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From the Director’s Desk

As anticipated in last month’s blog, the Kluge Center held numerous events in May, including a conversation with Anne Applebaum, author and Washington Post columnist, on disinformation and the threat to democracy. Over 130 people were in attendance. Seth Masket, Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, also drew a large crowd discussing the future of American political parties with Jennifer Victor of George Mason University and Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (see picture to the right).

Kluge Fellow Davide Ceriani gave a multi-media presentation on the impact of opera on the development of Italian-American identity, which was a featured event during the EU Month of Culture.

The Kluge Prize
The 2018 Kluge Prize winner (the last award was given in 2015) will be announced by the Librarian of Congress next Tuesday, June 12. My blog from earlier this week covered the intellectual roots of the Prize and the Center; look out for a blog from Dan Turello later this week on how the Kluge Prize fits into a constellation of prizes that are awarded by other organizations.

Congress and Kluge
Kluge held its first-of-the-year Dinner and Democracy event for high level congressional staff on May 10. These are an effort to bring together staff of both parties to grapple with major turning points in the relationship between the branches of government as reflected in landmark acts of Congress. These events, supported by the Democracy Fund this year, have drawn larger and larger crowds and reflect a desire on the part of congressional staff to understand their institution at a more sophisticated level.

The next event on June 28 will feature a seminar led by Frances Lee of the University of Maryland and Eric Schickler of the University of California-Berkeley on the passage of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in 1946. The APA was Congress’s attempt to put in place a rulemaking process that executive branch agencies were required to follow as the government’s size had increased as a result of the New Deal and World War II.

Kluge is also bringing Seth Masket to Congress – this time to Members themselves in an off-the-record conversation – on June 13. He will discuss the state of the party system in the U.S. in view of the dramatic challenges to once relatively stable party systems in some European countries.

Upcoming Events
We encourage you to consider attending The Bible in American History, on June 7 at 3pm in Jefferson 119. One of the Library’s scholarly advisors, the eminent historian Mark Noll, brings together three eminent scholars to discuss the Bible’s impact on U.S. history and culture, in areas ranging from Tom Paine and the founding fathers to the way African Americans developed a language of rights in the 19th century.

Looking ahead, the Kluge Center is hosting, together with the Daniel K. Inouye Institute, the fourth in a series of annual lectures on July 19 in Coolidge Auditorium. This year’s event features a discussion between E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Ross Douthat of the New York Times, moderated by former ABC news correspondent Ann Compton, on Restoring the American Dream.

 

As we approach summer, we have a new group of fellows arriving this month and are preparing for a “full house” of chairs in the fall. We will post more on the incoming fellows and chairs in subsequent blogs.

Last, give the Kluge Center a look on the web next week. Timed with the announcement of the Kluge Prize winner, we will be featuring a newly-designed website. In the meantime, we hope to see you at our upcoming events.

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