2019 Topics & Presenters:
Keynote Presentation: The Transformation of Title IX
R. Shep Melnick
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Professor of American Politics
Few laws have had such far-reaching impact as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Intended to give girls and women greater access to sports programs and other courses of study in schools and colleges, the law has since been used by judges and agencies to expand a wide range of antidiscrimination policies―most recently the Obama administration’s 2016 mandates on sexual harassment and transgender rights.
In this comprehensive review of how Title IX has been implemented, Boston College political science professor R. Shep Melnick analyzes how interpretations of "equal educational opportunity" have changed over the years. In terms accessible to non-lawyers, Melnick examines how Title IX has become a central part of legal and political campaigns to correct gender stereotypes, not only in academic settings but in society at large. Title IX thus has become a major factor in America's culture wars―and almost certainly will remain so for years to come.
R. Shep Melnick is the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics. He teaches a variety of courses on American politics, including Courts and Public Policy, Ideas and Institutions in American Politics, Bureaucracy, Democracy in America, Rights in Conflict, and the American politics graduate field seminar.
Professor Melnick's research and writing focuses on the intersection of law and politics. His first book, Regulation and the Courts, examined judicial influence on the development of environmental policy. His second, Between the Lines, investigated the ways in which statutory interpretation has shaped a variety of entitlement programs. His current research project looks at how the Rehnquist Court is reshaping our governing institutions.
Professor Melnick is co-chair of the Harvard Program on Constitutional Government and a past president of the New England Political Science department. Before coming to Boston College 1997 he had taught at Harvard and at Brandeis, where he served as chair of the Politics department.
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