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Kluge Center Welcomes New Director Kevin Butterfield

Kevin Butterfield, Director of the John W. Kluge Center

Kevin Butterfield, noted historian of American history and most recently executive director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, has joined the Library of Congress as Director of the John W. Kluge Center.

Butterfield succeeds Brent Yacobucci, who has returned to managing the energy and materials research section at the Congressional Research Service after serving as acting director, as well as previous director John Haskell, who retired in 2021.

Under Butterfield’s leadership, the Washington Library at Mount Vernon provided access and services to extensive materials on George Washington, colonial America, and the revolutionary era to scholars, and hosted research fellowships, public programs, and academic partnerships.

Prior to his work with the Washington Library, Butterfield was a tenured faculty member and director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and the university’s constitutional studies program. Butterfield focuses on the founding era of the United States and is the author of the award-winning 2015 book “The Making of Tocqueville’s America: Law and Association in the Early United States.”

To learn more about Kevin Butterfield, read the press release from the Library of Congress. And stay tuned for more from our blog and email list.

Call for Applications to the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School. The inaugural 2022-2023 Program in Islamic Law Research Fellowship is now open for applications, with a due date of January 31, 2022. This newly offered fellowship is designed to […]

What’s Behind the Idea of a Partisan Judiciary?

On September 30, the John W. Kluge Center, the Brookings Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute, convened the latest panel discussion in the Pillars of Democracy series, this one on the causes of changing attitudes towards the federal judiciary, as well as the ways that the third branch of government can win Americans’ trust back. […]

How Did The Courts Become So Politicized?

Perhaps no institution serves as a better example of changing attitudes towards US institutions than the judiciary, and specifically the Supreme Court. Increasingly, justices are viewed through a lens of partisanship or ideology, and they are seen as interested in achieving the policy goals of their side rather than as disinterested legal thinkers. In the […]

Our Common Purpose: The Complete Collection

In June 2020, the Kluge Center announced Danielle Allen as the winner of the Kluge Prize, launching the Our Common Purpose Campaign for Civic Strength at the Library of Congress. Allen hosted a series of exciting conversations at the Library to explore the nation’s civic life and ways that people from all political beliefs and […]

Why Reforming Electoral Institutions Might Be the Best Way to Change Policymaking

On April 15, the John W. Kluge Center held its second event in the Our Common Purpose Series with Kluge Prize winner Danielle Allen. How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them convened a panel of experts on the ways that electoral decision-making systems can encourage some outcomes over others. They also […]

Our Common Purpose: Second Event Looks at Reforming Electoral Institutions

At any point in time we might look at our political institutions – Congress, the presidency, the courts, elections, etc. – and see them as static, impervious to change in the larger social or cultural environment. In fact, that perception is wrong. Our political institutions evolve just as the larger culture does. As the nation’s […]

Part 2 – Sarah Binder Weighs In: Institutional Hardball – in Congress and the White House – and the legislative road ahead

This is part two of  a guest post by Janna Deitz, Kluge Center Program Specialist in Outreach and Partnerships. Find the first post here. Sarah Binder is the most recent Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. […]

Law, Religion, and Liberty: A Conversation with John Witte, Jr.

Members of the Scholars Council are appointed by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship at the Library, with special attention to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize. The Council includes distinguished scholars, writers, researchers, and scientists. “Insights” is featuring some of the work of this highly-accomplished group of thinkers. […]