The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce the schedule and event details for the Annual Undergraduate Conference on the American Polity, April 1-2 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.  On Friday evening, April 1 at 8:00 p.m. Diana Schaub, Professor, Department of Political Science, Loyola University Maryland, will deliver the keynote address. The topic of this year’s conference is the American polity broadly understood and the event is co-sponsored by the AHI and the Benjamin Franklin Forum. For further information, please contact Robert L. Paquette, or Flagg Taylor

AHI Charter Fellow Douglas Ambrose and AHI Resident Fellow David Frisk will be among the scholars who will participate as commentators on the panels. AHI Undergraduate Fellows Will Swett, Elizabeth Barry, and Taylor Elicegui will be participating in the group discussions, along with presenter Mike Adamo. Sessions and student panels will be held on Saturday, April 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are open to the public. Students should come to the conference having read two the following documents:

Keynote speaker Diana Schaub, a member of the Hoover Institution’s Jill and Boyd Smith Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society, was the recipient in 2001 of the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. She is the author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995), along with a number of book chapters and articles in the fields of political philosophy and American political thought. She is also a co-editor (with Amy and Leon Kass) of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (ISI, 2011). She is a contributing editor for The New Atlantis; her work has also appeared in National AffairsThe New CriterionThe Public InterestThe American Enterprise, the Claremont Review of Books, CommentaryFirst ThingsThe American Interest, and City Journal.

Event Schedule

Annual Undergraduate Conference on the American Polity (April 1-2)

Friday, April 1

Afternoon: Arrival and check-in at Courtyard Saratoga Springs, 11 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

5:30 PM: Reception

6:00 PM: Dinner Location:  Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

8:00 PM: Keynote Speaker:  Professor Diana Schaub, Loyola University:  “Learning to Love Lincoln: Frederick Douglass’s Journey from Grievance to Gratitude.”* 

Location:  Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall, Skidmore College

*Students should come to the conference having read two documents:

1. Frederick Douglass’s Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln originally delivered on April 14, 1876.

2. Chapter 17, “The Last Flogging,” from Douglass’s autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom.

Saturday, April 2

8:30AM:  Coffee, continental breakfast, Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum

Panel commentators: AHI Charter Fellow Doug Ambrose and Resident Fellow David Frisk

9:00-10:30AM:   Panel #1, Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum

  • Emily Mangan, Skidmore College:  “Tocqueville on the Democratic Intellect”
  • Matthew Bristol, Skidmore College:  “Retreat with Honor: LBJ’s Decision not to Run in 1968”
  • Drew Hoffmaster, Texas Tech University:  “Donald Trump’s Party: An Analysis of the Trump
  • Candidacy”

10:30-11:00AM: Break

11:00AM-12:30PM:  Panel #2, Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum

  • Owen Smitherman, Princeton University:  “Leadership, Slavery and the Civil War”
  • Michael Adamo, Hamilton College:  “Anti-Capitalism and Paternalism in Pro-Slavery Thought”
  • Tim Rice, College of the Holy Cross:  “Refreshing the Founding: Mercy Otis Warren and a New Approach to Early American History”

12:30-2:00PM: Lunch at Skidmore’s Dining Hall

2:00-3:30PM:  Panel #3, Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum

  • Jack Schreuer, Skidmore College:  “Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian Constitutionalism”
  • Savannah Barksdale, Texas Tech University:  “Comparing the United States and Texas Constitutions”
  • Dimitri Halikias, Yale University:  “The Democratic Thought of the Anti-Federalists”
  • Julie Nelson, Baylor University:  “A Foundational Consideration: Why Religion Should be Treated as Special”

6:30PM: Dinner and Directed Discussion with Professor Schaub, Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum