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Engage in Scholarly Discourse

Events & Programs / Discussion-Based Events

Engage in Scholarly Discourse

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Experience academic environments where current and aspiring scholars share ideas and engage in meaningful discourse. Join us at academic events — from seminars and symposia to conferences and colloquia — to participate in discussions about the ideas and challenges shaping the good society.

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Participate in conversations around cutting-edge scholarship and fresh perspectives on liberalism from some of the brightest minds in the academy and beyond.

Higher Education at Its Best: A Conversation with John Tomasi

Thursday, July 7, 2022
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Higher Education at Its Best: A Conversation with John Tomasi

Zoom · Event date: Thursday, July 7, 2022 · Event time:12:00p.m. ET

The Institute for Humane Studies invites you to join us on Thursday, July 7, from 12:00–1:00 PM Eastern for a conversation with John Tomasi, president of Heterodox Academy, about what higher education should be at its best.

IHS president Emily Chamlee-Wright will host the conversation, which will explore the core values the two organizations share, including free speech and open inquiry, the importance of those values within the academy and beyond, and Tomasi’s vision for the future of American higher education. The conversation will be followed by Q&A.

Glenn C. Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University and a member of Heterodox Academy’s Advisory Council, writes, “Ideological pluralism makes everyone smarter, and it is precisely what the folks around Heterodox Academy have in mind.”

John Tomasi came to Heterodox Academy from Brown University, where he held the position of Romeo Elton 1843 Professor of Natural Theology and taught and wrote about political theory and public policy. At Brown, Tomasi was twice awarded university prizes for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He founded and directed the Political Theory Project, an independent research center at Brown that supports scholarship and encourages political dialogue on campus.

Tomasi earned his bachelor’s degree from Colby College and did his graduate work in political philosophy at the University of Arizona (M.A.) and Oxford University (B.Phil., D.Phil.). He has held positions at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, the Department of Philosophy at Stanford, and the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard.

Emily Chamlee-Wright is the president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies, which supports and partners with scholars to advance a deeper understanding of classical liberal ideas in the academic, policy, and public conversations that are shaping the 21st century. She joined IHS in 2016 with an accomplished record as an academic leader, scholar, and educator. From 2012 to 2016 she served as provost and dean at Washington College and was previously the Elbert H. Neese Professor of Economics and associate dean at Beloit College. Emily earned her PhD in economics from George Mason University. She is a former W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and received the excellence in teaching award from Beloit College and a Distinguished Alumna Award from George Mason University. She has six books to her credit, including “Liberal Learning and the Art of Self-Governance” and “The Cultural and Political Economy of Recovery.”

Discussion Colloquia invite faculty and graduate students to discuss and debate foundational texts and contemporary scholarship on the nature of free societies.

Liberalism and the Global Society Series

May 25 - August 24, 2022
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Liberalism and the Global Society Series

Zoom · Event date: May 25 - August 24, 2022 · Event time:2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

Globalization has, arguably, been happening for a very long time — perhaps continually since the early exploration of the seas and integrations of ancient regional economies. Undoubtedly, though, it has become one of the defining characteristics of the past century and more. In economics, culture, religion, and even politics, the world has become more globalized than ever before and while many liberals claim triumph as a result, modern problems are rampant and critics of a globalized, liberalized society seem to be proliferating. This series will follow the twin histories of modern liberalism and globalization, the modern nationalist challenge to the liberal worldview, and the possibilities for a more peaceful, prosperous, and globalized world in the future.

Sessions will take place one Wednesday each month for four months, via Zoom, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants will receive an honorarium of $125, plus a $30 stipend for book purchases, per session (international participants will receive all payments at once upon completion of the program). Please note this means you are expected to purchase your own readings from your preferred vendor. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance as quickly as possible.

Readings:

May 25: Liberalism and Non-Intervention in Interwar Europe
  • Masala A., Mingardi A. (2021) “Classical Liberalism, Non-interventionism and the Origins of European Integration: Luigi Einaudi, Friedrich A. von Hayek, Wilhelm Röpke.” In: M. Cunha A., Suprinyak C.E. (eds) Political Economy and International Order in Interwar Europe. Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
June 22: Imperialism and Neoliberalism
  • Slobodian, Quinn. “Introduction” in Globalists : The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2019 p. 1-27.
  • Von Mises, Ludwig, and Bettina Bien. Greaves. Liberalism : the Classical Tradition, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005 p.124 – 151 .
July 27: The Nationalist Challenge
  • Hayek, Friedrich A. von. “The Economic Conditions of Inter-State Federalismin Individualism and Economic Order. Pbk. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “The Roman Church and Its Vision of Empire” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “John Locke and the Liberal Construction” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Nationalism Discredited” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Liberalism as Imperialism” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
  • Hazony, Yoram. “Nationalist Alternatives to Liberalism” in The Virtue of Nationalism. First edition. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019.
August 24: Toward Peace and Prosperity in a Global Society
  • Hamlin, Alan P. and Geoffrey Brennan (2004). “The European Constitution and Peace: Taking the Heat Out of Politics.” In C. B. Blankart and D. C. Mueller (eds.) A Constitution for the European Union, 25–35. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • Buchanan, J. M. (2004) “Competitive Federalism by Default.” In C. B. Blankart and D. C. Mueller (eds.) A Constitution for the European Union, 25–35. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Liberalism and Historical Methods Series

May 25 - August 24, 2022
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Liberalism and Historical Methods Series

Zoom · Event date: May 25 - August 24, 2022 · Event time:2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

This series will explore liberalism and historical methods, including how historians actually practice their craft, what implications liberal theory has for historical methods, how different forms of social power impact the writing of history, and how ideas develop over time, especially when interpreted and reinterpreted by successive generations.

Sessions will take place one Wednesday each month for four months, via Zoom, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants will receive an honorarium of $125, plus a $30 stipend for book purchases, per session (international participants will receive all payments at once upon completion of the program). Please note this means you are expected to purchase your own readings from your preferred vendor. Applicants will be notified of an acceptance as quickly as possible.

Readings:

May 25: The Essential Method
June 22: Microhistory and Individuals
July 27: Power and Perspective
August 24: Ideas and Time

Intersectionality and Individualism

August 12 - 13, 2022
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Intersectionality and Individualism

Zoom · Event date: August 12 - 13, 2022

Applications for this program have closed.

Is it possible to theoretically and practically merge the intersectional and individualistic methods in the social sciences? Does one imply the other? Can scholars understand human behavior either without reference to individuals or without reference to the intersections of an individual’s many different identities? This seminar will explore the contemporary concept of intersectionality and its place within a framework of methodological individualism, with particular emphasis on gender, race, religion, sexual identity, and individual agency. “Intersectionality and Individualism” will take place online, via Zoom, from August 12 to 13.

Readings:

Session 1: Individualism as Method
  • Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, in 4 volumes. Edited by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). Chapter II. The Epistemological Problems of the Sciences of Human Action,” pp. 30-64, Chapter III. Economics and the Revolt Against Reason,” pp. 72-91.
  • Rothbard, Murray. “Viewpoint: The Conspiracy Theory of History Revisited.” Reason (April 1977).
Session 2: Intersectionality as Method
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum vol. 1989 no. 1, 139-167.
  • Khader, Serene J. “Intersectionality and the Ethics of Transnational Commercial Surrogacy.” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6 no. 1 (Spring 2013): 68-90.
Session 3: Gender and Religion – Women in Islamic History
  • Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (Yale University Press, 1992). Chapter 8, “The Discourse of the Veil,” pages 144-168, Chapter 9, “The First Feminists,” pages 169-188, “Conclusion,” pages 235-248.
Session 4: Culture and Environment – The World of Tsenacomoco
  • Kelly, Joseph. Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America’s Origin. (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018). “Chapter Two: Tsenacomoco,” 69-101 and “Chapter Three: Nantaquod on the James,” 103-133.
Session 5: Work, Ideas, and Bodies – The Explosive Benjamin Lay
  • Rediker, Marcus. The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017). Introduction, “Prophet Against Slavery,” pages 1-10, Chapter 1, “Early Life,” pages 11-28, Chapter Five, “Books and a New Life,” pages 95-118, Conclusion, “The Giant Oak,” pages 141-150.
Session 6: Class, Race, and Age – The Reverse Underground Railroad
  • Bell, Richard. Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019). Introduction, “The Reverse Underground Railroad,” pages 1-11; Chapter One, “Sanctuary City,” pages 11-31; Chapter Two, “Black Hearts,” pages 33-46; and Chapter Three, “Midnight Land,” pages 47-62.

Advanced Topics in Liberty: City-States as Alternatives to Nation-States

November 11-13, 2022
Washington, DC metro area
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Advanced Topics in Liberty: City-States as Alternatives to Nation-States

Washington, DC metro area · Event date: November 11-13, 2022

Discussion Leader

Professor Sanford Ikeda, Purchase College, SUNY

Overview

The modern world largely consists of massive nation-states and the attendant problems that accompany them. But history is cluttered with an unending array of small states dependent upon innovation, trade, and liberal policy. What’s more, modernity itself offers us the ability to renew and rejuvenate the search for alternatives to the nation-state. As part of our upcoming “Advanced Topics” series co-sponsored with Liberty Fund, IHS will host a Discussion Colloquium on “City-States as Alternatives to Nation-States.” The discussion will be led by Sanford Ikeda, professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and will be held in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Advanced Topics in Liberty: 'Modern Monetary Theory and Populism'

January 27–29, 2023
Washington D.C. metropolitan area
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Advanced Topics in Liberty: 'Modern Monetary Theory and Populism'

Washington D.C. metropolitan area · Event date: January 27–29, 2023

January 27-29, 2023

Overview

While many proponents of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) present it as a new and insightful disruption in macroeconomic theory, it is essentially the old “state theory of money,” or chartalism. The main notion involved is that money is a state monopoly and the state’s job is to provide enough money to meet the people’s financial needs. The theory, therefore, carries great weight among populist politicians, with a variety of illiberal results. To foster a better understanding of MMT, its connections to populist politics, and what Classical Liberals can do to improve the state of macroeconomics, IHS and Liberty Fund will host an “Advanced Topics” discussion colloquium for late-stage graduate students. The conference will be moderated by an expert in the field and hosted at a date to be determined in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

A Responsible Singularity: Tech Ethics and Unpredictable Change

March 10-12, 2023
Washington, DC metro area
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A Responsible Singularity: Tech Ethics and Unpredictable Change

Washington, DC metro area · Event date: March 10-12, 2023

“Singularity” can mean many things in different fields, but for those who work in technology, a singularity is a moment of extraordinarily punctuated technological change so severe that society afterward is entirely different than it was before. Contenders for technological singularities in the past include the discovery of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the advent of heavy industry, but for the next several decades many experts are looking toward artificial intelligence. Importantly, though, the results of technological singularities are impossible to predetermine or control, and no one knows whether the change will yield more liberty or more tyranny. With the hope that the next generations of Classical Liberal scholars can help inform and influence technological development toward more peace, prosperity, and individual liberty, the IHS and Liberty Fund will be hosting an “Advanced Topics” discussion colloquium for late-stage graduate students. The conference will be moderated by an expert in the field and hosted at a date as yet to be determined, in the Washington, DC area.

Advanced Topics in Liberty: Examining the New History of Capitalism and Its Critics

April 21-23, 2023
Washington, DC metro area
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Advanced Topics in Liberty: Examining the New History of Capitalism and Its Critics

Washington, DC metro area · Event date: April 21-23, 2023

The “New History of Capitalism” is among the more recent and (for many Classical Liberals, at least) controversial trends in academia. In order to foster productive and interdisciplinary engagement with the field, its major practitioners, and some of its most important works, IHS and Liberty Fund will be hosting an Advanced Topics discussion colloquium in the Spring of 2023. An audience of late-stage graduate students will discuss the origins and impacts of capitalism as presented by leading scholars within “The New History of Capitalism,” as well as some leading criticisms of the field. The conference will be moderated by an expert in the field and hosted at a date to be determined in the Washington, D.C. area.

Collaborate with experts through moderated panel discussions and breakout sessions, and engage research on topics where the liberal perspective deserves a voice.

Strengthening Entrepreneurial Communities: Exploring Entrepreneurship at the Regional and Local Level

August 4, 2022
Zoom & Seattle, WA
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Strengthening Entrepreneurial Communities: Exploring Entrepreneurship at the Regional and Local Level

Zoom & Seattle, WA · Event date: August 4, 2022

Entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as the solution to many societal problems and the pathway to improving the human condition. Yet, even in advanced market economies, some regions are beacons for entrepreneurship while others are laggards, resulting in significant disparities in living conditions across regions. This event series will focus on cutting-edge research on entrepreneurship at the regional level.

You may elect to attend one, two, or all three sessions. Please come prepared to share your ideas for future academic research or public-facing work such as op-eds.

Following the panels, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.

If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity

Entrepreneurship & Regional Economic Development

May 20, 2022, 3:00–6:00p.m. ET

In an increasingly competitive and dynamic world, the creation and growth of new innovative business ventures is the key to sustained regional economic development and vitality. This panel features three world-renowned experts on the relationship between entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

Panelist

  • Dr. Maksim Belitski, University of Reading
  • Dr. Michael Fritsch, Friedrich Schiller University
  • Dr. Magnus Henrekson, Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Schedule

2:45–3:00p.m. | Room Opens
3:00–3:15p.m. | Welcome and Program Introduction
3:15–4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30–4:45p.m. | BREAK
4:45–5:45p.m. | Breakout Discussion Group


Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Online Panel

June 17, 2022, 3:00–6:00p.m. ET

A growing number of scholars and practitioners recognize the important interdependence of social, political, economic, and cultural conditions for fostering the development and growth of startups in a region. The so-called entrepreneurial ecosystem approach is increasingly viewed as the means to sparking entrepreneurship, yet many unresolved questions remain. This panel features three internationally recognized entrepreneurial ecosystem scholars who will discuss their latest research.

Panelist

  • Dr. Erik Stam, Utrecht University
  • Dr. Christina Theodoraki, Toulouse Business School
  • Dr. Sid Vedula, Technical University of Munich

Schedule

2:45–3:00p.m. | Room Opens
3:00–3:15p.m. | Welcome and Program Introduction
3:15–4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30–4:45p.m. | BREAK
4:45–5:45p.m. | Breakout Discussion Group


Regional Entrepreneurship Policy

In-person, Seattle, WA

August 4, 2022

While federal public policy certainly has an influence on all entrepreneurs within a country, many nations have federalist systems that allow for policy experimentation at the subnational level. Thus, regional public policy is also an important antecedent to entrepreneurial activity. This panel will feature a keynote address and three presentations by leading scholars on regional entrepreneurship policy.

Keynote Speaker

  • Dr. David Audretsch, Indiana University

Panelist

  • Dr. Christopher Boudreaux, Florida Atlantic University
  • Dr. Charles Eesley, Stanford University
  • Dr. Maria Minniti, Syracuse University

Schedule

1:30-2:00p.m. | Registration with Coffee
2:00-2:15p.m. | Welcome and Opening Remarks
2:15-3:00p.m. | Keynote Address
3:00-3:15p.m. | Coffee Break
3:15-4:30p.m. | Panel with Q&A
4:30-4:50p.m. | Coffee Break
4:50-5:50p.m. | Breakout Discussion Session
5:50-6:00p.m. | Closing Remarks
6:00-7:00p.m.| Cocktail Hour

Contemporary Challenges in Corporate Governance

Friday, August 5, 2022
Seattle, WA
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Contemporary Challenges in Corporate Governance

Seattle, WA · Event date: Friday, August 5, 2022 · Event time:4:00p.m.

Corporate Governance: Composition and Strategy

Friday, August 5, 2022, Seattle, Washington

Panelists

  • Dr. Sofia Johan, Florida Atlantic University
  • Dr. George Mocsary, University of Wyoming
  • Dr. Mike Ryall, University of Toronto

Moderator

  • Dr. Lori Verstegen Ryan, San Diego State University

Overview

Business leaders, academics, policy makers, and the media have taken significant interest in the rules, practices, and processes of how organizations are directed and managed. Firms traditionally shape their corporate governance activities, including balancing the needs of many stakeholders, such as shareholders, but also extending to employees and senior management leaders through customers, suppliers, and the community. Additionally non-governmental, self-regulatory institutions and government regulatory authority seek oversight of firms’ corporate governance. There are vastly different corporate governance practices around the world.

Co-hosted with Florida Atlantic University’s Madden Center for Value Creation, this symposium will cover important new work on today’s challenges in corporate governance.

This program was conceptualized and created with Dr. Siri Terjesen of Florida Atlantic University.

Following the panel, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.

If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity.

IHS attends multiple conferences a year across a variety of academic disciplines. Catch up with IHS staff, learn about our support, and participate in an IHS-sponsored conference event. Check back often for conference event updates on this tab.