IHS Summer Seminars

When was the last time you….

Chose deep conversation over sleep?

Were inspired by a new idea?

Had lunch with a favorite professor?

Made friends from around the world?

Loved the learning process?

 

IHS Summer Seminars

It’s college. The way it should be.

 

IHS Summer Seminars will engage your mind and inspire you like no other college experience. Sessions will cover history, economics, philosophy and other disciplines from a libertarian perspective, offering new insights and inspiration for tackling the many issues facing our society. You’ll debate and discuss ideas with enthusiastic faculty and peers throughout the day and late into the night.

Over the course of the seminar, you’ll build critical thinking skills, gain access to a great interdisciplinary network and discover potential career possibilities, all while learning about the ideas that helped bring about global prosperity, greater human equality before the law, religious tolerance and freedom, women’s suffrage, and more.

Find the seminar that best fits your interest and knowledge level:

Exploring Liberty

Overview
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Exploring Liberty

An Introduction to Freedom

If you’re excited about new ideas and want to expand your understanding of the world, this seminar is for you.

Discover the thinkers and seminal ideas of libertarian thought, then apply what you learn to current issues during fun, open discussions with enthusiastic faculty and passionate peers.

A Typical Day

What’s a typical day like during the Exploring Liberty seminar?

While every day will bring new topics to discuss, here you can see how a typical day will challenge you to further expand your thinking.

Breakfast (debates are better with bacon)

Rights and Utility
Learn about rights and utility from a historical perspective, looking at the views of Mill, Kant, Bentham, Locke, and more. Hear from a top scholar, then break out for discussion groups.

Coffee Break (discussion over coffee)

The American Revolution
Explore the political philosophy and historical circumstances that drove Americans to break with Great Britain and form a republic. Discuss the Founders’ achievements, flaws, and legacy. Consider how we can use the positive legacy of Revolution in light of today’s challenges.

Lunch & Free Time  (Process and discuss your thinking over lunch, then head out for a game of ultimate)

Historical Institutions on the American Frontier
Within the history of the American Frontier, how did institutions develop and evolve over time? What was the role of women and the development of these formal and informal institutions? How did different jurisdictions compete with each through their legal systems?

Dinner (Continue your conversations. Trust us. You won’t run short on topics.)

The Great Depression
Understand the historical context of the Great Depression and the legacy it has left.

Discussion Groups
Join a faculty-led small group discussion to consider the questions that have been lingering and developing throughout the day. Raise new concerns and hear what your fellow students thought about the issues you learned about!

Evening Social  (Enjoy a drink and then hold a friendly discussion into the wee hours on what had a greater impact on Freedom: The Bill of Rights or the Magna Carta in the course of world history.)

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

101 N Merion Ave,
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Past faculty lineups:

Clark Neily, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Justice

Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso

Howard Baetjer Jr., Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Towson University

James Stacey Taylor, Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey

Antony Davies, Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University and Mercatus Affiliated Senior Scholar at George Mason University

Rob McDonald, History Professor at The United States Military Academy at West Point

Readings

Past suggested readings:

Leonard E. Read, “I, Pencil”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

“The Constitution of the United States”
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Friedrich A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”
http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html

Liberty & Society

Overview
Card Undergraduates discussing ideas of freedom

Liberty & Society

Beyond the Foundations of Freedom

If you’re passionate about making the world a better place and are ready to take your studies beyond the basics, this seminar is for you.

Explore more sophisticated arguments for liberty through an interdisciplinary lens, and delve deeper into the ideas of figures such as Hayek, Nozick, Mises, and Adam Smith.

A Typical Day
What’s a typical day like during the Liberty & Society seminar?

While every day will bring new topics to discuss, here you can see how a typical day will challenge you to further expand your thinking.

Breakfast (debates are better with bacon)

Philosophies of Government: A Roadmap
Every day talk of the ‘left’ versus the ‘right’ leaves out important distinctions. What justifies the government’s authority to oblige and coerce? How do consequentialists differ from rights-based thinkers when it comes to justifying liberty? Hear from a top scholar, then break out for discussion groups.

Coffee Break (discussion over coffee)

The Industrial Revolution
What events brought about the Industrial Revolution?  How did it impact the working class?  Learn about the events leading up to the Revolution and how its impact is still felt today.

Lunch & Free Time  (Process and discuss your thinking over lunch, then head out for a game of ultimate)

Dinner (Continue your conversations. Trust us. You won’t run short on topics.)

The Public Choice Approach
Learn about how incentives and institutions influence political actors. Why does government not work nearly as well as the supporters of government argue? Why does it continue to grow, and how can we think more critically about what specific role government and markets should play in society?

Discussion Groups
Join a faculty-led small group discussion to consider the questions that have been lingering and developing in conversations throughout the day. Raise new concerns, and hear what your fellow students thought about the issues you learned about!

Evening Social (Enjoy a drink while engaging in some friendly debate that will quite possibly linger late into the night)

Sleep. (Sleep? Who has time to sleep?)

 

Location

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is one of the nation’s top private colleges just ten miles from the cradle of liberty: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The campus is located at Morris Ave & Yarrow St, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Morris Ave & Yarrow Street
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Faculty

Past faculty lineups:

Jayme Lemke, Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of Graduate Student Programs at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Christopher Freiman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the College of William & Mary

Tom W. Bell, Professor of Law Chapman University

Brandon Turner, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University

Readings

Past suggested readings:

Wolfgang Kasper, “Competition”
http://econlib.org/library/Enc/Competition.html

Frederic Bastiat, “A Petition from the Manufacturers of Candles…”
http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html

Stephen Davis, “Why we need a Liberal Theory of History”
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/histn/histn033.pdf

Tom W. Bell, “Principles of Contracts for Governing Services”
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2268050

Leif Wenar, “Rights”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights/

Liberty & Scholarship

Card IHS engage with the ideas of freedom and liberty

This is the most advanced seminar in the IHS lineup, created with future academics and other opinion influencers in mind.

In this discussion-rich environment, you’ll consider the strongest critiques and weaknesses within the classical liberal tradition as you identify areas for future research. Lectures and breakout sessions will take a deeper look at topics such as spontaneous order, social development, and public choice, considering them in historical and contemporary context.

Participation includes pre-readings and Socratic-style discussions.

You’ll leave the week with a more refined understanding of your beliefs and inspiration to pursue future academic research.

Start you intellectual journey:

Locations

IHS Summer Seminars take place on different college campuses each year (but you don’t have to be enrolled at these institutions to attend).

This year’s locations are:

1. Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, PA
2. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Cost & Accommodations

Participants stay in on-campus housing during the seminar, and rooms are same-gender double occupancy. Meals are served in the campus cafeteria and have standard options for special dietary needs.

IHS will cover seminar tuition, housing, meals, and books.

Participants are responsible for travel costs.

 

The application for 2016 IHS Summer Seminars will be available this fall. 

The Application Process

In addition to providing basic information about your occupation, educational background, and preferred seminars, you will be asked to respond to the following:

Short Responses

  • Please describe your career goals and how you plan to accomplish those goals. (200 words or fewer)
  • Please explain how your seminar choices reflect your interest in classical liberal ideas such as limited government, free markets, peace, non-aggression, and the rule of law. (200 words or fewer)
  • List four intellectual figures or books that have most influenced you and a single sentence for each stating how it has influenced your thinking on public affairs. Please do not include family members, pets, or coaches.

Essay Questions

 Essay #1

Select your first essay topic from the following options and compose an answer of up to 400 words.

A. Beyond maintaining a basic framework of law and order, under what circumstances do you think governments ought to intervene in the economy?

B. Political philosopher G.A. Cohen believes that market competition is an inherently repugnant, predatory system that fosters greed and undermines community. Cohen would prefer to move away from a market-ordered society toward a society organized like a camping trip, where people contribute to the fishing, cooking, and cleanup out of generosity and a concern for the good of the community. Food, treats, and opportunities for relaxation and recreation would be equally distributed on the basis of a principle of solidarity. Would it be possible or desirable to organize society as Cohen wishes? Why or why not?

 Essay #2

Select your second essay topic from the following options and compose an answer of up to 400 words.

A. Some commentators believe that globalization–defined as the global movement of ideas, goods, and people–increases economic opportunities in developing nations but also creates cultural side effects. How do you assess this argument? Based on you assessment, what policy or stance do you think your home country should adopt towards globalization?

B. Many substances that affect the human mind – such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine – are banned in many countries as “recreational drugs.” Other substances that also affect the mind – such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine – are generally legal though regulated. Is this inconsistent? What should be the government policy for regulating substances that affect the human mind?

Frequently Asked Quesitons

What sort of student are you looking for to attend an IHS Summer Seminar?

Summer Seminars are open to students and recent graduates from academic institutions anywhere in the world. This includes undergraduate and graduate students as well as any recent grads or advanced students. All are welcome to apply. Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens, nor are they required to have studied in the U.S.

Strong applicants are individuals seeking to increase their knowledge of classical liberal ideas and possess critical thinking skills which are essential to a rigorous discussion of these ideas.

Please note that IHS cannot assist international students with visa applications. Those applicants would need to contact the appropriate U.S. embassy in order to complete that process. IHS can, however, provide an accepted student with a signed letter of acceptance to help in the visa application process. Therefore, if you would like to receive an acceptance letter, please notify us IMMEDIATELY after you have been accepted to our program. The earlier you begin the visa application process, the better.

How do I apply?

The first step is to create an account at TheIHS.org or, if you already have an account with us, log into your existing account. Once you are logged in to your account, you can find a link to the IHS Summer Seminar application by clicking on the tab “Applications.” The application asks for your contact and educational background, your seminar preferences, and a few short essay questions. You may save your application at any time and return to it later. For more information about the application process, please see ourApplication Preview.

How much will it cost to attend the seminar?

Our seminars are provided at no charge to participants. IHS provides lodging, food, books, materials, and lectures. We ask only for your time and thoughtful participation. However, participants will be responsible for covering the costs for travel to and from the seminar location.

This opportunity, worth the equivalent of $1,000 in tuition and room & board, is made possible through the generous contributions of individual donors, corporations, and foundations. IHS is a non-profit educational organization.

Where are the seminars being held this year?

IHS seminars take place on university campuses. Participants stay in university housing and dine in the campus cafeteria. This year, we will be holding seminars on the following campuses:

If I can’t finish my application in one session, can I come back later to complete it? 

Yes. You can save your progress by clicking ‘Save for Later’ at the bottom of the application page. When you return to your IHS profile, your Summer Seminar Application will be marked ‘In Progress’, and you will be taken to where you left off.

If I had an application selected last year do I need to submit a new one?

All applicants need to submit a new application to be considered for a 2015 Summer Seminar, even if an application had been selected in a previous year.

How do I confirm that you received my application?

Applicants submitting a completed seminar application will receive a confirmation email. If you did not receive a notification after submitting your completed application, please contact us because we may not have received it. You can check the current status of your application by logging onto your IHS Profile, selecting the Applications tab, and viewing the status adjacent to 2015 IHS Summer Seminars.

How are applications reviewed?

As you might suspect, the applicant pool is highly competitive. In reviewing applications, we carefully evaluate academic ability, career interests, demonstrated interest in the subjects of the seminars, and any specific requirements for particular seminars. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide information or evaluations about individual applications.

Will accepting a seminar invitation disqualify me from other IHS programs?

No. If you are selected to attend an IHS Summer Seminar, you are welcome to accept even if you have submitted other applications. If you are selected to attend another IHS program that conflicts with the IHS Summer Seminar, you are free to change your seminar RSVP.

 

If you could not find the answers to your questions in our FAQs, please let us know at seminars@TheIHS.org.