The Academy of Philosophy & Letters

"Men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." – Edmund Burke

2019 Conference Schedule


2019 Annual Conference


June 7-9, 2019

Hotel Revival, Baltimore, MD

The 2019 conference theme was “America the Beautiful?”  Much about the U.S. has long been recognized as beautiful, and much has not.  Beauty—and ugliness—take many forms, and are encountered in many ways:  in artistic works and the natural and built environment, in the broader culture and American society, and in the workings of American democracy and operations of government, institutions, and business.  How do we recognize beauty—and its absence?  What roles do beauty and ugliness play in our lives, and in the life of our nation?  How do we preserve and foster what is beautiful about America?  How do we create beauty where it is lacking?

Conference Schedule

Friday, June 7

5:00-6:00pm Registration
6:00-7:00pm Reception/Cash Bar
7:00-9:00pm Dinner Lecture

Welcome: Ryan R. Holston, President of APL
Speaker: Bradley J. Birzer, “Humanism and Conservatism”

Saturday, June 8

8:00-8:30am Late Registration

8:30-10:30am Panel 1
“Beauty & The Imagination”

Chair/presenter: Andrew Balio
Mark Signorelli, “Strange and Admirable (poetry, storytelling, and Aristotle)”
Josh Bowman, “Viva la nature! The Environmental Imagination in Contemporary Literature and Film”
Stephen Greeley, “Beauty and Utility in Hawthorne’s ‘the Artist of the Beautiful’”

10:30-10:45am Break

10:45am-12:45pm Debate
“Economic Nationalism & the Future of America”

Daniel McCarthy (Modern Age) vs. Richard Reinsch (Law and Liberty)

12:45-1:00 pm Break

1:00-2:30pm Luncheon Speaker

Introduction: Claes G. Ryn
Speaker: Eric Adler, 100th Anniversary of Irving Babbitt’s Rousseau and Romanticism, “Was Irving Babbitt an Educational Counterrevolutionist?”

2:30-3:30pm Break

3:30-5:30pm Book Panel: The Historical Mind: Humanistic Renewal in a Post-Constitutional Age (SUNY Press, forthcoming)

Chair/Presenter: William F. Byrne, “Politics, Moral Judgment, and the Enlightenment Project”
Ryan Holston, “Irving Babbitt and Christianity: a Response to T.S. Eliot”

Bruce Frohnen, “On the Moral Necessity of Constitutionalism: Claes Ryn and Ethical Democracy”

5:30pm-6:30pm Break
6:30pm-7:30pm Cash Bar

7:00pm-9:00 Dinner Lecture

Introduction: Luke C. Sheahan
Speaker: Mark Bauerlein, “American Patrimony: Literary Tradition in a Time of National Distress”

9:00-11:00pm Cocktail Reception

Sunday, June 9

9:00-10:00am Member Meeting Breakfast

For APL members

10:00am-12:00pm Panel 3
“The Ugly American?”

Chair: Lowell Gustafson
Justin Litke, “America the Ugly: The Degradation of American Foreign Policy and Imagination”
William Smith, “Babbitt’s Foreign Policy Thought”
Matt Cantirino, “Babbitt and Henry Adams”

12:30-2:00pm Meeting of the Board of
Directors and Officers

3:00pm Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Mahler’s 9th Symphony; Lecture by Andrew Balio and Wine Reception

2019 APL Program (PDF)

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