Constitution DayGAMBIER, Ohio (September 22, 2011)
Kenyon marks Constitution Day with a lecture on political corruption by Lawrence Lessig, author, political activist, and professor of law at Harvard University.
Lessig will address "Political Corruption and the American Constitution" on Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m., in Brandi Hall. His lecture will focus on the culture of corruption in the U.S. Congress and draw upon his latest book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress-and a Plan to Stop It.
"If you are frustrated with American electoral politics, and wonder if the Constitution might offer a way to improve things, this is the talk for you," said Lewis Hyde, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon.
Lessig will arrive at Kenyon several days after co-chairing the Conference on the Constitutional Convention at Harvard. The conference was organized to consider the wisdom and feasibility of organizing a convention to make changes in the Constitution.
Lessig is the director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard and is a founder of Creative Commons, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding legal-use rights of creative works. Lessig has been a leader in copyright debates and helped create Creative Commons to allow owners of creative works to publish under more liberal terms than those offered by the standard copyright.
"His experience with the copyright wars convinced him that Congress is hopelessly broken, unable to move forward on even the most obviously sensible matters of public policy," Hyde said. "In Lessig's view, the root cause lies in the way we finance elections." Hyde is the author of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, an inquiry into the situation of creative artists in a commercial society.
Constitution Day is observed at U.S. colleges to mark the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Lessig's lecture is sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Democracy.