William and Mary Law School

Families, Fundamentalism, & the First Amendment

Families, Fundamentalism, & the First Amendment
Friday, November 6, 2009
9 AM to 3:15 PM
This Symposium, sponsored by the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, will bring together scholars with expertise in the First Amendment; family and juvenile law; and law, religion, and culture.  Discussions will address the concept of fundamentalism itself; the varied nature of fundamentalist beliefs in the U.S.; and ways in which fundamentalist communities and families in the U.S. interact with modern American law and society.  
Fundamentalist families compel the state to confront a classic political challenge in which it must balance its commitment to noninterference in private lives against its commitment to securing individuals' entitlements to certain basic liberties, even when threats to those liberties come from within the family itself.  The symposium will thus explore ways in which fundamentalism forces an examination of some of the American polity's core values:  commitments to pluralism, religious liberty, and individual self-determination; repudiation of gender-based oppression; and ensuring the well-being of children and future citizens.
Participants include:  Randall Balmer (Barnard/Columbia), Emily Buss (University of Chicago); Naomi Cahn (George Washington); June Carbone (University of Missouri-Kansas City); James Dwyer (William & Mary); Frederic Gedicks (Brigham Young); Marci Hamilton (Cardozo); Vivian Hamilton (William & Mary); Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern); Catherine Ross (George Washington); John Taylor (West Virginia); William Van Alstyne (William & Mary); and Robin Fretwell Wilson (Washington & Lee).
Papers will be published in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.
Registration is free and all are welcome. For more information, please contact Melody Nichols at IBRL@wm.edu.