The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study kicked off its inaugural lecture series with an address by the Dean of Stanford Law School, Kathleen Sullivan, on Friday afternoon.
Sullivan spoke in Longfellow Hall after an introduction by President Neil L. Rudenstine.
Sullivan's speech was entitled "The Constitution in the 21st Century."
Speaking on changes in intellectual thought about the U.S. Constitution, Sullivan also addressed the particular challenges new technology poses to Constitutional interpretation.
"You cannot look at new technology with generalist assumptions [about the Constitution] without accounting for specific situations," Sullivan said. "Generalist interpretations and very specific interpretations both incorporate expectations about freedom."
Sullivan concluded her speech by comparing the Institute's mission statement--a point of much contention last spring in merger negotiations between Harvard and Radcliffe--with the U.S. Constitution.
"I can't think of a better example of a reflective equilibrium," she said. "I want to express every best wish for a successful future for the Institute."
Dean-elect of the Institute, Drew Gilpin Faust, attended the lecture, as did Mary Maples Dunn, acting dean of the Institute, Harvey V. Fineberg '67, provost of the University, and Linda S. Wilson, former president of Radcliffe College.
In other Radcliffe news this weekend, the Schlesinger Library, the Ann Radcliffe Trust and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History sponsored their annual conference, "History and Memory: Gender at Harvard and Radcliffe."
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Phillips professor of early American history and director of the Warren Center, gave the opening address for the gathering that focused on how Radcliffe women functioned within the realm of Harvard in the past century.
Alumnae spoke about their experiences at Radcliffe, and undergraduates presented their academic work on Radcliffe's history.