Center for the American Idea

American Idea Programs
This page contains a list of the Center's programs, as well as links to digital copies of the readings for the American Founding and Western Intellectual Tradition colloquia.

Click here to apply for our colloquia.  There is one application for all colloquia. Please rank them (1-8) in order of your preferences.

You may also learn more about our programs and our Academic Alliance events.

Summer
Seminar

"The Moral Imagination and Roots of American Order" and "A Contemplation of Humor: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Education"
July 24-26, 2008

The American Founding and the Western Intellectual Tradition Colloquia

The Institute's partnership with Liberty Fund, a free-market oriented foundation based in Indianapolis, has made possible a series of intensive programs across the United States.  With this partnership, the Institute is hand picking educators for these discussions on texts related to liberty and its moral foundation.  Colloquia will be held at cities like Philadelphia and Williamsburg, sites with deep ties to America's founding.  Educators compare texts on the role of liberty in free enterprise, private property, and limited government.  Topics this year include: Liberty and Responsibility in the Western Tradition, The Constitutional Convention & Liberty, Tyranny and Liberty in Shakespeare and Plutarch, Historical & Philosophical Roots of American Constitutionalism, and the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists: Competing Visions of LibertyThese programs have allowed the Institute to establish ties with teachers all over America, and it expects that trend to grow rapidly as it networks with successful participants and through new outreach programs--such as the current proposed project for "American Idea Online."

Please contact Janice D'Agostino,  Program Administrator, for more information.

2008-2009
Ordering American Foreign Policy: The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates from 1793-1784
       May 8-11, 2008 - Boston, MA

The Federalists and the Anti-Federalists: Competing Visions of Liberty
       July 7-11, 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO


Liberty and Responsibility in Adam Smith
       August 4-9, 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO

Education and the Free Society
        September 18-21, 2008 - Mecosta, MI

Two Visions of America: Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton
        October 16-19, 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO

Liberty and Responsibility in Cicero's Philosophical Works and Addison's Cato
      
November 6-9, 2008 - Houston, TX

Liberty and Order in Plato's Republic
        December 4-7, 2008 - Alexandria, VA

Liberty and Sovereignty in Four Shakespearean Tragedies: Richard III, Titus Andronicus, Richard II and Julius Caesar
       
January 15-18, 2009 - Houston, TX


2007-2008
American Founding and the Western Intellectual Tradition Colloquia

Past Seminars

History
Texas History at the United Way Community Center-
Don Frazier and Stephen Hardin
       Friday, February 8, 2008

Origins of Humanity, Culture, and Civilization at the Houston Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
       Friday, September 7, 2007

Rome: the Greatest of Ancient Civilizations at the Houston Museum of Natural Science-
Tom Behr and Claire Scoggin
       Friday, May 18, 2007

America at War at the University of St. Thomas-
Don Frazier, Robert Pace and John Bradley
     
  Friday, May 4, 2007

Rome: the Greatest of Ancient Civilizations for Home School Educators and Home Schooled High School Students at the Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
        Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rome: the Greatest of Ancient Civilizations at the Houston Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
       Monday, February 26, 2007

Rome: the Greatest of Ancient Civilizations at the Houston Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
       Friday, February 23, 2007

American Presidents at the Federal Reserve Bank - Houston Branch
Michael Bordelon and Brett Mills
       Friday, February 2, 2007

Historians: the Storytellers of History at the University of St. Thomas-
Gleaves Whitney and Thomas Jodziewicz
       Monday, January 15, 2007

U.S. and World War II at the University of St. Thomas-
John Bradley and Brett Mills
       Monday, November 20, 2006

Benjamin Franklin Day for Home School Educators and Home Schooled High School Students at the Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
        Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Benjamin Franklin Day at the Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney and Claire Scoggin
        Monday, October 16, 2006

Texas History - Don Frazier, Brett Mills
        Friday, February 27, 2004

Understanding America: Alexis de Tocqueville and Orestes
        Brownson
        October 30, 2003

World War II: Economics, Politics, and the Battlefield Strategy
        March 28, 2003

America's President's: Pre-Civil War
        September 19, 2002

War Between the States at the Jesse Helms Center,
        Wingate, North Carolina
        March 18, 2002

Texas History at Houston Baptist University
        March 1, 2002

Lives of the Founders in Houston
        February 8, 2002

Black History Workshop at Houston Baptist University
        January 21, 2002

American Presidents, at University of St. Thomas, Houston
        October 15, 2001

Christianity & Critical Historical Events, Tyler, Texas
        September 14, 2001

History of Liberty: Its Birth and Its Absence
        February 16, 2001

The War Between the States
        April 5, 2001

Political Science
Foundations of Republican Government at the Federal Reserve Bank - Houston Branch
Bill Gilmer, Tom Behr, and Michael Bordelon
       Monday, October 15, 2007

Origins of Humanity, Culture, and Civilization for Home School Educators and Home Schooled High School Students at the Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney, Tom Behr and Claire Scoggin
        Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Origins of Humanity, Culture, and Civilization at the Houston Museum of Natural Science-
Gleaves Whitney, Tom Behr and Claire Scoggin
       Monday, September 10, 2007

Socratic Seminar: America's Roots in Rome - Gleaves Whitney
        Saturday, February 24, 2007

Socratic Seminar: Plato's Republic - Terry Hall and Michael Bordelon
        Saturday, October 14, 2006

Socratic Seminar: Aristotle's Politics- Michael Bordelon
        Saturday, April 8, 2006

Principles of America's Founding- Brad Birzer and Michael Bordelon
        Friday, December 2, 2005

America's Presidents - Brad Birzer and Gleaves Whitney
        Friday, February 13, 2004

America's Presidents in Buffalo Gap, Texas- Don Frazier, Robert Pace
        and Bob Wettemann
        Monday, February 16, 2004

Thomas More's Utopia: A Discussion (Invitation Only) -
        Clint Brand
        Saturday, February 28, 2004

Roots of the American Order - Brad Birzer and Winston Elliott
        Friday, April 2, 2004

Understanding a Republican Government: Venice, a City-State and         America, a Nation-State
        May 2, 2003

Principles of the U.S. Constitution: A Judicial Perspective
        (Middle and High School History and Government Teachers)
        December 5, 2002

America and Communism
        (Middle and High School Literature and History Teachers)
         November 14, 2002

Founders and the Constitution- October 23rd at HBU

Roots of the American Order
        April 25, 2001

Economics
Wealth, Poverty and Human Destiny at the United Way Community Center-

Brian Domitrovic and Ralph Ancil
       Friday, February 8, 2008

Free Markets, Free Enterprise, and Modernity at the Federal Reserve Bank - Houston Branch
Bill Gilmer, Brian Domitrovic and Richard Gosselin
       Monday, October 15, 2007

Understanding Economics at the Federal Reserve Bank - Houston Branch
Brian Domitrovic and Richard Gosselin
       Friday, February 2, 2007

Economics: Theory and Practice at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank- Brian Dimitrovic, Greg Rehmke, and Richard Gosselin
       Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Economics in One Lesson at the Federal Reserve Bank- Houston         Branch- Richard Gosselin
        Friday, September 10, 2004

Teaching Economics Through Literature - Richard Gosselin
        Friday, March 5, 2004

Economics: Work and Prosperity - Gleaves Whitney and
        Richard Gosselin
        Friday, May 7, 2004

 The Revolution in Development Economics
        November 7, 2003

Globalization and International Trade (Economics, Geography, and         Government Teachers)
        October 23, 2002

Economics Colloquium at the Center for the American Idea         Classroom
        April 4, 2002

Free Markets: Adam Smith to the 21st Century-
        November 20th at HBU

Literature
Utopia and Distopia in Modern Literature
at the United Way Community Center-Clint Brand
       Friday, February 8, 2008

Socratic Seminar: Sophocles' Theban Plays - Clint Brand and Terry Hall
        Saturday, August 25, 2007

Socratic Seminar: Aeschylus' Orestia - Clint Brand and Terry Hall
        Saturday, May 5, 2007

American Idea Home School Workshop: Crime & Punishment Day Two of a Two Day Program at the American Idea Classroom-
Marc Miller
       Saturday, February 17, 2007

American Idea Home School Workshop: Crime & Punishment Day One of a Two Day Program at the American Idea Classroom-
Marc Miller
       Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reading Southern Literature at the University of St. Thomas-
Michael Jordan and Clint Brand
       Monday, January 15, 2007

Socratic Seminar: Homer's Odyssey - Clint Brand and Terry Hall
        Saturday, January 13, 2007

Socratic Seminar: Plato's Five Dialogues (Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito) - Terry Hall and Michael Bordelon
        Saturday, December 9, 2006

American Idea Home School Workshop: Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter
Day One of a Two Day Program at the American Idea Classroom-
Marc Miller
       Saturday, October 28, 2006

American Idea Home School Workshop: Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter Day One of a Two Day Program at the American Idea Classroom-
Marc Miller
       Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Comedic Mind of Shakespeare at the University of St. Thomas- Ben Lockerd and Clint Brand
        Friday, October 20, 2006

The Heroic & Tragic World in Classical Literature- Clint Brand, Kerry MacArthur, and Terry Hall
        Friday, August 25, 2006

Victorian Literature- Clint Brand and Kerry MacArthur
        Friday, May 5, 2006

Sonnet Poetry and the Moral Imagination- Clint Brand and
        Kerry MacArthur
        Monday, January 16, 2006

Women Authors and Characters Overcoming: Harriet Beecher         Stowe, Willa Cather and Zora Neal Hurston
        April 26, 2003

Shakespeare and the World:Hamlet, Love and Friendship in Romeo         and Juliet, and Harold Bloom Misunderstanding Shakespeare
        April 5, 2003

Reviving Western Tradition in Myth: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien
         (Middle and High School Literature and History Teachers)
          November 15, 2002

History in Shakespeare's Plays (Literature and History Teachers)
        September 17, 2002

Literature and the Moral Imagination at the Jesse Helms Center,
        Wingate, North Carolina
        March 18, 2002

Literature Workshop at CAI Offices
        March 2, 2002

Literature Workshop at Houston Baptist University
        March 1, 2002

The Literary Tradition of the 20th Century
        March 9, 2001

Philosophy
Socratic Seminar: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics- Michael Bordelon
        Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rights and Duties: Order, Justice, and Liberty
        April 11, 2003

Understanding the American Cause: Teaching and Practicing
      Virtue (Middle and High School History, Government and
      Literature Teachers
)
       March 7, 2003

Morality and Modern Culture: A Christian Perspective
        March 26, 2001

Theology
American Idea Home School Workshop: The Mystery of Redemption in the Church Fathers Two Day Program at the American Idea Classroom-
Jeremy Wilkins
       Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, 2008

Culture
Film and the Moral Imagination at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston- Kerry MacArthur, Randall Smith, and George Ramirez
        Friday, October 27, 2006

Small Group Discussion: Leisure: the Basis of Culture
        November 8, 2003

Understanding the Moral Imagination: Yesterday and Today
        October 13, 2003

Understanding Conservatism: The 50th Anniversary of Russell         Kirk's The Conservative Mind
     
   April 12, 2003