Call for Applications | Institute for Constitutional History: The Presidency and the Constitution

Scholars have renewed their focus on threats to democracy and, specifically, the ways the American presidency holds the potential to undo many of the legal norms fundamental to self-government. In this series of seminars, professors Corey Brettschneider and Kate Shaw lead an inquiry into four past case studies—including the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Tenure of Office Act and Andrew Johnson’s presidency, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s interactions with the Federal Communications Commission and use of radio to directly message the American people, and the constitutional vulnerabilities to a criminally-minded president through the lens of the Richard Nixon presidency—with an aim towards thinking about the systemic vulnerability of the American Constitution generally, and the executive branch specifically, to democratic decay and collapse.


The seminar will be presented in person at the New-York Historical Society on the following dates:

  • Friday, May 3, 2024 | 2–5 pm ET

  • Friday, May 10, 2024 | 2–5 pm ET

  • Friday, May 31, 2024 | 2–5 pm ET

  • Friday, June 14, 2024 | 2–5 pm ET



To apply, please submit the following material to by March 29, 2024:

  • Your C.V. 

  • A short statement on how this seminar will be useful to you in your research, teaching, or professional development.

For further information, please email Andrew Fletcher at