Academic Liberty & Society
Scholarship & the Free Society

July 1-7, 2000
University of Virginia,Charlottesville, VA.

Faculty & Participants "The fragmented nature of current scholarship makes events like Scholarship and the Free Society especially helpful and informative. Bringing together economists, philosophers, and legal scholars to discuss the role of liberal ideas serves a valuable purpose. I learned a great deal not only about each discipline's insights but also about their interaction in shaping the contemporary world."

-- William Hay, Ph.D. candidate in history, University of Virginia
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Scholarship and the Free Society is a conference-style seminar designed to meet the unique interests of graduate students pursuing careers in academia and research. The focus is on gaining an enhanced, multidisciplinary understanding of the intellectual tradition and current scholarship surrounding rights, markets, tolerance, voluntary cooperation, and peace. Participants have the opportunity to:

In addition to lectures on topics such as liberalism and rights, the nature of the state, knowledge and markets, the role of culture, and law in a free society, the seminar will feature many simultaenous sessions. Participants can choose among:

  • Current Research
    A faculty member presents one of her areas of inquiry and invites comments and discussion

  • Career Workshops
    Insights from experienced academics, with applications to specific disciplines

  • Challenges
    Small-group discussion of pre-selected readings that raise challenges and questions

  • State of the Discipline
    A faculty member surveys ontemporary issues in his discipline and opportunities for classical liberal scholarship

  • Panel Presentations
    An advanced graduate student presents a paper for comment by a faculty member

  • Open Forums
    Participants can organize a discussion of live issues that emerge during the seminar


  • Evening Discussion Groups -- a famous feature of IHS seminars, where participants raise issues for peer discussion.

  • Socializing, with refreshments, each night

  • Free time every afternoon

  • Tuesday afternoon & evening free for recreation and sightseeing
Approximately 70-75 participants from across the United States and other countries
  • Graduate students, graduating seniors, and recent graduates
  • Interested in classical liberal ideas -- from sympathetic to intrigued to skeptical
  • Intending to pursue research and writing in the humanities, social sciences, or law
  • Committed to open academic inquiry and creative problem-solving

Faculty participating throughout the week include:

  • Richard Adlestein, economics and law, Wesleyan University

    Paula Baker, history, University of Pittsburgh

  • Peter Boettke, economics, George Mason University

  • Paul Edwards, law and political science, Brigham Young Univesity

  • Leonard P. Liggio, history, Institute for Humane Studies

  • David Schmidtz, philosophy and economics, University of Arizona

  • Jeremy Shearmur, political thought, Australian National University
"I had always though that 'community' might be a blind spot for libertarian thought: that emphasising the bond between political and economic liberty always ends up affirming some sort of abstract individualism. What I hadn't guessed was the historical relationship between classical liberalism and modes of voluntary association and self-government. Both Jeremy Shearmur and Lynne Kiesling opened up, in an extremely nuanced way, possibilities for thinking 'community' outside or beyond boundaries and frontiers. In the discussion groups (e.g., with David Schmidtz) this turned around questions of the libertarian commitment to theories of natural law, as well as its location within the broader liberal tradition of cosmopolitanism. None of this I had thought about before. My research is taking a somewhat different course as a result."

-- Simon Hollis, M.A., Critical Theory, University of Sussex


If you are interested in coming back to an IHS seminar in a special role, with some discussion leadership responsibilities and the opportunity to participate in many sessions, please contact Dr. Paul Edwards at the Institute:

You are now able to apply to IHS Summer Seminars by the Internet, e-mail, printing out an application, or having IHS mail you an application. Choose the most convient method below:

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