historian who explores the everyday experiences of ordinary people, primarily women. She is the author of Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869–1932 (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which won the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award and was a finalist for the David J. Weber and Bill Clements Book Prize. She is currently engaged in two book projects. Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement (forthcoming this fall) follows the lead of feminist scholars of color calling for alternative “genealogies of feminism.” It provides a collective biography of six suffragists both before and after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Her next project, Indians on the Road: Gender, Race, and Regional Identity, reimagines the West Coast through the lens of Indigenous peoples’ relationships with the transportation systems that bisected their lands, forming corridors of conquest and environmental change while simultaneously connecting them in new and sometimes empowering ways to other people and places.

Lisa McGirr specializes in the history of the 20th-century United States. Her research and teaching interests bridge the fields of social and political history and focus, in particular, on collective action, state building, reform movements, and politics. She has researched the American penal state, transnational social movements, and the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. Her most recent book, The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State (W.W. Norton, 2016), has won wide acclaim for excavating the significant but neglected state-building legacies of national prohibition. Her award winning first book, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, investigates the social and regional basis of grass-roots conservative politics in the post-World War II United States. She teaches a wide variety of courses on the history of the United States in the 20th century.

Wendy Schiller is Professor of Political Science, Professor of International and Public Affairs, and Chair of Political Science at Brown University. She completed her undergraduate work in political science at the University of Chicago, served on the staffs of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo, and then earned her PhD from the University of Rochester. Schiller has been a contributor to MSNBC, NPR, CNN.com, and Bloomberg News. She provides local political commentary to the Providence Journal, WPRO radio, and RIPBS A Lively Experiment, and is the political analyst for WJAR10, the local NBC affiliate in Providence. Among books she has authored or co-authored are Electing the Senate: Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment (Princeton University Press), Gateways to Democracy: An Introduction to American Government (Cengage), The Contemporary Congress (Thomson-Wadsworth), and Partners and Rivals: Representation in U.S. Senate Delegations (Princeton University Press). She has also published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Studies in American Political Development, and the Journal of Politics.

This program is co-sponsored by the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago.

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Cost and Registration Information 

This virtual program is free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.