Arguing Conservatism – Rhetoric and Debate: A Week-Long Summer School

July 22-27, 2024
Linda L. Bean Conference Center at ISI, Wilmington, DE

ISI's Summer School on Rhetoric and Debate

It is important to have good ideas, but it is just as important to be able to express those ideas. At the ISI Summer School “Arguing Conservatism: Rhetoric and Debate,” students will study three major tensions within the conservative movement–foreign policy, postliberalism, and federalism–led by subject matter experts. Through a series of lectures, discussion groups, and debates, students will explore not only the ideas that shape conservativism but the rhetoric involved in communicating those ideas. At the end of each day, students will have a chance to model their new skills in a judged debate.

The full list of faculty and debate mentors will be announced soon.

This week-long program will take place at ISI’s newly completed Linda Bean Conference Center located in the rolling countryside just outside Wilmington, Delaware. Meals and lodging will be provided, but accepted students are responsible for their own travel.

Meet your professors

Dr. William Ruger

Dr. William Ruger serves as the President of the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of the biography Milton Friedman and co-author of two books on state politics, including Freedom in the 50 States (now in its 7th edition). Ruger earned his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University and an A.B. from the College of William and Mary. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other academic and press outlets. Ruger is a veteran of the Afghanistan War and remains an officer in the U.S. Navy (Reserve Component). Ruger was nominated to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and was a prominent advocate for ending America’s participation in the Afghanistan War.

Dr. Michael P. Federici

Dr. Michael P. Federici (PhD., M.A. Catholic University of America) is Professor of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University and former chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations.
His teaching and research areas include American Politics, Constitutional Law, Political Theory, and American Political Thought. He has taught American Government for the Junior Statesmen Foundation Summer School at Yale University and Georgetown University.

He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Humanitas and was president of The Academy of Philosophy and Letters and the National Humanities Institute. Dr. Federici has published six books, including most recently, The Catholic Writings of Orestes Brownson (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019).

Dr. Michael Hanby

Dr. Michael Hanby is an Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science at the John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America, where he has taught since 2007, having previously taught at Baylor and Villanova University. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia after studying at Cambridge University, Duke, and the University of Colorado. Writing at the intersection of metaphysics, theology, politics, technology, and science, he is the author two books, Augustine and Modernity (2003) and No God, No Science? Theology, Cosmology, Biology (2013). He is currently working on a book provisionally titled On Being…Human, Catholic, American. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, First Things, The Federalist, The Lamp, and New Polity, as well as numerous academic journals and edited volumes. Dr, Hanby lectures widely and has appeared in numerous podcasts and interviews. He has been a recognized leader in the movement to renew Catholic liberal arts education, co-authoring Catholic liberal arts curricula at the K-8 and high school levels and serving as a founding board member of the St. Jerome Institute, a Catholic liberal arts high school in Washington, D.C.

Apply here