Q & A Panel Part 1 (Video)



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  • [Music]
  • So I want to welcome everyone
  • to the second annual Faculty
  • Author Spotlight.
  • Thank you all so much
  • for joining us today.
  • My name's Melissa
  • Chomintra, I'm the Scholarly Engagement
  • Librarian for the social sciences
  • and geospatial data at Howard
  • Tilton Memorial Library,
  • and I'm super excited
  • to moderate our first of three live chats
  • of this virtual series.
  • We will have another
  • tomorrow and Wednesday with
  • two other groups of faculty
  • authors that will share
  • their work with us.
  • And today, we've got a really great
  • bunch of faculty authors.
  • I'm sure you have been
  • enjoying our candid chat so far.
  • It's been really nice to sort of
  • just chat off the cuff with all of you
  • and sort of shake some of the
  • semester stress away.
  • So today we have with us
  • Ronna Burger, Professor of Philosophy,
  • who will be sharing their book
  • with us, Nature, Law
  • and the Sacred Essays In Honor,
  • actually, this is really special
  • because this was written
  • in honor of Ronna.
  • So that's something that I haven't
  • heard of before.
  • So I'm excited to hear more
  • about how this happens.
  • I know it's something
  • that's kind of specific to philosophy,
  • from what I understand.
  • We also have Dr.
  • Dennis Kehoe, Professor
  • of Classical Studies.
  • They'll be sharing with us
  • their book titled
  • Roman Law and Economics, Vol.
  • 1: Institutions and Organization.
  • We also have Dr.
  • Kris Lane, Professor of History
  • with their work, Potosí,
  • if I'm saying that
  • correctly, The Silver City
  • That Changed the World.
  • Dr.
  • Nancy Maveety, Professor
  • of Political Science
  • with Glass and Gavel: The U.S.
  • Supreme Court and Alcohol,
  • which I'm also excited
  • to hear more about.
  • Dr. Adam McKeown, Professor of Medieval
  • and Early Modern Studies
  • with their work Fortifications
  • and Its Discontents
  • from Shakespeare to Milton: Trouble
  • in the Walled City. And
  • lastly, Dr. Esra Özcan,
  • Professor of Communication,
  • with their work Mainstreaming
  • the Headscarf: Islamic Politics and Women
  • in the Turkish Media.
  • So as I mentioned
  • that we have a few prearranged questions
  • to ask all the panelists,
  • and then we'll take
  • questions from attendees
  • if we've got time at the end.
  • So I'm going to jump right
  • in with the first question
  • and y'all can unmute yourselves
  • and answer as you'd like.
  • If you all want to answer the question,
  • that is absolutely fine.
  • If you don't want to share,
  • that is also OK.
  • We have three free range questions.
  • And the first is "How
  • and why did you choose your book topic?"
  • It's going to start.
  • Yeah, I don't want to call on anybody,
  • I don't want to be that kind of person.
  • Well, I know, right.
  • I'll start with this one,
  • because my book is
  • probably the most unconventional
  • in the sense that it's the most
  • popular oriented, probably
  • of our scholarly works,
  • because it's a history of both
  • alcohol and alcohol law,
  • specifically with respect
  • to the US Supreme Court
  • and the Constitution.
  • But, it's also a history of alcohol
  • in American political culture
  • and particularly cocktail culture.
  • So it's a fusion of
  • two of my interests, frankly.
  • I'm a scholar of the
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • and of constitutional law
  • and of judicial decision making.
  • And I'm also interested
  • in social policy and law,
  • but I'm also a cocktail enthusiast
  • and an amateur historian of alcohol
  • in the United States.
  • And so this book was
  • an effort to put together two
  • interests of mine
  • and also to try to find somewhat
  • of a more popular frame
  • for talking about the history
  • of the Supreme Court
  • to make it more accessible
  • to a broader audience.
  • I guess I can also answer my
  • book sort of chose me
  • because I was., this is a big two volume
  • collection of essays
  • that involves scholars
  • from law, economics and ancient history
  • writing about Roman law and economics.
  • And I was originally
  • a contributor, and I know
  • the person who came up
  • with the idea fairly well,
  • but it soon became pretty obvious that
  • he would need a great deal of editorial
  • help, especially adapting
  • to people who were not scholars
  • of the ancient world
  • to talking about the ancient world.
  • So
  • that's how I got involved with mine.
  • I'll go ahead and answer
  • the question myself.
  • My book, Fortification
  • and Its Discontents
  • From Shakespeare to Milton,
  • it was the classic case
  • of unanswered questions
  • in the first book.
  • I did not set out in life
  • to be one of the only people
  • who does military cultures and literature
  • in the early modern world.
  • I kind of fell into that,
  • as I think a lot of young scholars do.
  • It was something I could do.
  • I mean, my dissertation was on esthetics.
  • You know, I deal
  • with pictures and poetry and
  • the illusion of images and writing.
  • And I was recalled
  • and deployed, and suddenly it seemed a
  • no brainer
  • to write about soldiers and poets.
  • In the process of doing that research,
  • I kept running into this statement
  • that was made in the scholars.
  • We get used to hearing these commonplaces
  • that need to be questioned.
  • Talking about well, of course,
  • the new age of warfare,
  • because the city walls
  • were now torn down
  • and armies, etc, etc cetera.
  • I love to do archival research
  • and I love to do "insitu" research.
  • I go out there and I find the old rocks.
  • I write better surrounded
  • by the old buildings.
  • So there I am in Quebec, I'm in the west
  • coast of Africa.
  • I'm looking at buildings
  • that when they were tearing down
  • walls, seemed to me
  • they're actually building new ones.
  • So I wanted to know what this was about.
  • And I sort of discovered that
  • changes to military cultures
  • and militarization
  • as a concept were
  • forcing radical and
  • widespread rebuilding of the
  • European environment
  • during the periods when the walls
  • were supposed to be coming down.
  • So I decided to focus on that.
  • I can chime in too,
  • I mean, my my book is about Turkey
  • and Turkish media.
  • I'm interested in the country.
  • I grew up there, born and grew up there.
  • And I was interested in understanding
  • the recent history
  • and politics since 2002; and especially
  • in 2002, the current president
  • came to power.
  • And since then, the country
  • took an authoritarian direction.
  • And the book is an effort to understand
  • how this happened, why this happened.
  • And what is the woman's role in it.
  • So it was
  • it was kind of an effort to understand
  • what happened, how did this happen?
  • Because this authoritarian turn
  • wasn't expected at the time.
  • Nobody could see what was coming.
  • So this was an effort to
  • try to understand
  • what changed after 2002.
  • Yeah, I can just say that
  • it's really great to be here,
  • and I appreciate
  • you guys putting this together.
  • It's really, really wonderful.
  • And I can see with our panel,
  • we have as a historian,
  • pretty great coverage of time periods
  • going from ancient to the present.
  • And I sort of fall in the middle
  • along with Adam.
  • I guess it's the middle.
  • I work on the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • And I sort of fell into this book project
  • after realizing that I just
  • was really ignorant
  • of the big scope of my topic.
  • And I was working on something
  • very pointed and
  • and definitive about a great fraud,
  • a gigantic fraud
  • that occurred in the middle
  • of the 17th century.
  • But I felt like I needed to have
  • a sense of the big scope of time.
  • And so the place I study,
  • Potosí, Bolivia,
  • was the most important silver
  • producing region of the world
  • for several hundred years,
  • and it altered global economics.
  • And as a consequence, many other things.
  • But starting with economics,
  • I wanted to globalize Latin America.
  • I guess that was my initial desire
  • to take a part of the world
  • that's often seen as peripheral
  • and secondary and often
  • victimized by other places
  • and try to put it at the center.
  • And so I did have an agenda, and
  • that was the kind of promote
  • this place and say
  • globalization is nothing new and in fact,
  • Latin America was front and center.
  • So that that pushed me along.
  • As Melissa was saying,
  • it's great to have your book
  • that you didn't have to do
  • all the work to write.
  • I've written books but this is very nice.
  • It's not just philosophy, Melissa, but
  • it's really, I think, probably
  • in German academic world, but festschrift
  • like a celebratory writing.
  • And it's usually a collection
  • of volumes for a mentor or a scholar.
  • Typically, you're 65 or 70
  • or 75 years old or
  • somewhere in that range.
  • And it's meant to show the influence
  • of that person's work
  • by students and other scholars.
  • So, as I think in one of those videos
  • I said, I've actually been
  • at Tulane for 40 years.
  • And my first Ph.D.
  • student right at the beginning
  • of (indeterminable)
  • put this thing together.
  • And there are other graduate students
  • from different cohorts
  • over the years
  • and friends and colleagues.
  • Richard Velkley you know, he's
  • got a really beautiful essay
  • on (indeterminable) in here.
  • And I think that the hard part was
  • when you do a volume
  • like this, a collection,
  • you're just doing it
  • by the people who studied
  • or were influenced,
  • but you don't know for sure
  • if it'll come together as a whole.
  • And I think we were all really excited
  • to see how much this did.
  • And the title sort of was
  • what pulled it together,
  • those themes,
  • the conflict or the tension
  • between nature and convention.
  • And then the way that
  • relation is connected
  • in turn with the sacred.
  • And that reflected my work,
  • especially in ancient
  • Greek philosophy and the Bible, an uneasy
  • relation of the two roots
  • of our whole Western tradition.
  • So it was exciting to get this.
  • And I think it's a way
  • beyond what I could have done myself.
  • I mean, the essays go all the way
  • to Kierkegaard and Descartes and
  • Boccaccio, and Dante,
  • way beyond my own narrow sphere.
  • But you see the residents
  • of your ideas and themes over history.
  • So it's really very satisfying.
  • I can imagine that
  • it just seems so special
  • and rewarding, you know,
  • and obviously very well deserved.
  • So thank you all for
  • sharing your answers
  • to our first question.
  • I'm going to ask the second,
  • which is "what was the most difficult
  • and or most rewarding part
  • of writing this or editing this
  • publication?" In terms
  • of like the process, yeah, your process.
  • Well, I guess
  • for me, the most rewarding thing
  • was to be able to help bring
  • a project that I didn't really start,
  • but I was part of at
  • the beginning
  • through many twists and turns
  • to a final and I think
  • from what other people have said,
  • a very successful conclusion.
  • And it was partly because
  • it involved scholars,
  • some of whom are quite famous from
  • law and economics in my humble field.
  • So, you know, it was a challenge to make
  • a work that actually had
  • some kind of unity to it in terms of
  • its intellectual reach.
  • So it was a lot of work.
  • So the most satisfying
  • thing, I guess, was
  • when I got the volumes on my front porch
  • in June showing that
  • it was actually done.
  • I'll go next, just say that
  • this may seem like a strange answer,
  • but the answer is it hasn't happened yet.
  • Those of you who are listening
  • or attending the panel
  • or not in the business,
  • you'd be surprised
  • to learn that we don't have
  • millions of people buying
  • these books, you know?
  • So a lot of times the
  • influence of what you do
  • doesn't manifest for a decade.
  • And when my first one came out,
  • it was not,
  • I don't think it was very well
  • received at all.
  • Renaissance Quarterly made fun of me.
  • Within 10 years, though, two books
  • just like it came out.
  • You know what I mean?
  • Because you're breaking new ground.
  • You're talking about somebody
  • no one's talked about before
  • and other scholars follow you.
  • And now I look back on it and say
  • that was satisfying.
  • Like right now, nobody
  • except me is talking
  • about fortifications and literature
  • in the 17th and 16th centuries; I'm it.
  • And at some point,
  • someone will ask the same questions.
  • And, you know,
  • they'll look at my book and say,
  • you know, he's got some good ideas,
  • but not great ideas.
  • I think I've got great ideas.
  • I'm going to build on those,
  • all of a sudden you see like, wow,
  • you're actually enlarging knowledge.
  • So I look forward to the satisfaction,
  • but I suspect it'll be 5 or
  • 10 years from now.
  • Thanks for sharing that.
  • I think it's a good reminder
  • to all scholars and budding scholars,
  • you know, to pursue those passions
  • and that you might not see,
  • you know, these accolades
  • come through immediately.
  • And it's not always about
  • the short game, right,
  • but what you actually contribute overall.
  • So I think that's a great reminder.
  • Oh, let's see, I wanted to add something.
  • I've gone kicking and screaming
  • into each new technological development.
  • But it really is so interesting to me
  • because my experience
  • for so many decades,
  • what Adam just described,
  • but now with these sites
  • that I never thought
  • I would do, but academia.edu
  • and these videos, we do.
  • I mean, it's interesting.
  • Finding out people in
  • you know Turkey and all over
  • the world are reading your work.
  • You can find out where they are.
  • I don't know, it's interesting
  • to me, it's a very different world
  • and especially with our current
  • virtual distance learning and all that.
  • I think my work has
  • gotten more widespread
  • quickly than ever before
  • because of all these new developments
  • that I resisted.
  • Yeah, I could I could add to that.
  • Just last summer, my book came out
  • just before I was traveling
  • when it was still possible to travel.
  • I traveled to Bolivia
  • and I took a bag with,
  • you know, as much weight
  • as you could put in it, a disposable bag
  • with books, just copies
  • of this Potosi book,
  • because I was going to a conference in in
  • Potosí and I wanted to give copies
  • to the people in the archives
  • and everybody there,
  • even though most of them were like,
  • let us know when it comes out in Spanish.
  • This is nice, but we can't read it.
  • But I actually carried these books
  • across a swollen river
  • and, you know, had this experience of
  • I'm actually like in the colonial period,
  • hauling books to the periphery to
  • distribute them.
  • So I guess the most
  • rewarding thing for me
  • was that experience
  • of getting the books
  • to the place that the book's about.
  • And then if everything else is fine,
  • I don't care if the reviews
  • are positive or negative.
  • Well, I do care, but, you know.
  • Did you take pictures of yourself
  • with the swollen river?
  • I love this idea of like,
  • I've got to get these books
  • to the archive, man.
  • I have pictures of my very wet,
  • lower half holding a suitcase
  • on my shoulders.
  • Too bad it's too late
  • for the jacket photo.
  • I think that's extraordinary.
  • I'm not sure if everybody
  • gets that experience.
  • I mean, I don't recommend it.
  • Swollen river aside,
  • but being able to bring,
  • you know, this piece of work
  • to the actual place that it's about.
  • I think that's, you know,
  • potentially once in a lifetime.
  • I don't know, hopefully not.
  • But, you know, very rewarding.
  • I'm assuming, I have no idea.
  • Well, I was at a conference
  • one time and it rained.
  • So I guess that was mine.
  • It's pretty much the same thing.
  • Yeah, I mean.
  • I want to know, did you keep
  • a journal like, tonight the swollen river
  • stopped us in the passage,
  • but fortunately, my...
  • The great book delivery,
  • I'll write that story for The New Yorker.
  • Were you wearing a helmet at the time?
  • That's like Aguirre and the wrath of God.
  • It was closer to that.
  • No, but I will say the review process,
  • very much as Adam said,
  • it's a slow thing.
  • And so you kind of,
  • you're tempted to keep checking, to
  • say, has somebody published a review yet?
  • And finally, when they come out,
  • they usually, you know,
  • they're like they got it or
  • no they just didn't get it.
  • They didn't see what I was trying to do.
  • I had a review like that recently
  • where it was clear
  • that the author of the review just either
  • missed my point entirely
  • or was writing about a different book.
  • I couldn't tell.
  • And then another review came out
  • just a little bit later,
  • and it was just like,
  • oh, man, that's exactly
  • what I had in mind. I'm glad it worked.
  • Why is it that it didn't
  • work with this person?
  • You never know.
  • This is true, yeah.
  • Everyone has their
  • own version of your book.
  • You know, to speak about the
  • the front end of the production,
  • we're talking about the reception and
  • things like that
  • to think about, you know,
  • what are both the challenges
  • and the rewarding things
  • in the production of a book.
  • I would say in the case of this book,
  • I had a couple of,
  • you know, challenging
  • but ultimately rewarding experiences.
  • One is just the experience
  • that I'm sure Kris can identify with,
  • any historian can identify with,
  • and that is searching through an archive
  • and finding the gem,
  • the evidence that you needed
  • to make some connection.
  • In my instance,
  • it was between a particular Chief Justice
  • and a particular favorite cocktail,
  • since that's one of
  • the motifs of my book.
  • And so among the things
  • I did was wade into
  • judicial papers, which,
  • as many of you know,
  • who work with archives are often
  • not very well organized.
  • And so you're just sifting
  • through all kinds of things
  • and getting an impression of a life.
  • That was really fun for me,
  • I don't typically do that kind of work
  • because I'm a political scientist.
  • But it was immensely fun,
  • and I would love to do more of it.
  • And then I suppose
  • this is may seem
  • pretty prosaic and mundane,
  • but some of the most rewarding episodes
  • for me were securing
  • the permissions for images
  • that I wanted to use.
  • Man, I mean, you wouldn't believe
  • some of the hurdles one has to surmount.
  • And everybody,
  • I believe in copyright law, sure.
  • But, you know, there
  • are sometimes obstacles
  • that you don't know will be there,
  • both financial and otherwise.
  • And for some books,
  • images are really critical to capture,
  • you know, an epic
  • or to get a sense of a person.
  • And when I secured a particular image
  • that I wanted having to go
  • through a deceased artist's family, well,
  • I was like, yeah.
  • So that was kind of a that was kind of a
  • run of the mill production level reward.
  • But I think it made the book stronger.
  • Well, I wanted to ask
  • what the favorite cocktail was.
  • I have to ask.
  • I don't want to get
  • too deep in the weeds.
  • Well, this was Chief
  • Justice Harlan Fiske Stone,
  • who was known to be a great wine lover
  • and who served essentially
  • during World War Two.
  • He had a pretty short tenure of office.
  • But I knew that that was a period in
  • which rum was really, really popular
  • as a beverage, again, was really,
  • really popular in the United States,
  • partly because of the legacy
  • of prohibition when domestic production
  • had been shut down.
  • And so consumers in the United States
  • had turned to the Caribbean.
  • And so this had amped up
  • a real taste for rum.
  • But everything we knew about stone
  • was that, you know,
  • he disdained cocktails.
  • But I found a hand typed recipe
  • that he had saved
  • for a rum based cocktail.
  • And so it just validated for me
  • everything about his era
  • and things that we didn't
  • necessarily know about.
  • This former professor who was supposedly
  • a big wine and cheese fan, but also
  • partook of the things
  • that were popular in the time.
  • Very cool.
  • I'm going to send Nancy,
  • if you don't know, there's
  • a website of cocktails
  • named after famous scholars.
  • I'll send you the link later it's good.
  • But on the image issue
  • and getting permission,
  • the press kind of covered
  • up my image with the title.
  • This image
  • I had picked for another project
  • which I heard in the classic
  • lecture is Juro Europass.
  • It's such a fantastic time of the Greek
  • and biblical Hebrew and Greek.
  • So this the Temple of Solomon
  • with Greek columns and everything.
  • It was amazing for me to discover
  • the image was so great.
  • It really was about Athens and Jerusalem,
  • which is my world.
  • And then it was a struggle
  • to get permission to use it.
  • But it turned out it wasn't for my book,
  • it was somebody else.
  • You know, it was taken
  • over by my editor here.
  • This whole topic,
  • maybe it will spawn questions, but with
  • Ron's earlier comment about technology.
  • Copyright law isn't
  • what it used to be either.
  • So in the case of someone who owns
  • a photograph is still alive,
  • but certainly what Kris and I work with,
  • there's no one left alive.
  • But so sometimes
  • if an archive owns that image,
  • if it's actually a
  • high quality digital image
  • that someone else owns,
  • you're allowed to use theirs
  • without permission.
  • That's changed, that's a new thing.
  • And I don't even know
  • how I feel about that.
  • I mean, that's not what we're necessarily
  • talking about today,
  • but just sort of the way
  • the writing in the scholarly
  • writing has changed,
  • we can now use images
  • without permissions.
  • And I feel like some part of
  • the book is lost.
  • If I didn't get to say,
  • you know, I want to express my gratitude
  • to the National Archives in Dublin
  • as if I've been there,
  • they know me, you know what I mean?
  • But now I don't get to do that
  • because I can just take it
  • from someone else who has it.
  • You can still you can still give a shout
  • out to the National Archives of Dublin.
  • They'll always appreciate that, I'm sure.
  • Yeah, I advise my
  • graduate students
  • to plan on another year,
  • getting their permissions together.
  • It's almost an extra book,
  • even though things, as Adam says,
  • they've gotten a lot easier.
  • It just takes a lot
  • longer than you imagine.
  • Even with email and PDF and documents
  • that you can sign without sending them,
  • you know, through the regular mail,
  • it's still really tough.
  • I had this cover image in mind
  • from the very beginning,
  • because it encapsulates
  • the story of the book.
  • It's the mountain,
  • it's the Inca and the pillars of Hercules
  • that stand for the Hapsburg World empire.
  • And the silver in the middle
  • is actually visible
  • on the on the original image.
  • And there are llamas
  • and people on the mountain.
  • But this image belongs to an Irish baron.
  • I had to write to him personally,
  • and I didn't know
  • exactly how to address him
  • like your grace, your mercy.
  • Your most humble servant is requesting
  • this use of this image.
  • But he he said, just call me Sean.
  • And so Sean allowed me
  • to use this message and this image.
  • He sent me a
  • handwritten permission and said, no,
  • I'm just glad it's
  • going to be on the book, that's great.
  • But it's that reminder
  • that it is a collaborative project,
  • even though, you know, we take credit.
  • My name is on there as the author.
  • There are a lot of other people
  • that are involved in the production team.
  • And in this case,
  • I was even really
  • surprised when it arrived
  • because they put
  • kind of a silver lining into the book.
  • I never asked for anything,
  • but they kind of
  • did a really nice job
  • with the production.
  • And I was like, man,
  • this is this is the best
  • looking book I've ever produced.
  • I'm really amazed.
  • So when a press feels like
  • they want to push your stuff, they
  • can be kind of nice.
  • OK, let's move on to our
  • last question
  • and then we'll have
  • some time for folks to
  • ask questions or any of the attendees
  • can ask questions
  • or y'all can ask questions of each other.
  • And then for the attendees,
  • when you do want to ask a question,
  • I think you have the ability
  • to raise your hand
  • and then we can unmute you
  • if you want to vocalize your question,
  • or you can also use the Q&A.
  • So our last question, "did
  • anything you learn
  • while researching
  • the topic surprise you?"
  • Were there any big
  • surprises or things that
  • maybe you discovered
  • that you didn't expect
  • that you'd want to share?
  • Well, I had a big surprise.
  • One of the papers
  • and the thing I was editing
  • was written by two economists
  • and to make their discussion
  • of the ancient world
  • seem more historically accurate.
  • I wound up coauthoring an article
  • with him, a paper with him.
  • And so I thought it was kind of cool
  • that I work with two economists
  • whom I've never even met.
  • And we have a coauthored paper.
  • So that's being
  • interdisciplinarity for you.
  • I discovered Ireland.
  • Well, I have to say,
  • I'm inviting questions on this topic.
  • A lot of times probably
  • each of us has an area
  • that's closely related.
  • What we study that we have avoided,
  • like the minds of Moriya.
  • If you follow the topic
  • like this, this dark place
  • that I don't want to deal with it
  • because too much work,
  • I don't know about it.
  • For me, doing British studies,
  • I mean, doing a lot
  • with Elizabethan Jacobean in England
  • and you know,
  • and also the Revolutionary England,
  • I didn't deal with Ireland
  • because I grew up with Irish nationalism
  • as being such a dominating
  • that whole world.
  • And in this book, I couldn't
  • avoid it anymore.
  • I had to start dealing with Ireland.
  • And so I did.
  • And discovered that in the 21st century,
  • a lot of the baggage
  • of that sort of fictional
  • Irish nationalism
  • and that weird Celtic
  • racial identification is now
  • finally giving way
  • to something better and new
  • and sort of discovering that whole world
  • of scholarship
  • that I could get into in this thing
  • that I'd been avoiding dealing with,
  • I just dealt with.
  • And it was so much fun, exciting,
  • and I can't wait to do more.
  • I can share a surprising point
  • throughout my writing.
  • So in my book, I'm analyzing
  • the columns of human journalists
  • who support Erdogan,
  • I mean, the guy who
  • came to power in 2002 in Turkey.
  • So these are women who write in
  • newspapers that support him.
  • But these women also before
  • Erdogan came to power,
  • they were seen as people
  • who would kind of contribute
  • to the improvement
  • of democracy in the country.
  • So when I started working
  • on their columns,
  • I thought, OK, I mean, these journalists
  • probably they see politics
  • differently from me.
  • When I started writing,
  • I regularly observed
  • concentration of power
  • in the hands of Erdogan.
  • And I mean, I thought
  • I was seeing something like I was seeing
  • an increasing authoritarianism,
  • a concentration of power.
  • But I thought they saw
  • something different.
  • So they they didn't see what
  • I was observing.
  • Well, when I started
  • writing or when I started reading their
  • columns one by one, I realized that,
  • well, they observe the same things.
  • You know, they observe
  • more concentration of power.
  • They observe increasing authoritarianism.
  • They observe things are going wrong,
  • but they still support him.
  • And they will continue to support him
  • and they continue
  • to support him to this day.
  • So this was a very
  • surprising point for me.
  • So that was
  • something to think more about.
  • I had, I think, a surprise
  • in reading this book and receiving it.
  • I knew that all of the modern thinkers
  • would be new material for me
  • and very interesting, but new.
  • But Adam said before,
  • there's something close to your work
  • that you have avoided for years,
  • and it's a big deal.
  • For me, that was the thinker
  • Xenophon, writer Xenophon
  • who wrote Socratic dialogs,
  • but is much less studied than Plato.
  • And it's really shameful
  • that I've never really studied Xenophon.
  • So there's a chapter in
  • this book on Xenophon,
  • and he was so presently modern
  • in a really interesting way.
  • And it was just a fascinating study.
  • So I got excited about it
  • and I'm teaching it this semester.
  • So that was an influential surprise.
  • Well, I guess among the surprises
  • that I encountered in doing this book,
  • which I would describe as a fun book,
  • I mean, I did it for fun.
  • Was first of all, just how much
  • constitutional law throughout
  • the history of the court's
  • interpretation of the
  • Constitution and application
  • to policy questions, to legal questions.
  • How much of that has concerned
  • alcohol in some way
  • and how alcohol and its regulation
  • or questions about the
  • right to use it or using it in
  • certain circumstances or commerce
  • involving alcohol?
  • How much of every step
  • developmentally of U.S.
  • constitutional law
  • has some alcohol
  • related connection to it?
  • And I suspected this
  • at the outset, that's why
  • I wanted to write the book,
  • but the findings were even more,
  • well, jarring, I suppose.
  • That this really is
  • a motif that makes sense
  • for understanding U.S.
  • political culture
  • and constitutional culture.
  • Yeah, I think I could add that
  • every time you sit down
  • to start a project,
  • whether it's an article or a book,
  • not that we do books all the time.
  • They take a long time.
  • But it's a process of discovery.
  • I mean, you set out thinking
  • it's going to look kind of like this.
  • And I, I suspect it's
  • going to shape up like so.
  • And I have a pretty good
  • working hypothesis I'm
  • fairly confident in.
  • And then as you're working it through it
  • changes directions,
  • or at least in my experience,
  • it's a process of,
  • oh, OK , I didn't know about that
  • and now I need to fill this in
  • or I see a gaping hole,
  • you know, as Adam
  • and Ronna have already said,
  • I see something that I missed.
  • And I guess I have to go into that now,
  • I have to figure that out.
  • So in a strange way, writing
  • a book is more of a
  • a process of discovery for the scholar.
  • And then when you're done with it
  • at a certain level,
  • you're kind of like, OK, now
  • I'm on to something else.
  • I've I've spent five,
  • 10 years working on that.
  • Now I think I've got it
  • figured out to my satisfaction,
  • maybe not to anyone else's.
  • And I'm going to do something else now.
  • But
  • that's satisfying, even if,
  • you know, our readerships are not huge.
  • That's sort of the nature of the beast.
  • And I really do
  • appreciate Tulane support.
  • I have to say, it's
  • been a really supportive place to
  • to be a scholar.
  • And, you know, all the way along with,
  • you know, financial support.
  • It's always a struggle.
  • I mean, everybody has to
  • piece things together,
  • but it's been a really good place
  • to do scholarship.
  • What you say is good advice for Ph.D.
  • students, too.
  • It's not going to
  • all be firmly fixed in the proposal.
  • You can remain open to
  • new discoveries, if you will.
  • Yeah, absolutely.
  • I'm going to cheat.
  • I know that I said that
  • that was my last question for you all.
  • But Kris made me think to ask,
  • when you're chatting just now about,
  • you know, you're already
  • on to the next thing
  • or thinking about the next thing.
  • Would you all mind sharing
  • like what that next thing is for you?
  • Potentially, if you have
  • something in the works
  • or that maybe it's
  • just a little seedling up in this moment
  • if you wanted to share.
  • This is a really significant
  • question for me,
  • because I've been very slow
  • 10, 15, 20 years on Plato.
  • Another 20 years on Aristotle.
  • And I've been teaching these courses
  • at Tulane on Bible and philosophy
  • and in the academic world,
  • as we all know,
  • you stay in your own lane.
  • But you develop scholarly skills
  • and background and training
  • and connections.
  • It's not so easy to move out of that.
  • So I myself in now a number of years,
  • probably another 10 years, moving toward
  • wanting to write on the Bible,
  • which I've been teaching happily.
  • But it's different
  • to write on something than to teach it.
  • So, yeah, that's a really
  • interesting experience.
  • I think some people are more
  • bold and innovative, but
  • just how academia can
  • keep you round, it's not so easy
  • to break out of these alleys and move
  • in new directions.
  • So teaching can help with that, too,
  • because most of us
  • teach more broadly
  • than our scholarly work, you know?
  • Anyway, that's what
  • I want to do next.
  • I have just completed another
  • project after the book,
  • it was a journal project,
  • and I had an article in it
  • about the debates
  • that took place in Turkey
  • in the last year.
  • And my next project,
  • I think, is to rest in it.
  • And, you know, like gather energy,
  • experience life.
  • In other dimensions of life
  • and then go back to writing back,
  • my next project is to
  • gather my energy and rest.
  • Well, I have a long term project
  • on land in many different aspects
  • in the Roman world.
  • But I also, you know,
  • I think a lot of us, we
  • get asked to write things, and so
  • they always seem to come out first.
  • And so right now,
  • I'm supposed to be finishing up
  • something on poverty in the ancient world
  • for a more general collection on poverty,
  • economic aspects of poverty.
  • And then
  • I have another essay that is sort of
  • related to the land project, but,
  • I was just at a conference
  • for the other one just before this.
  • And so it always seems like there's
  • a lot of things to do.
  • I'd like to return to something
  • that Ronna mentioned,
  • and that's the nexus with teaching.
  • One thing that was generated
  • by my work on this
  • book, was a special topics
  • course I did a few iterations of
  • and my colleagues
  • convinced me to entitle it
  • Booze, Drugs and The Courts.
  • So it would sound
  • more enticing, and I guess it was.
  • But what it asked me to think about
  • were some of the parallels
  • in both regulation and
  • rights debates over
  • the saga of alcohol in American law
  • and current debates over
  • both the legalization of cannabis
  • and also the saga of narcotic drugs
  • and other drug substances
  • in the United States.
  • And of course, this
  • recent election cycle,
  • we had some very
  • interesting state referenda
  • on these questions.
  • And, you know, in my course,
  • I tried to put it all
  • together into some sort of
  • organized theme.
  • But I learned a lot
  • and I learned that
  • there are lots of directions
  • that this work about controlled
  • substances and intoxicants
  • and the law could go.
  • And, of course, the obvious
  • debate to investigate
  • is the saga of marijuana
  • in the United States.
  • And, of course, the current seeming,
  • you know, move towards greater
  • and greater openness
  • with respect to both medical
  • and recreational
  • cannabis as its preferred to be termed.
  • So that represents a huge opportunity
  • and ability to coauthor and collaborate
  • with people who are
  • public opinion scholars
  • and things like that.
  • So I'm very excited
  • about lots of different directions.
  • And I continue to research
  • historic cocktails, of course,
  • and think about
  • what should be our totemic
  • cocktail for the Trump era.
  • For me right now,
  • it's a fun question
  • and a frustrating one in some ways
  • for British studies,
  • especially because of,
  • you know, finally
  • the imperial shadow is withdrawing.
  • It's wide open again.
  • It's very exciting.
  • It's an exciting time to be alive
  • in British studies. I mean, it really is.
  • As I said, Ireland is you know,
  • you can actually do Irish studies
  • without having to deal
  • with Irish 19th and 20th century
  • Irish nationalism.
  • You can you can look at things
  • like the Ulster Plantation.
  • And without having to look at it
  • as it is a 20th century problem,
  • sort of, you know,
  • as the early 17th century
  • problem, that that is
  • wound up in 20th century politics.
  • England itself is sort of looking
  • at its own existence
  • and questioning paradigms like,
  • you know, its isolation.
  • I mean, I've seen wonderful
  • scholarship coming out of England
  • saying like England wasn't isolated.
  • I mean, back then, and Dennis
  • can probably talk
  • to this more; oceans connected, land
  • separated, right.
  • Getting from ancient,
  • what is now China, to what is now
  • Europe was really,
  • really hard to do across land,
  • but water connected things.
  • I've seen British scholars
  • even questioning
  • what did people,
  • what did the Anglo-Saxon
  • people look like?
  • Like what did people look like
  • in England back in
  • the first century A.D.?
  • And the answer is
  • they didn't necessarily
  • have like red haired brains.
  • I mean,
  • we don't really know the connection
  • between Britain and Phoenician cultures,
  • wide open.
  • But the same reason is
  • wide open here, too.
  • So what I would love to do
  • is talk more about
  • the idea of England in its past
  • freed from the legacy of empire and,
  • you know, in some ways freed
  • from the legacy of 20th century
  • Marxist scholarship,
  • which merely recast the same paradigms
  • of imperial thinking, but in
  • sort of an adverse way.
  • It's wide open.
  • What I would really like to do is go
  • and look at this continent
  • and especially looking at our, you know,
  • looking at people like Red Cloud
  • and others as important American figures
  • and repositioning them in the dialog.
  • I just got out of
  • Army War College this year
  • and I asked the question
  • point blank to the folks,
  • which we could do, like
  • why are we looking at General Lee again,
  • why aren't we looking at Red Cloud?
  • You know, why are we talking about
  • the tactics of General Jackson?
  • Why aren't we talking about Red Cloud?
  • Now, I mean, those are questions
  • that are vaguely early modern
  • that I would love to see us do,
  • like reposition.
  • Really look at this continent
  • as a whole bunch of things
  • and a whole bunch of people
  • that also contributed to it
  • in ways that we haven't
  • even started to discuss.
  • Does anybody else want to add anything
  • before I open it up to questions?
  • It looks like we already have
  • a couple in the Q&A, so a reminder pop
  • your questions into the Q&A,
  • which is different from the chat
  • we are using the Zoom webinar platform,
  • so it's a little bit different.
  • You should see a Q&A button
  • at the bottom of your Zoom screen.
  • So pop those in there, and I'm happy
  • to read those out loud.
  • Our first question is for Dr. Burger,
  • Why do you think
  • the themes of nature, law
  • and the sacred run
  • through our whole tradition?
  • Oh, yeah, that's a big question.
  • Well, you know, it's often been said
  • that philosophy begins
  • with the question
  • of whether the things that we all accept
  • like convention,
  • whether any of it
  • is actually true by nature.
  • Like every society has its own ideas
  • of what's just and noble.
  • These are the conventions in Plato's
  • great image.
  • That's the cave
  • that every society lives in.
  • And philosophy is asking
  • whether any of those
  • conventions are by nature.
  • So that tension,
  • which is really I think is the
  • you know, the tool of philosophic inquiry
  • runs through us all great thinkers.
  • Then it's compounded or maybe complexed
  • by the biblical tradition
  • or revealed religion.
  • If there is a creator, God
  • is determined reality.
  • Is there any nature in nature?
  • And how does the sacred
  • fit into that dichotomy between
  • nature and convention?
  • And finally, the issue that I've really
  • kind of wrestled with and fought
  • with other scholars about
  • is whether the Bible and religion
  • can have this distinction
  • of nature and convention.
  • Can the Bible have an idea of nature,
  • the reality and the nature of things?
  • So, yeah, it's the big questions,
  • so it kind of surprised me
  • to see the concrete ways
  • in which it showed up
  • in all these other thinkers,
  • you know, from medieval to modern.
  • But when you think about it,
  • these are such fundamental questions
  • that I think last through human thought.
  • Mm hmm. Great.
  • All right, and next question is for
  • Dr. Ozcan.
  • The question is,
  • it's from Lisa Hoopers.
  • So she says, it's
  • so great to see you again, by the way.
  • She says she has a very good friend
  • doing his Ph.D.
  • work on an American variation
  • of what you have done.
  • It's such intellectually
  • and emotionally challenging work,
  • seeing the parallels
  • and knowing plenty of others are looking
  • at this modern American moment.
  • I'm wondering what techniques
  • you could pass on
  • to other researchers for separating
  • and protecting yourself
  • from your own research.
  • Thank you, Lisa.
  • I can't see you, but
  • thank you very much for the question,
  • which is a great question.
  • I mean, these are very similar topics.
  • I mean, when I worked on this book,
  • I kept thinking about women
  • supporting Trump.
  • So and also the last four years,
  • like a lot of things
  • prompted the reaction.
  • I mean, I saw this before.
  • And so very similar processes
  • are taking place
  • in two different countries.
  • And there are no techniques
  • that I can think of.
  • And I suspect there is none.
  • These are topics that make you nervous.
  • And I think they keep you nervous
  • even after you are done
  • with the book and everything.
  • You don't know where it will land in.
  • And so, yeah, I mean,
  • I wish I could say something.
  • I could promote something.
  • But I'm afraid these are
  • topics that we have to deal with.
  • And I wrote this book
  • and now I have to deal with
  • anything that it brings to me.
  • Right, positive and
  • negative.
  • And the next question
  • I see is also about Erdogan.
  • So even Erdogan before came to power,
  • he has been and his party
  • has been very critical of
  • the regime promoted by Ataturk.
  • So Atatürk's regime was based
  • on a model of a Westernization.
  • And so Erdogan came to power
  • by constantly
  • criticizing these different
  • aspects of this project.
  • So, I mean, it is
  • not so easy, because Ataturk's project
  • I mean, has been embraced by millions.
  • But there are also
  • social groups who fell outside of it.
  • So here
  • he basically played those dynamics.
  • But it is you know, he is on his regime.
  • Hasn't been very fond of the project
  • brought by Ataturk in the first place.
  • Thank you, it looks like
  • we've got one more question in that chat,
  • this might be our final question,
  • it is a very important question.
  • It is from Eric Weedig,
  • and it's for Dr. Maveety.
  • It is were many of the Supreme Court
  • Justices bourbon drinkers?
  • The answer Eric, is yes.
  • Bourbon drinkers?
  • Absolutely.
  • And bourbon, you know, is popular
  • throughout American history,
  • right from the beginning
  • of the domestic production of whiskey.
  • When it's produced in
  • Kentucky and gets its name
  • all the way up through the 20th century
  • and even now in the current
  • revival of cocktail culture, et cetera.
  • Probably one of the most, you know,
  • outstanding bourbon
  • drinkers of the Chief
  • Justices was probably Fred Vinson,
  • who was a very good friend
  • of Harry Truman.
  • That's kind of how we got nominated.
  • And Harry Truman was known
  • as a bourbon drinker, loved Bourbon.
  • Washington, nowadays, just so you won't
  • worry, is not as hard
  • drinking a town as it once was.
  • People are much more moderate.
  • I don't know.
  • Is that a good thing or not?
  • Who can say?
  • But the the stories you read about
  • of mid century, last century,
  • that sort of culture of alcohol
  • and politics
  • has been succeeded by very different,
  • very different behaviors.
  • Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg drink cocktails?
  • Yeah, she did,
  • and she had a favorite spirit
  • which was Campari, which is in Amaro.
  • And of course, Campari figures in
  • various cocktails,
  • including my favorite cocktail,
  • which is the Negroni.
  • Those are tasty.
  • I'll go have one right now.
  • Celebrate our successful panel here.
  • If you were in New Jersey,
  • I'd say be right there.
  • This was a lot of fun.
  • Yeah. And thank you so much.
  • We have one minute left.
  • I want to be respectful
  • of everybody's time.
  • So I do want to take a moment to
  • thank everybody who participated,
  • whether you are panelists or an attendee.
  • I do want to thank
  • Courtney Kearney and Amanda Morlas
  • and Alan Velasquez,
  • who are integral
  • to putting this together,
  • whether it was editing
  • or communicating
  • with you all or reaching out.
  • All of it took to make this go.
  • And, of course,
  • all of our faculty authors
  • who without y'all,
  • this obviously wouldn't be happening.
  • And this is extremely fun
  • and very lively.
  • So thank you for participating,
  • especially through
  • all of your Zoom fatigue,
  • which I know we're all experiencing.
  • And then a reminder,
  • we'll be doing this again tomorrow
  • with a whole new batch of folks.
  • So if you want to pop in tomorrow,
  • we welcome you all back to hang out
  • and do it all again.
  • I wanted to add one thing.
  • You know, all of us
  • and all the faculty
  • you go to your conventions in your field.
  • So if you're a famous person,
  • I know you're all around the world,
  • even in our own university,
  • we don't really know enough,
  • you know, about one another.
  • And it's just any
  • opportunity like this to,
  • you know,
  • branch out and hear
  • what other people are
  • working on is a pleasure.
  • Absolutely.
  • And that's one of our favorite things
  • about this as, you know,
  • getting everybody across
  • campus together,
  • because those opportunities
  • don't often exist.
  • So it's always really fun.
  • And there's a lot of commonalities
  • between the struggles that you all face,
  • you know, putting this stuff together.
  • So it's interesting
  • to hear the different experiences,
  • but also the connecting threads
  • throughout all of this.
  • So, again, thank you
  • so much for participating
  • and enjoy the rest of your days.
  • Hopefully it contains a Negroni or two.
  • Well, thank you all for using this.
  • This is really nice.
  • Thank you.
  • Thank you. Yes, thank you.
  • I've laughed a lot. It's been wonderful.
  • I learned a lot, too.
  • But it's just been it's been great.
  • Just so you know there is a long faculty
  • meeting to start.
  • Negronis after that.
  • Right.
  • Bye, everyone.
  • Well, thank you.
  • [Music]