Frederick Douglass Forum: What’s So Liberating about the Liberal Arts?

Laurentius de Voltolina

Frederick Douglass Forum: “What’s So Liberating about the Liberal Arts?”


On March 15, 2019, the Frederick Douglass Forum at Linfield College, a JMC partner program directed by Nicholas Buccola, held a symposium on liberal education and the American experiment.

Panel 1: Susan McWilliams on “Liberal Arts and the Arts of Liberty”


Panel 2: Scott Hartley on “The Humanities in an Algorithmic World”


Panel 3: Roosevelt Montás on “The Task of Liberal Education”


What's So Liberating about the Liberal Arts? poster

JMC fellows Nicholas Buccola, Susan McWilliams, and Roosevelt Montás were participants.

Friday, March 15, 2019, 10:30 AM – 4:35 PM
Nicholson Library • Linfield College

Click here to learn more >>



Nick BuccolaNicholas Buccola is the Elizabeth & Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College. His teaching and research interests are in political theory and public law. Professor Buccola is the founding director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, a partner program in JMC’s Pacific Northwest Initiative, and has written extensively on the political thought of Frederick Douglass. He has published essays on a wide variety of topics including the debate over same-sex marriage, Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of socialism, and the political philosophies of Judith Shklar and Leo Strauss. He is a recipient of the Allen and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar Award, and a two-time recipient of the Samuel Graf Faculty Achievement Award. Professor Buccola is also the new book review editor for the JMC supported journal, American Political Thought.

Professor Buccola is a Jack Miller Center faculty partner.

Learn more about Nicholas Buccola >>



Susan J. McWilliamsSusan McWilliams is Professor and Department Chair of Politics at Pomona College, where she received the Wig Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009. At Pomona, her courses have included “American Democracy in Theory and Practice,” “Dangerous Books,” and “Politics and Literature.” She received her BA in Russian and Political Science from Amherst College and her MA and PhD in Politics from Princeton University. Her work has been published in journals including The Boston Review, The City, Commonweal, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Perspectives on Political Science. Professor McWilliams has been a JMC fellow since our very first Summer Institute in 2005. She is also a new editor for the JMC supported journal, American Political Thought.

Professor McWilliams is a Jack Miller Center fellow.

Learn more about Susan McWilliams >>



Portrait photo of Roosevelt MontasRoosevelt Montás is Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College. Professor Montás specializes in Antebellum American literature and culture, with a particular interest in American citizenship. His dissertation, “Rethinking America: Abolitionism and the Antebellum Transformation of the Discourse of National Identity,” won Columbia University’s 2004 Bancroft Award. In 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student. Professor Montás regularly teaches “Introduction to Contemporary Civilization,” a year-long course on primary texts in moral and political thought in the West, as well as a seminar for the Center for American Studies entitled “Freedom and Citizenship in the United States.” As Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum he has spoken frequently on the history, meaning, and future of liberal education.

Professor Montás is a Jack Miller Center fellow.

Learn more about Roosevelt Montás >>



The Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice at Linfield College aims to promote reflection, discussion, and debate about the rule of law, individual rights, and competing conceptions of justice. It seeks to achieve this aim through an interdisciplinary major and minor in Law, Rights, and Justice (housed in the Department of Political Science), student reading/discussion groups and a lecture/debate series. The Forum is named in honor of Frederick Douglass, who devoted his nearly six decades in public life to the “mission” of hastening “the day when the principles of liberty and humanity expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States shall be the law and the practice of every section, and of all the people of this great country without regard to race, sex, color, or religion.” The Douglass Forum, hopes to provide students, faculty, and members of the community with opportunities to witness and participate in serious discussions about how Douglass’s mission ought to be carried on today.

Learn more about the Frederick Douglass Forum >>



This event is supported by Jack Miller Center’s Pacific Northwest Initiative: Advancing Education in America’s Founding Principles and History. Thanks to the generous grant from MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, JMC is working with faculty to organize exciting campus events in the region. The Initiative also provides programs, conferences and other opportunities for professors in the PNW—all to help them make a difference in the education of their students.



Facebook iconTwitter iconFollow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about lectures, publications, podcasts, and events related to American political thought, United States history, and the Western political tradition!



Want to help the Jack Miller Center transform higher education? Donate today.