The Mary and David Nichols Annual Conference on the Great Books will take place in Waco, Texas, on Friday and Saturday, April 14-15, 2023. This year’s discussion will center on “The Moral Foundations of Modern Democracy.”   The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Baylor University and The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI).

David and Mary Nichols

The event will begin from 10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 14, 2412 Ridgewood Avenue, Waco, and from 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 15, at Pecan Bluff, near Lake Whitney.

The syllabi of readings will include works of James Wilson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Edmund Burke. Steve Block, Denise Schaeffer (from Holy Cross), and David Clinton will serve as discussion leaders for this year’s conference. This year’s event will celebrate the publication of Democracy and the History of Political Thought, edited by Baylor alums, Patrick Cain, Stephen Sims, and Steve Block.

The conference will be the 14th conference sponsored by AHI and the fourth conference since it moved from Clinton, NY to Waco. Its purpose is to facilitate conversations among the department’s graduate students (and now former graduate students) and faculty, on selected topics of Western Civilization.

As in the past, along with the discussion leaders there will be a panel of approximately fourteen discussants (graduate students, alums, faculty and friends of the program), with audience participation welcomed at the end of each session. The Department is indebted to Robert Paquette and AHI for sponsoring the conference, and to Clifton Robinson, for providing the venue.

The agenda and readings are available to all attendees and discussants in advance.

The conference is sponsored by AHI and by the generous support of the Bertha and John Garabedian Charitable Foundation.