Department of Politics
Mariah Zeisberg is conducting a historical, political, and ethnographic study of the new National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The NCC promises that visitors will come as spectators and leave as citizens; to that end, its offerings are interactive and its portrait of American constitutional citizenship is explicitly populist. What are the implications of this treatment of the Constitution? Zeisberg specifically explores how the Constitution Center navigates a number of key tensions in its representation of the constitutional people, especially the tension between museum-visitor and constitutional citizen, and the tension between understanding and appreciation (or veneration) of the Constitution.