From Civil War to Civil Rights: The Unending Battle to Vote
Radcliffe Day 2014 panel discussion in celebration of the work and life of Drew Gilpin Faust

Friday, May 30, 2014
10:30 a.m.–Noon
Locations: Knafel Center and Agassiz Theater, Radcliffe Yard

Ever since the ratification of the 15th amendment in 1870, the United States has grappled with the ideal of universal suffrage. Recent obstacles include the Supreme Court decision invalidating key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, passage of voter-ID laws, and proposals for redistricting. This panel will explore why and how the world’s greatest democracy has long struggled over which of its citizens can vote.

Panelists' Biographies

Daniel Carpenter RI ’08

Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, Director of the Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University, and Director of the Social Sciences Program, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (MODERATOR)

Carpenter mixes theoretical, historical, statistical, and mathematical analyses to examine the development of political institutions, particularly in the United States. He has written two award-winning books on public bureaucracies and governmental regulation, The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862–1928 and Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA. Carpenter recently launched a project on petitioning in North American political development. As a Radcliffe fellow in 2008, he examined American antislavery petitions in political and historical context. He earned his BA at Georgetown and his PhD at the University of Chicago.

Lani Guinier ’71

Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Guinier addresses issues of race, gender, and democratic decision making in her scholarly writing and op-ed pieces. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Guinier worked in the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice. She also headed the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Tyranny of the Meritocracy: How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race, and Higher Education Became a Gift from the Poor to the Rich, due this year. Guinier earned her JD at Yale Law School.

Darlene Clark Hine RI ’04

Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History, Northwestern University

Hine is a historian of the African American experience who helped found the field of black women’s history. Her numerous publications include Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the White Primary in Texas and Black Women in White: Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890–1954. As a Radcliffe fellow in 2004, she examined the history of the black professional class during the Jim Crow era, exploring class formation and the impact of constructions of gender and race on social movements. Hine earned her BA at Roosevelt University and her MA and PhD at Kent State University.

Tony Horwitz RI ’06


Horwitz, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, worked as a newspaper reporter in Indiana and Australia and, later, as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. He also wrote for the New Yorker before turning to full-time writing. His books include the New York Times best sellers Confederates in the Attic, Blue Latitudes, Baghdad Without a Map, and Midnight Rising. His latest book, BOOM, examines the Keystone XL pipeline. As a Radcliffe fellow in 2006, Horwitz completed A Voyage Long and Strange. Horwitz earned his BA at Brown and his MS in journalism at Columbia University.


Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and History, Duke University

Korstad works on 20th century US history, labor history, African American history, and contemporary social policy. He is the codirector of "Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South,” a documentary research project at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. Korstad is the author Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South and the coauthor, with Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, of Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. He earned his B.A. and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Recommended Resources

Related to Shelby V. Holder Decision (Response/Reactions)

Holder v. Roberts: The Attorney General Makes Voting Rights the Test Case of His Tenure

John Lewis and Others React to the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act Ruling

Opinion of the Court in Shelby County v Holder: The Voting Rights Act’s Preclearance Formula Is Unconstitutional

Proof the Voting Rights Act Has Helped Boost Black Political Representation

So the Voting Rights Act Is Gutted What Can Protect Minority Voters Now?

What Does the Court’s Decision Mean?

Voter ID Laws and/or Redistricting

“A Misguided Federal Court Ruling Opens the Door to More Anti-Voting Laws

Party Predictions Differ in Texas on Impact of New Voter ID Law

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down as Judge Cites Burden on Citizens

Voter ID Gets Another Day in Court

Texas Redistricting Fights Shows Why Voting Rights Act Still Needed

Voting Rights Advocates Try to Put Oversight Back on the Map

Was the Supreme Court Ruling a Setback for Voting Rights?

Voter Rights Activism/Legislation

Budding Liberal Protest Movements Begin to Take Root in South” by Herbert Buschsbaum

Eric Holder’s Civil Rights Resurgence

If Congress Won’t Act, the Nonprofit Community Can

Members of Congress Introduce a New Fix for the Voting Rights Act

Obama, Citing New Laws, Says the G.O.P. Is Moving to Restrict Voting Rights

50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

50 Years Later, Obama Salutes Effects of Civil Rights Act” by Peter Baker

On Civil Rights Act Anniversary, Bill Clinton Challenges Lawmakers to Be Bold” by Amy Chozick