Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
David Sehat is a cultural and intellectual historian of the United States. His first book, The Myth of American Religious Freedom, was published in January 2011 by Oxford University Press. It argues that both liberals and conservatives draw upon a mythical American past when engaging in political conversation. This incorrect historical foundation has yielded an intractable falseness in our contemporary debate on religion in public life.
Sehat is now working on his second book, tentatively entitled Inventing the Founders. It argues that the appeal to the Founders in contemporary political discourse often says more about us than it does about them. By historicizing this tendency of appealing to the Founders, beginning in the 1820s and stretching into the present, Sehat hopes to reframe the debate about the proper role of the Founders in contemporary law and politics.
At Georgia State he regularly teaches the following courses: Survey of U.S. History, U.S. in the Nineteenth Century, U.S. Cultural History, and the graduate Seminar in U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History.