Slavery and the Constitution subject of Auburn University’s Sept. 17 Constitution Day tribute

AUBURN – Auburn University will bring the University of Wisconsin’s Kelly Marie Kennington to campus as the speaker for its annual Constitution Day tribute. Kennington will present the lecture, “We the People? Slavery and the U.S. Constitution,” on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 3:30 p.m. in room 2222 of the student center. Kennington is Law and Society Post-Doctoral Fellow for 2009-10 at the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Institute for Legal Studies.

In her talk, Kennington will examine the key constitutional articles relating to the institution of slavery and the interpretation of these elements by the Supreme Court during the 75 years from the birth of the United States to the American Civil War.

Kennington received a bachelor’s degree in history from Tulane University, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in history from Duke University with a focus on legal history and the study of the American South. Her research has been recognized with several awards, including the Anne Firor Scott Research Award, the Julian Price Endowed Dissertation Research Fellowship and the Bass Instructorship. Kennington is working on her manuscript, “River of Injustice: St. Louis’s Freedom Suits and the Changing Nature of Legal Slavery in Antebellum America.”

Kennington will join Auburn University as an assistant professor of history in August 2010.

The lecture is sponsored by the Auburn University Office of the Provost, the Department of History and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities. The Department of History and the Center for the Arts and Humanities are both located in the College of Liberal Arts.

(Contributed by Vicky Santos.)

Contact: Charles Israel, (334) 844-6768 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (