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University of Houston: Liberal Education and Citizenship in a Free Society

February 23, 2023 @ 9:00 am - February 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm

February 23-25, 2023, the University of Houston’s Tocqueville Forum on American Ideas and Institution will hold a Liberal Education and Citizenship in a Free Society Conference hosting Keynote Speakers Jim Ceaser, Ben Story, and Keith Whittington. The Conference will discuss Philosophically Informed Approaches to Teaching Ethics and Leadership within Liberal Education.

Participants include JMC faculty partners Jeremy BaileyAlin Fumurescu, and Dustin Gish and fellows David AndersonJeffrey ChurchCarli Conklin, Paul Diduch, Justin DyerRodolfo HernandezJonathan Marks, Greg McBrayer, Anna Marisa Schon George ThomasAnn Ward, and Lee Ward.


Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25, 2023 • 9:00 AM CT
Honors Commons • University of Houston

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James W. Ceaser is the chairman of JMC’s academic council and the Harry F. Bird Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. At UVA, he directs the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy.  Jim has written multiple books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential SelectionReconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development. He is a frequent contributor to the popular press, most recently The Weekly Standard and National Review. He has served as presidential appointment to the National Archives Commission.

Jim has held visiting professorships at the University of Florence, the University of Basel, Oxford University, the University of Bordeaux, the University of Rennes as well as at Harvard and Princeton. Jim was awarded the Bradley Prize in 2015.

James Ceaser is a JMC Fellow, Faculty Partner, and JMC Board Member.

Learn more about Jim Ceaser >>



Benjamin StoreyBenjamin Storey is the Jane Gage Hipp Professor of Politics and International Affairs. He is the Director of Furman’s Tocqueville Program, an intellectual community dedicated to investigating the moral and philosophic questions at the heart of political life. He has been awarded the Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman award for Meritorious Teaching. He is a Visiting Fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies Division of the American Enterprise Institute, and has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With Jenna Silber Storey, he is author of “Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021).

Ben Storey is a JMC Fellow.

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Keith WhittingtonKeith E. Whittington is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech, as well as Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning, and Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review, and Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History (which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in law and courts and the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history), and Judicial Review and Constitutional Politics, and American Political Thought: Readings and Materials. He is the editor (with Neal Devins) of Congress and the Constitution and editor (with R. Daniel Kelemen and Gregory A. Caldeira) of The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics and editor of Law and Politics: Critical Concepts in Political Science. He is also the author (with Howard Gillman and Mark A. Graber) of American Constitutionalism, vol. 1: Structures of Government and American Constitutionalism, vol. 2: Rights and Liberties (which together won the Teaching and Mentoring Award for innovative instructional materials in law and courts), and American Constitutionalism: Powers, Rights and Liberties (a one-volume abridgement). He has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, federalism, judicial politics, and the presidency. He has been a John M. Olin Foundation Faculty Fellow and American Council of Learned Societies Junior Faculty Fellow, and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. He is editor (with Gerald Leonard) of the New Essays on American Constitutional History and editor (with Maeva Marcus, Melvin Urofsky, and Mark Tushnet) of the Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution. His new book, Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present, is forthcoming and he is currently completing Constitutional Crises, Real and Imagined and The Idea of Democracy in America, from the American Revolution to the Gilded Age.

Keith Whittington is a JMC Fellow.

Learn more about Keith Whittington >>



The Tocqueville Forum in American Ideas and Institutions at the University of Houston began in 2015. Its purpose is to promote knowledge about American democracy and to provide a forum for discussing the challenges facing democratic constitutionalism today.

Accordingly, the Tocqueville Forum fosters dialogue about the foundations of liberal democracy and the relationship between mores and liberal democratic institutions, especially in the American context.  The Forum provides opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on the study of American ideas and institutions with respect to the American founding, political change, representation, rights, liberty, and constitutionalism broadly.  The Forum hosts visiting speakers, organizes conferences, and sponsors student research projects.

The Forum is directed by Alin Fumurescu and Rita Koganzon.

The Tocqueville Forum is committed to the principles of academic freedom.

Learn more about Tocqueville Forum on American Ideas and Institutions  >>



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February 23, 2023 @ 9:00 am
February 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm
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