March 27, 2023
Annapolis, US 58 F

St. John’s College Announces Fall Formal Lecture Series

St. John’s College has announced its fall formal lecture series. On Friday evenings, members of the St. John’s College community head to the Great Hall to hear a lecture or concert from visiting scholars, artists, poets or faculty. Lectures are followed by an engaging discussion between the lecturer, students and faculty. This fall’s series will discuss books such as Genesis, Herodotus’Histories and de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Lecturers include the Annapolis dean, members of the St. John’s College faculty (known as “tutors” at the college), and professors from notable universities across the country.

“We are proud to bring world-class thought-leaders and major musicians to Annapolis,” said St. John’s College President Nora Demleitner. “I welcome all members of the community to join us on campus for this fall’s lectures and performance.”

All lectures and concerts begin at 8 p.m. ET on Friday evenings at St. John’s College, McDowell Hall, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, Md., 21401. They are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“While classes at St. John’s generally proceed through discussion among students, the lectures provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and members of the community to hear an extended argument from someone with greater learning and expertise,” says Dean of the College Joseph C. Macfarland. “The question period is an essential part of the event, where conversation can open up between the entire community.”

The 2022 lectures are: 

  • August 26, Annapolis Dean Joseph C. Macfarland, will present the annual opening Friday Night Christopher B. Nelson Lecture “Moments in the Liberal Education of Frederick Douglass from My Bondage and My Freedom.”
  • September 2, Annapolis tutor William Braithwaite will deliver his Friday Night Lecture “Reading Genesis Chapter Three.”
    • If we try to imagine who first told the story, and to whom, and with what end in mind, what would we take it to be about, and what truth might we find in it? What does the story say to those who are not Christians or Jews, whether of another faith, or even atheist or agnostic?
  • September 16, Patrick Deneen, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, will give the annual Andrew Steiner Memorial Lecture in observance of Constitution Day
  • September 23, Mary Townsend (A04), assistant professor of philosophy at St. John’s University in New York City and a St. John’s College alumna, will lecture during Reunion Weekend.
  • September 30, Bryan Garsten, professor of political science and humanities at Yale University, will speak on de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
  • October 14, Angel Parham, associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, will present her lecture “Difference and Belonging in the Histories of Herodotus.”
    • One of the great gifts of antiquity is that its writers provide a window for us into ways of seeing the world that differ from what we take for granted today. In this lecture we consider how the chronicles and stories of Herodotus frame ways of thinking about difference and belonging that provide insight into human societies both past and present.
  • October 21, Katie Robiadek, assistant professor in the department of political science at Hood College, will present on Hobbes.
  • October 28, Pater Edmund Waldstein, O. Cist., the director of the János-Brenner Haus, Stift Heiligenkreuz, will deliver his lecture “Universal Predicates and Universal Causes.”
  • November 4, The Poulenc Trio, America’s best-known oboe, bassoon and piano classical chamber music trio, will perform.
  • November 11, Annapolis tutor Robert Druecker, will lecture on John of the Cross.
  • December 2, Daniel Nicholson, assistant professor of philosophy, at George Mason University, will deliver his lecture: “Is Schrödinger’s What is Life? still worth reading today?” Dr. Nicholson’s research is characterized by a strongly interdisciplinary engagement with the conceptual foundations of the life sciences.

You can visit Formal Lecture Series for more information. To learn about other events at St. John’s College, see the Events Calendar.

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