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This St. Patrick's Day, the Tocqueville Forum hosted the Fifth Annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference on the American Polity. Click here for the complete gallery of images.
Click here to read the Tocqueville Forum mission statement.
Click here to learn about our undergraduate Fellows and why they keep coming back for more at the Tocqueville Forum.
Lecture by Kristine Kalanges on December 5: "No God but the State: Theorizing the Western Assault on Religious Freedom."
On Thursday, December 5th the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy is proud to welcome Professor Kristine Kalanges of Notre Dame Law School for the last lecture of this semester. At 5:30pm in the Mortara Center Conference Room, Professor Kalanges will deliver a lecture entitled: "No God but the State: Theorizing the Western Assault on Religious Freedom." Register for the event here.
Students reflect on annual Tocqueville Forum Student Fellows Retreat in November
How do you get an education while still in college? And what is the relationship between love, liberty, and the law? From November 15th-17th, sixteen students from the Tocqueville Forum Student Fellows, along with Fr. Stephen Fields, Professor Kevin Doak, and graduate student Joe Hartman, retreated to Shepherd’s Spring Retreat Center near Sharpsburg, Maryland to try to answer these questions.
Our discussions ranged from Plato, and the love of learning, to Newman’s idea of the university; from the relationship between education and freedom to the problem of sin; from different types of justice to the natural law; from Nietzsche to the Kingdom of God, among many other topics. During intermissions, we played swing-danced and played music; we feasted and we celebrated the Eucharist; we walked through the woods and listened to animal rustlings in the silence; we studied and we schmoozed before November’s first fire.
The time held universal appeal: to Claudia Huang, a freshman undergraduate nursing student, it “provided a space to think deeply about ideas and concepts to which I have never really been introduced before. It was also special to spend time away from campus with people who are invested in subjects they are passionate about.” To Dominic Lamantia, another freshman, studying mathematics, it was “an excellent experience where the participants could discuss important issues that are often ignored in the classroom. It was formative theologically and philosophically. It is also a great way to get to know some of the many of the brilliant students that we have at Georgetown.” To Kafele Kossally, a senior studying Chinese and philosophy, it “meant the chance to spend a weekend with incredibly thoughtful people contemplating those rarely discussed questions which are nevertheless - and perhaps for that reason, incredibly important to contemplate.” For the rest of us, it was likewise a profound privilege.
Tocqueville and Kierkegaard in Copenhagen
In a much-anticipated lecture on October 24th at 6:30pm in Copley Formal Lounge, Professor David Walsh of the Catholic University of America will give a fascinating account of Alexis de Tocqueville's correspondence and encounter with the great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in the 1840's. Tocqueville understood himself to be a child of the enlightenment and yet he sought to retain a faith that would answer its deepest aspiration. Recenty discovered letters suggest that in response, Kierkegaard lays out the form that Christianity must assume if it is to be transparent to an age that no longer fully understands itself. It may not be too much to suggest that the enlargement of the heart that Tocqueville sought on his travels was confirmed most deeply in his Copenhagen conversation. Read more information here.
A Homecoming for Professor Deneen on September 26th
Over homecoming weekend, Professor Patrick J. Deneen will return to Georgetown to give a lecture entitled, "After Democracy? Tocqueville on the End of Democracy." During his lecture Professor Deneen will probe the question, if the culmination of democracy lies in enslavement, is there any hope for democracy, or something "After Democracy?"? Professor Deneen taught at Georgetown from 2005 through May 2012 where he was the Founding Director of the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy. To view the event and RSVP click on the link here.
"The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills - A Great Encounter with Prof. Peter W. Cookson on April 11th
Professor Peter W. Cookson shared with a small group of Tocqueville Forum Student Fellows how C. Wright Mills' book "The Power Elite" impacted him while studying sociology in the 1960's. Prof. Cookson found at the time, Mills convincingly argued that existing power structures are largely controlled by a "Power Elite," setting the stage for social criticism and new ways of thinking about sociology. Mills message is similarly poignant today: whenever an oligarchy of wealth emerges in history, society becomes increasingly unstable. Read more from the Great Encounter on the Tocqueville Forum Blog here.
Forum Lecture by Randy Barnett "Who Won the Obamacare Case?" March 14th
Professor Randy E. Barnett gave a public lecture to the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy at Georgetown University, on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 titled "Who Won the Obamacare Case?" Professor Barnett was one of the attorneys representing the National Federation of Independent Business in its historic challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. In this lecture, he explained exactly how the Supreme Court ruled in the case, why it is significant, and why so many law professors failed to appreciate the seriousness of the challenge. Listen to and download the lecture from Itunes U. here.
"The Tocquevillean Moment . . . and Ours" by Wilfred M. McClay
We study the Republic because it formulates powerful criticisms of democracy that remain enduringly valid and troubling, criticisms that we would not have had the wit to formulate on our own—and because in reading it and wrestling with it, we are teaching our democracy to know itself better, and thereby contributing, not to the undermining of our democracy, but to its deepening, its resiliency, its ennoblement. To find and retain those things from the past that remain estimable and enduringly valuable is what it means to cultivate a civilization..." read more here.
Call for Editors
Want to work for Utraque Unum, Georgetown's only undergraduate journal in the humanities and the recent recipient of the Collegiate Network's national award for Best Undergraduate Journal of Letters? Applications are due February 11th.
Email Chris Mooney (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions. Read more about Utraque Unum and read previous editions online here. See the Call for Editors here for more information about out to apply.
Now on Twitter!
Follow the Tocqueville Forum here on Twitter for the latest updates from the Forum and quotes from our namesake Alexis de Tocqueville.
Fr. Schall's last lecture "A Final Gladness" full video
I encourage you to watch this great tribute to Father Schall, who has been nothing short of an inspiration to the Tocqueville Forum and the embodiment of Christian humanism at Georgetown for over 50 years. At the Tocqueville Forum, our students, staff, and affiliated faculty will feel his loss indefinitely.
Obama Should Heed Tocqueville on Schools - Reposted from Education Next
By Williamson Ever
Alexis de Tocqueville is famous for his portrait of 19th-century America and his philosophic insights on why the American society has flourished — and also where it might go wrong. It is worth the time to remind ourselves what some of Tocqueville’s insights were. Once we do, we can consider the Obama administration’s current nationalization of K-12 public-school curriculum, with Tocqueville’s insights in mind... Read more on the Tocqueville Forum blog here.
Read the latest volume of Utraque Unum online here, featuring "In Celebration of James V. Schall, S.J. A Retrospective of Essays."
- New blog post: "Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: What Tocqueville Teaches Today" from the Heritage Foundation.
- New blog post: "Obama Should Heed Tocqueville on Schools" by Williamson Ever.
- Fr. James V. Schall's last lecture "A Final Gladness" now online
- Professor Joshua Mitchell to act as Interim Director
- Professor Deneen to leave Georgetown
- Jean Bethke Elshtain Will Receive Fifth Annual Schall Award
- New Associate Director Announced
- Now Accepting Student Fellow Applications for the 2011-2012 Academic Year
- Spring 2011 Newsletter Released
- New Program Coordinator Announced
- Senior Thesis Prize Awarded
- Justin R. Hawkins Announced as Winner of Third Annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Student Essay Contest
- Archived Announcements
Tweets by @TocquevilleForu
- Tocqueville Forum launches Twitter Account
- Tocqueville Becomes Best-Seller in China
- Student Fellow Jon Askonas awarded Beinecke Scholarship
- Student Fellow Michael Fischer reflects on the heritage of Georgetown University
- Student Fellow Kevin Sullivan reflects on the state of inquiry in the SFS
- Georgetown Dean Chester Gillis states the University's support of the continued work of the Tocqueville Forum
- Board member Bill Mumma remarks on religious liberty as the new president of the Becket Fund