The Academy of Philosophy & Letters

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

2021 Conference


2021 Annual Conference

“American Breakdown:  Can We Recover Our Cultural Heritage?”

June 11-13, 2021

College Park Marriott

University of Maryland

College Park, MD

When we originally selected this theme for APL 2020, we didn’t imagine how much more appropriate it would be, sadly, just a year later.  With each passing year, cause for concern about the future of the Western world, and of the United States in particular, seems to increase.  One need not be unduly alarmist to see an emerging crisis that may be, in some ways, unprecedented in American history. 

This sense of crisis has informed APL’s 2021 conference, “American Breakdown:  Can We Recover Our Cultural Heritage?”  We seek not to bemoan our situation, but to understand how we got here, and, critically, to move toward practical, real-world responses.  As APL has emphasized from its beginning, the restoration of a sound society and state requires the re-establishment of a healthy culture.  Now more than ever, we have to look to the multifaceted cultural heritage upon which our nation and civilization are built, as a vital resource for recovery and renewal.

To address American breakdown and recovery, we’ve assembled a targeted and lively program that incorporates a host of distinguished participants.  I’m very excited to announce our keynote speakers:  

Joshua Mitchell is professor of political theory at Georgetown University.  His research interest lies in the relationship between political thought and theology in the West.  Extensively published, his most recent book is  American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time.  He will be speaking on “Identity Politics:  A Christian Heresy.”  

Dan McCarthy is editor of Modern Age, contributing editor at The Spectator, and director of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program at the Fund for American Studies.  An incresingly prominent commentator on politics and society, he will speak on “After Virtu: Machiavellian Politics and Counter-politics Today.”

Michael Vlahos is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and has taught at the Naval War College.  An authority on matters of national security and the Islamic world, in 2018 he turned his attention to questions of a new American civil war.  He is a frequent guest on the John Batchelor Show.  He will be speaking on “The Church of Woke.”

Our panels are designed to foster lively discussion on how best to address the problems that confront our society, nation, and world, drawing upon a range of cultural and intellectual resources–medieval to contemporary. 

This year’s meeting, June 11-13, will be held at the College Park Marriott, on the University of Maryland campus in suburban Washington, DC.  This beautiful conference facility, including an onsite art gallery, offers a complimentary shuttle to Metrorail for those traveling by air or train, and free onsite parking for those who drive.  We’re pleased to note that we have obtained discounted room rates that offer very substantial savings, yielding a total conference cost significantly below that of 2019.  

Don’t wait to register! 

APL is operating under space capacity caps determined by Covid regulations.  While these caps allow for a typical conference, if present circumstances yield an attendance surge we are required to close registration early.

Likewise, our room block is modest, and the hotel will not guarantee reduced rates, or availability, once it is full.  And, discounts on any rooms that may remain available expire on May 12

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