Weekend Colloquia

Weekend Colloquia Summer 2022

Controversy, Consensus, and Compromise in the American Founding

Tucson, AZ | June 8-10, 2022

Discussion Leader: Adam Seagrave

The American Founding is alternately hallowed as a miraculous moment of inspiration, and criticized as a vague set of mundane compromises. We will explore and discuss the specific points of controversy, important agreements in principle, and crucial moments of compromise that animated the debates and discussions of the American Founding Era.


The Founding and the Jefferson Enigma

Valley Forge, PA | June 10-12, 2022

Discussion Leader: Eric Sands

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most famous figures of the American founding generation, yet he left behind an intellectual legacy wrought with confusion and contradiction. From his opinions on the Constitution and race and slavery, to religious liberty and toleration and education, Jefferson continues to baffle scholars looking for consistency and coherence in Jefferson’s thoughts and actions. This seminar will look at Jefferson’s ideas and principles through his writings and try to unravel some of the pieces of this enigmatic figure.


The Founding and the Jefferson Enigma

Valley Forge, PA | June 12-14, 2022

Discussion Leader: Eric Sands

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most famous figures of the American founding generation, yet he left behind an intellectual legacy wrought with confusion and contradiction. From his opinions on the Constitution and race and slavery, to religious liberty and toleration and education, Jefferson continues to baffle scholars looking for consistency and coherence in Jefferson’s thoughts and actions. This seminar will look at Jefferson’s ideas and principles through his writings and try to unravel some of the pieces of this enigmatic figure.


Civil Rights, the Great Society, and Backlash

Austin, TX | June 15-17, 2022

Discussion Leader: Eric Pullin

This seminar covers the Great Society and Johnson’s efforts on behalf of civil rights. It also explores how LBJ’s foreign policies (both in Europe and Vietnam) affected his presidency and American society.


Slaves and Rebels in Colonial America

St. Augustine, FL | June 15-17, 2022

Discussion Leader: Cara Rogers

This seminar will explore some of the colonial era’s most important legal, political, and physical fights over the nature of freedom. We will begin by reading primary documents from New England and the Chesapeake in order to trace the origins of both American racism and American abolitionism. Then, we will investigate the mysteries surrounding the Stono slave revolt that took place near Charlestown, SC, in 1739.


Faith and Freedom in Colonial America

Winston-Salem, NC | June 17-19, 2022

Discussion Leader: Sarah Morgan Smith

In this seminar, we will explore how the intersections of religious cultures (Catholic, Protestant, and indigenous African and native) and imperial conflicts and priorities provided shape and context for European colonization of North America, paying special attention to the ways arguments for and the pursuit of religious liberty relate to arguments for and the pursuit of political liberty.


Wilson and World War I

Staunton, VA | June 22-24, 2022

Discussion Leader: John Moser

Under Woodrow Wilson the United States became directly involved in a European war for the first time in its history. Through an examination of primary documents from the period 1914 to 1919 we will consider how this happened, and why it was important. How committed was Wilson to neutrality from 1914 to 1917, and why did he finally decide to abandon it? What were his ideas for the postwar world, and what role did he envision for the United States in that world?


Jefferson and the American Founding

Ticonderoga, NY | June 29-July 1, 2022

Discussion Leader: Rob McDonald

Covering the period from the American Revolution through the election of 1800, this seminar will explore Jefferson’s role in the creation of the American republic. The seminar will include a detailed examination of the conflict between Jefferson and Hamilton.


Creating a New Government: James Madison and the Constitution

Montpelier Station, VA | July 18-20, 2022

Discussion Leader: Robert McDonald

This seminar investigates the roles played by James Madison in advocating for, helping to create, and then ratifying the 1787 Constitution and his subsequent efforts in the new government to put the new Constitutional system into practice after 1789. Readings will consist of extensive primary source writings by Madison as well as excerpts from key secondary historical accounts.


Liberty and Equality in the American Founding

Dallas, TX | July 27-29, 2022

Discussion Leader: Jeremy Bailey

The Declaration of Independence says that governments are instituted in order to secure rights. In this two day seminar, we will examine about thirty of the most important documents from the Founding period to ask how and whether the Constitution secures rights. We will also discuss the meaning of equality and liberty as understood by the Founding generation.


The American Founding: Creating the Presidency

New Orleans, LA | August 3-5, 2022

Discussion Leader: James Stoner

How did the American Revolution, made in the name of republicanism against a British monarch, issue in the invention of the American president, who appears to be a sort of republican king? What did the Founders expect of the presidency, and are those expectations being met or betrayed in twenty-first century America?


The American Founding

Valley Forge, PA | August 8-10, 2022

Discussion Leader: David Alvis

This seminar offers an overview of the principles of the American Founding and the
documents that embody them, especially the Declaration of Independence and U.S.
Constitution. These principles will be illuminated through a close study of the events of the American Revolution and the struggle over ratification of the Constitution.

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