America’s founding principles and histories

Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS) will host its annual academic conference on the founding principles and history of America on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The program, “Thomas Jefferson and His Contemporaries: Rival Views of the Founding,” includes three panels with presentations from leading scholars of the American founding. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Peter Onuf, a preeminent scholar and author whose work focuses especially on Jefferson. All events will be held in the David Student Union Ballroom and are free and open to the public. No reservation is required.

Panel Sessions

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.  Student Panel – Ben Coffman, Oliver Thomas, Xenia Kerstanski.

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Thinking with Jefferson: American Constitutional & Political Thought

“Jefferson’s Revolutionary Constitutionalism,” Dr. Jeremy Bailey, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Houston; “Jefferson and Hamilton on Technology and the Constitution,” Dr. Daniel Klinghard, Associate Professor of Political Science, College of the Holy Cross

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.  Living with Jefferson: Free & Enslaved Families at Monticello

“Slavery in Jefferson’s Worlds,” Dr. Christa Dierksheide, Historian, International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello; “White Lies,” Dr. Jan Lewis, Professor of History, Rutgers University; “Interpreting the Lives of Enslaved & Free People at Monticello,” Ms. Susan Stein, Senior Curator & Vice President for Museum Program, Monticello.

3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.  Perspectives on Religion at the Founding

“The Role of Religion in American Public Life,” Dr. Daniel Dreisbach, Professor of Constitutional Law and History, American University; “Jefferson, Adams, and Madison: A Conversation on Religious Liberty,” Dr. John Ragosta, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities)

Keynote Address 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

“Thomas Jefferson and George Washington: Nation-Making & the Problem of Slavery,” Dr. Peter Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Virginia

The Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University is a non-partisan program dedicated to teaching, programming, and scholarship on America’s founding principles and history, economic foundations, and national security. CAS undertakes these tasks in order to promote sensible notions of liberty and civic responsibility. For more information, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Busch (


Information provided by CNU Public Relations