By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City, OK – The 2018 Quinlan Lecture will be delivered by Mary Bilder, Founders Professor of Law at Boston College Law School at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, 800 N. Harvey, on Thursday, April 5. The free lecture, titled “James Madison and Constitutional Compromise” will be held in McLaughlin Hall from 5 – 6 p.m.
According to Bilder, the framing of the Constitution involved three compromises: federalism; slavery; and rights, in which James Madison played a critical role in creating each of these concessions.. She will discuss whether these compromises were good, bad, or inevitable.
Bilder’s most recent book, “Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention” was awarded the 2016 Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy, the James Bradford Biography Prize and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. The publication explores the revisions that Madison made towards the notes on the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and how the revisions served to his own interests.
Many believe that a work of this scope would have taken months, even years, to gain an understanding of Madison as a human, in addition to delving into his thoughts and personal beliefs. Bilder discovered during her studies that Madison revised the notes, after leaving them incomplete for several years, to a much greater degree than historians knew previous to this publication.
“As I began to investigate the notes and read them, I realized there were a lot of mysteries,” Bilder said. “Things weren’t quite how I had expected them to be. And as I spent a lot of time with the notes and a really wonderful access at the Library of Congress, it became evident that this most important document wasn’t really what we thought it was.”
In addition to her own writing and research projects, Professor Bilder teaches classes at the Boston College Law School, which include property, trusts and estates, and American legal and constitutional history.
She has written several articles as well as another book entitled, The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire, which was honored with the Littleton-Griswold Award from the American Historical Association.
The Quinlan Lecture is named for long-time Oklahoma City University law professor Wayne Quinlan. Professor Quinlan taught at Oklahoma City University from 1952 until his death in 1981. He served as a Special Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1966 and 1967. His love of constitutional law and American history inspired the OCU faculty to name this annual lecture in his honor.
Previous Quinlan lecturers include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor and senior advisor for constitutional law for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
Oklahoma City University School of Law is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It serves a diverse student body of approximately 400. OCU School of Law’s nearly 6,000 alumni practice in every state and several foreign countries.
For more information, call 405-208-7101 or visit law.okcu.edu.