Sex and the Constitution (Morning Session)
The Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women's History
Sun, March 4th, 2018 |
9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Note: This event is sold out. Standby tickets are available. 
Watch the event on Facebook Live.



The Center for Women’s History  is pleased to present the third annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History, a cornerstone of the Center’s series of public and scholarly programs. This year through a keynote address and panel discussions, leading scholars of history and law explore the ways in which the U.S. Constitution has defined, protected, and regulated the rights and freedoms of sexuality, marriage, and reproduction throughout our nation’s history.

Speakers look at key Supreme Court cases, as well as the political, social, and cultural contexts in which they were decided. They also consider how American women have worked to guarantee and expand these rights and freedoms, both inside and outside of the courtroom, and what the future of law and organizing holds.


Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, New-York Historical Society
Valerie Paley, Vice President, Chief Historian, Director of the Center for Women’s History, New-York Historical Society.

Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago,  author of Sex and the Constitution, 2017


10:15 AM 
Governing Bodies: Sex in the Constitution: 
As Geoffrey Stone writes in Sex and the Constitution (2017), the founding document itself says nothing about sexual behavior or orientation. How, then, have jurists interpreted the U.S. Constitution to shape the legal landscape of rights, protections, and regulations that govern sex in the United States?
Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, New York Law School; Former President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008)
Moderator: Robert C. Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

11:15 AM BREAK

11:30 AM
Changing Precedents: 
The Law and Sex throughout History: Constitutional law governing sex has evolved considerably since the American founding. Panelists will discuss how women and men have organized throughout history to define and guarantee new rights and freedoms under the Constitution, inside and outside the courtroom.
Nancy Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University
Estelle Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University
Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers University
Moderator: Reva Siegel, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law School



he Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


This program has reached capacity. There will be a standby line before each session of the conference. Individuals are welcome to line up ten minutes before the session is set to begin. At this point we will begin to ascertain if additional seating is available. Shortly before the program begins, we will allow people from the standby line into the Auditorium if we are able to do so. Standby does not guarantee admission.

Advance purchase is required to guarantee participation. All sales are final; refunds and exchanges not permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers.

Major funding for the programs of the Center for Women’s History has been provided by Joyce B. Cowin, Diane and Adam E. Max, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jean Margo Reid, The Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, Eric J. & Daria L. Wallach, Diana and Joseph DiMenna, Deutsche Bank, Claudine and Fred Bacher, James Basker and Angela Vallot, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Hogan Lovells, and The Caroline M. Lowndes Foundation.

Image: American Field Service Recruiting Poster, 1917, by Charles Dana Gibson. New-York Historical Society, 92992d. 

Creative: Tronvig Group