RSVP Now: The Meaning of the US Constitution: Evidence from Early Translations

Tuesday, February 23, 2016  |  12:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Classroom 214, Furman Hall
245 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012

Please join us as Christina Mulligan (Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School) and Michael Douma (Director, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business) discuss their forthcoming article in Constitutional Commentary, “Founding-Era Translations of the Constitution” in this lunchtime panel.  Early translations were made for an American audience prior to the ratification of the Constitution. The translators, however, demonstrate divergent interpretations of key clauses. This brings up a host of issues for political theorists, historians, and legal scholars.

Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP by clicking here or copying and pasting this link into your browser:

Paper Abstract:

Before its ratification, the United States Constitution was translated into German and Dutch for the German- and Dutch-speaking populations of Pennsylvania and New York. Although copies of both the German- and Dutch- language translations have been preserved, they have largely escaped analysis – and public awareness – until now. For the first time, this Article examines the text of the founding-era translations of the federal constitution and explains how the translations can clarify the meaning of the original text.