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From the Director’s Desk

The Kluge Center was the focus of national attention in mid-June when the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced the winner of the Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. Drew Gilpin Faust, historian and outgoing president of Harvard University, embodies the combination of renowned scholarship and public impact that defines the Prize. Leading up to the September 12 event at the Library when Dr. Faust will receive the award, the Library will be publicizing both Faust’s accomplishments and the Kluge Center in multiple media formats.

June Events
June also saw the convening of the Library’s and Kluge Center’s Scholars Council, a distinguished group from a range of disciplines that provides advice and recommendations on Kluge Chair nominations and Kluge programming. In conjunction with the meeting, one of the Council members develops a public program. This year Mark Noll, professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, brought together four scholars to discuss The Bible in American Life (see photo to the right). The event featuring Noll, Lincoln Mullen (George Mason University), Valerie Cooper (Duke Divinity School), and Paul Gutjahr (Indiana University) drew 130 people to hear and watch as well as engage in a lively question and answer session.

On June 13, Kluge’s Chair in American Law and Governance Seth Masket met in an off-the-record breakfast with Members of Congress to discuss the relevance of the institutional political parties and the parties’ future.

The second of the Center’s Dinner and Democracy events for congressional staff was held on June 28. These events engage high level congressional staff in a seminar setting to grapple with key points when Congress made decisions affecting the balance of power among the branches of government. This event, “Congressional Control of the Bureaucracy,” was a presentation and discussion of the enactment of the Administrative Procedures Act in 1946, which was Congress’s effort to make rational the regulatory process. Frances Lee (University of Maryland) and Eric Schickler (University of California at Berkeley) ran the seminar, which was attended by 75 staff. These events are funded with the support of Democracy Fund.

On August 8 the Center will hold the third in the 2018 Dinner and Democracy series, with a look at contemporary issues in the congressional budget process through the lens of the Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974.

Looking Ahead
Recent Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History Sally Gordon (University of Pennsylvania Law School) will present When Congress Taxed Churches: Religion and Politics in DC after the Civil War on July 10 at 4pm in Jefferson 119. A reception will follow.

On July 18, the Center will be hosting Tom Nichols, US Naval War College professor and author of The Death of Expertise, to discuss with Members of Congress The Death of Expertise and What to Do about It.

The fourth annual Inouye Lecture will be held in Coolidge Auditorium at 6:30pm July 19. Ann Compton returns to moderate a discussion, this year with E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Ross Douthat of the New York Times. The topic will be Restoring the American Dream. We encourage you to make plans to attend.

Keep an eye out for subsequent posts this month on new scholars at the Kluge Center. We are also completing the competition for the Library Staff Fellowship. See you next month.

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