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Crocker Memorial Lecture

Flyer-Haiti-Lecture-2016

Prof. Jeff Decker publishes The Other Rights Revolution: Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government

Oxford University Press Feature

In 1973, a group of California lawyers formed a non-profit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to defending conservative principles in court. Calling themselves the Pacific Legal Foundation, they declared war on the U.S. regulatory state--the sets of rules, legal precedents, and bureaucratic processes that govern the way Americans do business. Believing that the growing size and complexity of government regulations threatened U.S. economy and infringed on property rights, Pacific Legal Foundation began to file a series of lawsuits challenging the government's power to plan the use of private land or protect environmental qualities. By the end of the decade, they had been joined in this effort by spin-off legal foundations across the country.

The Other Rights Revolution explains how a little-known collection of lawyers and politicians--with some help from angry property owners and bulldozer-driving Sagebrush Rebels--tried to bring liberal government to heel in the final decades of the twentieth century. Decker demonstrates how legal and constitutional battles over property rights, preservation, and the environment helped to shape the political ideas and policy agendas of modern conservatism. By uncovering the history--including the regionally distinctive experiences of the American West--behind the conservative mobilization in the courts, Decker offers a new interpretation of the Reagan-era right.

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12 Bars Can't Hold Me: Incarceration and Commercial Blues Recordings of the 1920s and 1930s

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Seabrook Farms Exhibition

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"Shaking It in the Morning": Contestation and Congregation in Harlem during the New Negro Era

shannonking photo1 During Prohibition era New York, slumming whites flooded Harlem nightspots, where they lived out their desire for the exotic and the "uninhibited" souls of black folk. Exploring intraracial contestation over Harlem's geography of vice and leisure, this lecture explores how black Harlemites responded to this "white invasion" and how their responses constitute an aspects of New Negro politics. In the midst of this sea of whiteness, many black people suddenly found themselves to be treated as strangers within their own neighborhoods. Black Harlemites were pushed out, priced out, and even excluded from speakeasies and nightclubs in their own neighborhood. As Harlemites refashioned residential places for pay, play, and pleasure, seeking cultural authenticity and autonomy, others policed private space to recreate as sites of respectability and safety. By foregrounding intraracial conflict and cooperation, I endeavor to not only decenter Harlem as a site of interracial comity but also locate intraracial gender and labor conflict in public and private space as a way to think about how black folks understood the "political" in Harlem during the New Negro Era.

Guest Speaker: Shannon King, Associate Professor of History, College of Wooster

Date: Feb. 25, 2016
Time: 2:15-3:35PM
Location: Ruth Dill Crockett Johnson (RDCJ) conference room, 162 Ryders Lane, 1st floor
Open to the Public

An Evening of Gospel Choirs

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Don McPherson "You Throw Like A Girl"

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Amy Offner: "The American Dream Comes Home"

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Please join the Rutgers-New Brunswick Department of American Studies for a discussion of "The American Dream Comes Home" with AMY OFFNER (Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania). Professor Offner will discuss the career of "aided self-help housing"--that is, government policies designed to help lower-income people become homeowners--during and after the War on Poverty. A major component of the Puerto Rican New Deal, aided self-help proliferated in Latin America before coming to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Offner shows how policy ideas moved back and forth between the United States and the developing world during the post-World War II era, and complicates some of the categories (such as "mixed economy" and "neoliberalism") we use to talk about social and economic reform. Response by JEFF DECKER (Rutgers University-New Brunswick).

Please email Sarah Schroeder (sarah.schroeder@rutgers.edu) to RSVP and receive a copy of the paper.

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