The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce that the Annual Undergraduate Conference on the American Polity will be held in 2018 at Colgate University, April 13-14. The event will feature Russian-born journalist Cathy Young and Jamie Muir, a philosopher who specializes in education. Dr. Elizabeth L’Arrivee, lecturer in university studies at Colgate University, is organizing the conference with AHI and Robert Kraynak’s Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate.

The annual conference features outstanding undergraduate research from a variety of disciplines including history, economics, philosophy, anthropology, religion, political science, and sociology.  Submissions by undergraduates should concern in some way the principles and practice of American political life. The deadline for the submission of student papers is March 31. Submissions should be emailed in Word document format to AHI Executive Director Robert Paquette at 

Professors will serve on each panel as commentators on the undergraduate papers. The conference also welcomes attendance by undergraduates who may not be presenting but who are interested in participating as a member of the audience and in the special group discussion of a prescribed reading by faculty and students at the end of the conference.

In planning for the event, students should arrive on Friday, April 13 so as to attend the kick-off banquet and keynote address. A block of rooms has been reserved at Wendt University Inn, 175 Utica Street, Hamilton, NY, 13346, (315) 824-4400. The price is $119/night. Departure should take place on Sunday morning or afternoon, April 15. In making reservations, mention the name of Dr. Beth L’Arrivee and the Annual Undergraduate Conference in the American Polity.  A complete schedule of the events will be posted on the AHI calendar in the weeks ahead.

For additional information, please contact Robert Paquette (, or Dr. Beth L’Arrivee (

Guest speaker Cathy Young is a contributing editor for Reason magazine, a weekly columnist for Newsday, and a regular contributor to the Jewish Daily Forward and The Weekly Standard. Her free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Daily Beast, Slate, Foreign Policy, Commentary, and Quillette. She was a weekly columnist for The Detroit News from 1993 to 2000 and for the Boston Globe from 2000 to 2007. Young is the author of two books: Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood (1989) and Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality (1999). She is also a media fellow with the Cato Institute. While her writing deals with a wide range of topics, gender issues and feminism have been a major focus of her work. Her perspective is generally critical of both modern feminism and gender traditionalism, stressing individual rights, empowerment, and equity and fairness for both sexes. In 2001 and 2002, Young taught a class on contemporary perspectives on gender issues as a guest lecturer at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. A frequent speaker on college campuses, she has also been a regular participant in the Battle of Ideas, a unique annual weekend-long event in London that brings together speakers of diverse perspectives for dozens of panels on various issues. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. Young graduated from Rutgers University in 1988 with a degree in English.

Guest speaker Jamie Muir is a professor of philosophy from the University of Winnipeg. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University. His background is in science (physics and neuroscience), war studies, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy and educational philosophy. He traveled extensively in the Middle East, and he is an expert in the political philosophy and language of that region as well as in the Judeo-Christian tradition. His several articles on the history of educational ideas have garnered a global audience with substantial citations. His The Legacy of Isocrates and a Platonic Alternative: Political Philosophy and the Value of Education, is being published in March, 2018. The book brings together educational philosophy, political thought, and rhetoric to examine the influence of the philosopher Isocrates on educational thought and the history of education, tracing the historical influence of Isocrates’ notions of education from antiquity to the modern era. Muir questions normative assumptions about the foundations of education and considers the future status of education as an academic discipline.