{ site_name:'The John W. Kluge Center', subscribe_url:'/share/sites/Bapu4ruC/kluge.php' }
Congress & History Conference at the Library of Congress
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, with generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is hosting the 16th annual Congress & History Conference on June 15 and 16, 2017.

Photo of the U.S. Capitol taken from the Jefferson Building

The conference is an annual meeting of political scientists and historians focused on the examination of the United States Congress through a historical lens. This year’s conference is taking place in the James Madison Building, just steps from the U.S. Capitol, and will focus on the evolution of congressional leadership, the role of party and committees, and legislative branch reform efforts.

The first Congress & History conference was convened at Columbia University in 2002 by Ira Katznelson and Greg Wawro. Subsequent meetings were held at MIT (2003), Stanford (2004), Washington University at St. Louis (2005), Yale (2006), Princeton (2007), George Washington (2008), the University of Virginia (2009), Berkeley (2010), Brown (2011), University of Georgia (2012), Columbia (2013), the University of Maryland (2014), Vanderbilt (2015), and the University of Oklahoma (2016).

The conference stands out as an intimate, lively, exchange of ideas and knowledge between some of the nation’s best political scientists and historians. Discussions often include concrete observations concerning the “lessons learned” from history relevant to contemporary congressional challenges. Over the years, many outstanding books and articles on Congress originated with presentations at the Congress & History conference. The Library of Congress is honored to host this year’s program and hopes the proceedings will inspire a new, diverse generation of scholars to study the “first branch” of American government.

Date/Time: Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., and Friday, June 16, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Location: Montpelier Room, James Madison Building 
Directions to the Library of Congress

This conference is by invitation only, and an RSVP is required.

Agenda (PDF, 45KB) | Panels (PDF, 80KB)

Agenda

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Time Session
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast and Coffee
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome from Robert Newlen, the Deputy Librarian Of Congress For Institutional Advancement
9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. The Role of Party in Congressional Decision-Making
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The Transformative Historical Role of Race and Gender
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Docent Tour of the Jefferson Building
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Budget and Appropriations Process in Modern Congressional History
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Roundtable Discussion on Congressional Reform
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Reception in the Members Room with Display from Congressional Collection
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner in the Great Hall and Lecture from Gordon Wood

Friday, June 16, 2017

Time Session
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast and Coffee
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Committees in the Historical House
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Historical and Political Legacy of Newt Gingrich
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Carryout lunch provided

Download the agenda (PDF, 45KB)

Panels

Panel 1: The Role of Party in Congressional Decision-Making

Panel Chair: Josh Huder (Georgetown)

Non-Party Government in Congress: Bipartisan Lawmaking and Party Power in Congress

Authors:
James Curry (Utah)
Frances Lee (University of Maryland)

Discussant:
Wendy Schiller (Brown University)

Paper: Non-Party Government in Congress: Bipartisan Lawmaking and Party Power in Congress (PDF, 514KB)

Understanding the Historical Evolution of Party-Sanctioned Legislative Distancing

Author:
Eleanor Neff Powell (Wisconsin)

Discussant:
Jason Roberts (UNC Chapel Hill)

Paper: Understanding the Historical Evolution of Party-Sanctioned Legislative Distancing (PDF, 423KB)

Panel 2: The Transformative Historical Role of Race and Gender

Panel Chair: Kate Scott (United States Senate Historian’s Office)

Context and Commitment: A Historical Understanding of Multiracial Coalitions in the House of Representatives

Author:
Vanessa Tyson (Scripps)

Discussant:
Gisela Sin (University of Illinois)

Rights by Fortune or Fight? Reexamining the Addition of Sex to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Author:
Kate Krimmel (Barnard)

Discussant:
Michele Swers (Georgetown)

Paper: Rights by Fortune or Fight? Reexamining the Addition of Sex to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (PDF, 948KB)

Panel 3: The Budget and Appropriations Process in Modern Congressional History

Panel Chair: Arthur Burris (CRS)

Who Builds the Party Brand? The Politics of House Appropriations Amendments

Author:
Molly Reynolds (Brookings)

Discussant:
David Karol (University of Maryland)

Paper: Who Builds the Party Brand? The Politics of House Appropriations Amendments (PDF, 313KB)

Hyde Amendment and the Modern Congressional Appropriations Process

Authors:
Scott Frisch (California State University)
Sean Kelly (California State University)

Discussant:
Nolan McCarty (Princeton)

Panel 4: Committees in the Historical House

Panel Chair: John Haskell (Advisory Panel on Defense Acquisition/Claremont)

Petitions and Legislative Committee Formation: Theory and Evidence from Revolutionary Virginia and the Early U.S. House

Authors:
Benjamin Schneer (Florida State University)
Tobias Resch (Harvard)
Dan Carpenter (Harvard)
Maggie McKinley (Harvard)

Discussant:
Richard Bensel (Cornell)

Paper: Petitions and Legislative Committee Formation: Theory and Evidence from Revolutionary Virginia and the Early U.S. House (PDF, 821KB)

Rise and Decline of Select Committees in the House, 1789-1829

Authors:
Charles Stewart III (MIT)
Nicolas Dumas (MIT)

Discussant:
Anthony Madonna (University of Georgia)

Paper: Rise and Decline of Select Committees in the House, 1789-1829 (PDF, 792KB)

The Nature of Committee Agenda Control in the Antebellum House of Representatives

Authors:
Chris Den Hartog (Cal Poly)
Craig Goodman (University of Houston-Victoria)

Discussant:
Scott MacKenzie (UC Davis)

Paper: The Nature of Committee Agenda Control in the Antebellum House of Representatives (PDF, 1.22MB)

Panel 5: The Historical and Political Legacy of Newt Gingrich

Panel Chair: Jacob Straus (CRS)

Newt Gingrich as an Oppositional Leader

Authors:
Matt Green (Catholic University)
Jeffrey Crouch (American University)

Discussant:
Laurel Harbridge Yong (Northwestern University)

Paper: The Historical and Political Legacy of Newt Gingrich (PDF, 710KB)

Confrontations: Newt Gingrich, Jim Wright and an Explosion of Partisan Warfare in 1980s America

Author:
Julian Zelizer (Princeton)

Discussant:
Mike Crespin (University of Oklahoma)

Roundtable on Congressional Reform

Panel Chair: Matt Glassman (CRS)

Panelists:
David Obey, Former Member of Congress
Mickey Edwards, Former Member of Congress
Eric Schickler, Berkeley
David Mayhew, Yale
Sarah Binder, GW/Brookings

Download the list of panels (PDF, 80KB)

Conference Location

Library of Congress
James Madison Building, Montpelier Room 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 

Enter the Madison Building from Independence Avenue, SE at the main entrance. Take the elevators up to the sixth floor, and follow signs to the Montpelier Room.

From 8:30-9:00am both days, please join us for a continental breakfast and coffee in the Montpelier Room. Note that the Madison Building does not open to the public until 8:30am.

Lodging

All panel sessions will take place in the Library of Congress Madison Building on Capitol Hill.  While the Library is not able to manage your lodging arrangements, for your convenience a block of rooms has been reserved at the nearby Capitol Hill Hotel.  Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $242.00 plus 14.5% tax.  The rate includes continental breakfast, wireless internet, and access to the fitness center. The newly renovated Capitol Hill Hotel is located across the street from the Madison Building of the Library of Congress at 2nd and C Streets, SE. The hotel is within 1 block of many restaurants and the Capitol South Metro station.  Check-in time is 3:00 p.m. and check-out time is noon.

If you wish to avail yourself of the room block, please make your reservation by May 15 by booking with the hotel directly or by calling (202) 448-2081 and referencing the Library of Congress, Congress and History Conference.  

If you would like alternative lodging suggestions, please contact Colleen Shogan at (202) 707-8231 or [email protected].

Transportation

Three airports serve the Washington, DC area:

All DC region airports can also be reached using taxis and ride share services such as Uber and Lyft.

If you prefer to travel by train, the Jefferson Building is just a short walk away from Union Station, home of AMTRAK’s headquarters. (www.amtrak.com)

The Library of Congress is also easily accessible from the Capitol South Metro stop of the Metro system. Capitol South is located on the blue, orange and silver lines. (www.wmata.com | Metro Map pdf)

If you plan to travel by car, please note that parking can be difficult on Capitol Hill. There are a few two-hour zone and metered parking spots on nearby streets and limited public parking lots (closest is located at Union Station). Visit Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions.

Download the information packet (PDF, 52KB)

Additional Information

Wi-Fi

The Library of Congress offers a free Guest network for onsite wireless internet access. To activate wifi choose LOCGUEST from available wi-fi networks and accept the terms of use agreement that will open in your browser.

Security Procedures at Building Entrances and Exits

Metal detectors and/or other inspection systems are in place at the entrances to all federal buildings, including the Library of Congress. While security procedures are not as elaborate as at airports (you will not be asked to remove coats or shoes prior to initial screening), all metal objects must be removed from pockets. Computers and tablets will need to be removed from bags for screening too. Do not bring any weapons or explosives, including knives or other sharp objects to the Library.  All bags must be opened for inspection when leaving the Library of Congress as well. This is a precautionary measure to protect the irreplaceable treasures in the Library’s collections. We appreciate your cooperation with these measures to protect your safety and ask you to plan your arrival time with security in mind.

No Smoking Policies

Washington, D.C., has “no smoking” policies in place for all workplaces, restaurants, and bars.  Smoking is likewise prohibited in all Library of Congress buildings and near building entrances and air intakes.

Reader Registration

Reader Identification Cards are available should you wish to conduct research while at the Library of Congress. Procedures for how to register for a complimentary card can be found at www.loc.gov/rr/readerregistration.html.

Food

There are several food options in and around the Library.

Where to eat within two blocks of the Library (PDF, 73KB)

 

Back to top