The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier offers world-class on-site and Web-enabled educational programming. The Center’s goal is to inspire participation in civic dialogue, improve the public’s understanding of the founding principles of the United States, and enable citizens to deepen their understanding of and participation in our democracy.
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Ends on 6/30/2016
In our American democracy, there are no limits to what you can achieve early in your career.
Ends on 11/13/2015
U.S. Citizenship: History, Meaning, and Conflict
November 20–22, 2015
What does it mean to be and to become an American citizen? What combination of political principles, cultural identity, and historical experience does and should constitute U.S. citizenship? This seminar explores the meaning of citizenship and nationhood in different historical contexts, amidst competing constitutional interpretations, and at the center of contemporary policy debates. The seminar begins by examining the debates at the nation’s founding over diversity and homogeneity and asks whether and how the bonds of citizenship can be maintained while remaining open and flexible. The seminar then explores the ways in which immigration and religion have shaped the nature of citizenship and, in turn, been shaped by constitutional interpretation and American history. We conclude by focusing on recent policy debates as lenses through which to assess the meaning of citizenship in a more global and mobile world. The class will be taught in a seminar-style with active discussion based on close readings and supplemented by active learning activities.
Participants will stay in renovated cottages on the grounds of James Madison's Montpelier. The seminar begins at 6:00 on Friday and ends mid-afternoon on Sunday. All meals are included.
The Montpelier Seminars cost approximately $1,500 per teacher; however, thanks to the generosity of private donors, scholarships make these seminars available at a significantly reduced cost to educators. Participants awarded scholarships will pay a $50 nonrefundable registration fee after they are accepted into a seminar. Non-educators will be responsible for a reduced tuition of $699 upon acceptance into the seminar.
There is no fee to apply to attend a seminar. After submitting your application, we will notify you via email of your status. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis. Application acceptance may be limited by geography-specific or other restriction on scholarship funding. If you accept the Center for the Constitution's invitation to attend, you must submit a $50 nonrefundable registration fee within seven days in order to reserve your seat at the seminar. After the Center receives your payment, you will be sent confirmation and additional information including scheduling, directions, and reading material.