Marshall to host guest lecturers speaking on workplace rights and political populism

Updated 5 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s Amicus Curiae Lecture Series will offer two lectures in April, featuring Dr. Sophia Z. Lee of the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, April 5, and Dr. Jan-Werner Mueller of Princeton University on Monday, April 16. Both lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Erickson Alumni Center’s Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.


“We are so fortunate to have scholars of the caliber of Dr. Lee and Dr. Mueller in the Lecture Series,” said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, which sponsors the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series. “Both of them are lecturing on fascinating and very timely topics and I anticipate two excellent lectures.”


Lee will discuss her book, The Workplace Constitution: From the New Deal to the New Right, and the reason most workers do not have constitutional rights in the workplace, explaining how both civil rights advocates and right-to-work advocates have invoked the Constitution to argue for outcomes they wanted to achieve. According to Lee, their story sheds light on the civil rights, labor and conservative movements in the mid-20th century, and moves constitutional history into rarely explored venues such as administrative agencies.  Lee is a professor of law and history as well as deputy dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Mueller’s lecture is titled “After Populism” and is based on his 2016 book What Is Populism? which has been translated into more than 20 languages and read all over the world.


In his lecture, he will explore how to understand populism and what structural changes in modern democracies might facilitate its emergence. He questions whether the popularity of calling varying phenomena — such as both Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaigns — “populist” might be a failure of political judgment. He will also focus on the impact of populism on constitutionalism and legal systems and consider how politicians and citizens should deal with the challenges of populism. Mueller is a professor of politics at Princeton University, where he also directs the Project in the History of Political Thought.


The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series is sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy at Marshall University and supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council. 


For more information, contact Patricia Proctor by e-mail at or by phone at 304-696-2801.