2012 Princeton University Constitution Day Lecture

Sep 13, 2012, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall
  • Program in American Studies
  • Office of the Provost
  • Center for African American Studies
  • Program in Law and Public Affairs
  • James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions
Event Description


Imani Perry is a professor in the Center for African American Studies and a faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in American civilization from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Yale College. She is the author of: More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (NYU Press, 2011) and Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke University Press, 2004) and numerous scholarly articles in the fields of law, lLiterature and cultural studies. Her non-academic writing includes book reviews and short articles for a number of publications including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the President's Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former judicial fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. His recent honors include the United States Presidential Citizens Medal and the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland. He gave the 2007 John Dewey Lecture in Philosophy of Law at Harvard and the 2008 Guido Calabresi Lecture in Law and Religion at Yale. In 2012 he was nominated to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he earned a doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University, and holds honorary doctorates of law, letters, science, ethics, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. He is Founder of the American Principles Project, an organization dedicated to shaping public policy in line with the United States’ founding principles.

Nell Painter is the painter formerly known as Nell Irvin Painter, the author of several scholarly books, including Creating Black Americans (2006) and The History of White People (2010). As a member of the Princeton history department, she taught the history of the United States South, the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century, and cultural studies for historians, and headed the Program in African American Studies 1997-2000. She earned a BFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers in 2009 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, both in painting, and recently concluded an artist’s residency at Aferro Gallery in Newark. Though the recipient of several honorary degrees, her most famous turn came on The Colbert Report, when she arm wrestled Stephen Colbert.