New exhibit "Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation"

Photo of Dr. Steve Brown from the Department of Political Science.

A traveling exhibit, “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation,” is being made possible thanks to funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, Auburn University Intramural Grants Program, and a College of Liberal Arts Summer Research Grant.

Steven Brown, professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, is currently conducting extensive research to write about three United States Supreme Court Justices appointed from Alabama, and eight landmark cases that arose from this state. He will utilize his research to create content for a traveling exhibit that will make appearances in museums, libraries, universities, and public buildings throughout the state during the upcoming bicentennial of Alabama statehood. The three-dimensional multimedia exhibit is tentatively designed to have 35 display panels, five pop-up panels, video monitors, and audio components to allow visitors to learn more about these cases, the justices, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution. He is also working on an accompanying exhibition book.

The Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) grant was the most recent agency to approve funding for the project.

“I was very grateful to learn that I had received this grant,” Brown said. “As critical as every dollar of the funding is, however, the most important thing to me has been the support of Thomas Bryant, AHF’s Grants Director,”

Brown said he met Bryant last year when Bryant came to Auburn as part of a College of Liberal Arts Grant Workshop.

“He {Bryant} expressed initial interest in the idea of the exhibit,” Brown said. “He encouraged me to develop the project further… and primarily because of his support for the exhibit, and now with the addition of the AHF grant, the idea of ‘Alabama Justice’ is about to become a reality and it is just very exciting.”

For his part, Bryant said that the Alabama Humanities Foundation is proud to support Brown. 

"This is an important and very timely project," Bryant said. "In telling the fascinating historical connections between our state and the U.S. Supreme Court, and, in turn, federal law, Dr. Brown's research and the traveling exhibition he is developing will help address the urgent need for increased knowledge of and interest in civics. AHF seeks to support excellent humanities projects that foster a more informed and engaged Alabama, and I cannot think of a better example than this."

Brown says that he has received a lot of support from his colleagues, peers, and throughout the community and state, as well.

“My department, CLA, and AU have been very supportive, financially and otherwise,” Brown said.   

Brown says that the project is in its initial phase. He is spending this summer writing a book on the landmark cases and Supreme Court justices that will accompany the exhibit – made possible with the help of a CLA Summer Competitive Research Grant. 

“Dr. Brown’s initiative is exactly the kind of project we like to encourage through our summer research competitive grants program,” said Dr. Joseph Aistrup, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. “The state-wide educational component of this exhibition aligns with our commitment to outreach and serving the community.”

The exhibition is slated to begin its tour on Jan. 1, 2019, in commemoration of Alabama’s Bicentennial.

For more information about Dr. Brown, please visit his website:



Last Updated: October 17, 2017