Summer Programs

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The James Madison Seminar on the Moral Foundations of the American Constitutional Order

June 9-15, 2019 on the Princeton University campus

Co-sponsored by the Witherspoon Institute, this one-week residential seminar for postdoctoral and advanced graduate students in American political thought and political theory will examine major interpretations of the founding, with a view to understanding the American constitutional order’s elements of republicanism, liberalism, natural law and natural rights, the common law, and Christianity.  Is there a coherent moral teaching that underlies the American regime from its inception? If so, what is it? If not, what then? And how do these questions bear on the development and future of American politics? In addition to the core faculty, several guest faculty will join the seminar during the week’s sessions.

Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with core texts in the American founding.

Core Faculty:
Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University
Matthew J. Franck, Director, Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, Witherspoon Institute

Program Fee: $250; includes meals, campus accommodations, and course materials
Application Deadline: February 15, 2019

Applications will be live in January 2019.

The James Madison Seminar on the Principles of American Politics

July 7-13, 2019 on the Princeton University campus

Co-sponsored by the Witherspoon Institute, this one-week residential seminar for upper-level high-school students and rising college freshmen will study the fundamental questions of equality and liberty in American political life. What have Americans meant by these principles from the founding to the present? What is their relationship with one another, with political power, with law, and with the private sphere of civil society? Are they in tension or in harmony? Readings will be in primary sources including The Federalist and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, as well as other basic texts from American history.

Faculty:
S. Adam Seagrave, Kinder Institute Associate Professor of Constitutional Democracy, University of Missouri
Jeffrey J. Poelvoorde, Associate Professor of Politics, Converse College
Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University
Matthew J. Franck, Director, Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, Witherspoon Institute

Program Fee: $250; includes meals, campus accommodations, and course materials
Application Deadline: February 15, 2019

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