Lectures & Presentations

Lecturing, for me, is not just part of the job.  Communication is one of the most quintessential aspects of being human.  Persuasion is the foundation of democratic governance.  Fostering civil discourse and using language to engage critical thinking are the most important aspects of a liberal arts education.

                        Excerpts from Constitution Day Address, Princeton University, September 22, 2015                     The full video of the Princeton lecture can be found here.
♦ Recent Lectures & Presentations ♦

♦ Presenting paper at a forthcoming conference, “Writing Federalist No. 10 for an Antifederalist Audience,” for the A.V. Elliott Conference on Great Books and Ideas, “Federalists and Anti-Federalists,” sponsored by the McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles at Mercer University, March 26-27, 2018.

♦ Presentation, “Are Madison’s Notes Trustworthy?,” part of a Constitution Day panel discussion, “Legacies of Constitutional Interpretation,” at the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 15, 2017.

♦ Presented paper, “Madison’s Antislavery Constitution,” at a scholars’ conference at Montpelier, “James Madison and the American Constitution,” May 26-27, 2017.

♦ Moderated talk, “Margaret Thatcher and the Leadership Lessons of the Falklands War,” at symposium, “Not for Turning: The Leadership & Legacy of Margaret Thatcher,” sponsored by Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, March 31, 2017.

♦ Presentation, “Recovering Civil Discourse in American Politics: A Template for Hope,” delivered at different times for The Institute for the Public Trust: once to a group of young African American leaders (co-sponsored by the Responsible Leadership Institute); once to a group of aspiring leaders from the Charlotte community; and once to a group of lawyers who aspired to be leaders (in partnership with the North Carolina Bar Association’s Public Service Academy)—on Nov. 3 and March 24 and 28, 2017.

♦ Presentation, “Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention: ‘The Gratification Promised to Future Curiosity,’” delivered in honor of the launch of the Quill Project, Pembroke College, Oxford, October 14, 2016.

♦ Delivered paper, “Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention: Historical Records or Historical Fiction?” to a scholars’ conference at Montpelier, “James Madison and the American Constitution,” June 10-12, 2016.

♦ Delivered paper, “Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention: Historical Records or Historical Fiction?” to the James Madison Program at Princeton University, May 11, 2016.

♦ Presentation: “The American Rhetorical Tradition (Or, How to Go into Politics without Losing Your Soul),” a discussion presented to a group of students at the Baylor School, in Chattanooga Tennessee, through a program designed to train future leaders, jointly organized by the Baylor School and the Institute for the Public Trust, May 8, 2016.

♦ Delivered paper, “Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention: Are they Reliable?” to a small group at Pembroke College, Oxford, sponsored by The Seminar in Constitutional Thought and History, April 20, 2016.

♦ Delivered paper, “James Madison’s Constitution: In Order to Establish Justice,” a Constitution Day Address for the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, September 22, 2015.

♦ Delivered Constitution Day Address for the Central Intelligence Agency, “The Constitution: Past, Present and Beyond,” sponsored by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, September 17, 2015.

♦ Delivered lecture, “Connecting with the Constitution,” for a program sponsored by Brookings Executive Education (a partnership of Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis) on Motivating People, designed for federal employees, September 9, 2015.

♦ Helped organize conference for scholars who were currently writing on topics related to James Madison, held at Montpelier May 26-27, 2015.

♦ Presented, “The Real Reason George Mason was an Antifederalist,” to the Board at Gunston Hall, October 12, 2014.

♦ Presented, “Dolley Madison: Jefferson’s Official Hostess and Unofficial Diplomat,” for University of Virginia Lifetime Learning’s “Jefferson Symposium,” June 20, 2014.

♦ Delivered, “Madison’s Abolitionist Constitution,” to a select group of students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, respectively, April 1 and 2, 2014.

♦ Presented, “Unite and Conquer: James Madison’s Strategy for Resisting Federal Usurpations,” at a joint Brookings Institution-Center for the Constitution conference on James Madison’s Political Thought, November 24, 2013.

♦ Lectured on the “Right to Revolution” for the Center for the Study of the American Constitution, a summer institute for high school teachers in Madison, WI, July 9, 2013.

♦ Gave weekly lectures on “James Madison’s role as Father of the Constitution” to the guests at Montpelier – delivered in the guise of Dolley Madison (see DolleyPMadison.com), Summers, 2010 and 2011.

♦ Presented, “The Limitations of Human Nature: Accounting for the Constitution’s Slavery Compromises,” for a faculty research seminar at the University of Richmond, April 15, 2011.

♦ Presented, “The Founders’ Firewall against Demagoguery,” at a conference of The Philadelphia Society, September 25, 2010.

♦ Presented, “What does it Mean to be a Regime?” for the three sections of the American Political Tradition course at the University of Virginia, August 28, 2008 and September 4, 2009.

♦ Presented, “The Other Great Compromise: George Mason’s Defection from the Constitutional Convention,” at Gunston Hall, April 4, 2006.

♦ Presented, “Tocqueville on the American Woman,” to the combined Social World group at Baylor University, April 8, 2003.

♦ Presented “The Question of the Ethical Life: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern” to the combined Social World group at Baylor University, September 26, 2002.

♦ Presented “Our Inalienable Right to Liberty: The American Founding as an Incomplete Rejection of Aristotle’s Distinction between Natural and Conventional Slavery,” at the SWPSA (Southwestern Political Science Association) Conference in Fort Worth, March 16, 2001.

♦ Presented “A History and Analysis of the Electoral College” to a small private group at the House of Lords, London, during the election crisis of 2000.

♦ Presented a lecture on “Beatrice and the Beauty of a Virtuous Lady” for a Woman’s Colloquium at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Fall, 1999.