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CCU professor to deliver address at 10th annual Constitution Day

September 10, 2013

Coastal Carolina University will host its 10th annual Constitution Day celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, room 256. The public is invited to this free event.

Paul Peterson, professor of politics and geography at CCU, will give a lecture titled “Charles Beard and the Constitution: A Wild Tale of Academic Malfeasance and Its Consequences.” This annual lecture by Peterson celebrates Constitution Day, a federal holiday that recognizes both the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who are or have become U.S. citizens.

An American historian and educator, Beard looked at American history through the lens of economic interest in relation to politics. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his controversial book, “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.”

Beard argues that the U.S. Constitution reflects the financial self-interest of its economic elite authors, the Founding Fathers. This class-conflict interpretation of the Constitution has provoked generations of scholarly debate over the motives of the framers of the Constitution and the philosophical underpinnings of the document itself.

John Navin, associate professor of history at CCU, will respond to Peterson’s remarks.

Navin specializes in the colonial and national periods of American history. A faculty member since 1999, he has served as associate dean of Edwards College, as well as faculty adviser to CCU's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society.

Peterson joined the University faculty in 1982 and has taught courses in American government and political philosophy. During the last three decades his writing has focused on the principles of the American founding. He has served on the South Carolina Humanities Council, as president of the South Carolina Political Science Association and was formerly on the board of directors of the Center for the Study of the Constitution. He also served on the Horry County Board of Education for 12 years (2001-2012).

For more information, contact Peterson at 843-349-2627.