Gerst Program

The Gerst Program was the predecessor to the Program in American Values and Institutions. It aimed at fostering an understanding of the central importance of freedom for democratic government, moral responsibility, and economic and cultural life.  It focused on the theoretical foundations of freedom and responsibility, the development of liberty in the Western and particularly the American historical context, the role of freedom in political and economic institutions, and the character of morally responsible behavior
The Gerst Program included an interdisciplinary colloquium that brought together faculty and graduate students from different departments and divisions of the university for discussion of its core topics, an annual conference on a specific topic central to questions of liberty, democracy, and responsibility.  The Program also supported a number of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows who worked on these topics.  For more information about the program contact the program’s director, Michael Gillespie, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy.
Gerst Conferences, 2000-2010
2010Virtue Ethics (April)
Paul Griffiths, Duke University “Habit, Virtue, and the Attenuation of Experience: Agency Without Qualia?”
Michael Pakaluk, Institute for the Psychological Sciences “Parsing Virtue”
Thomas Pfau, Duke University “The Trouble with Voluntarism: Conceptualizing ‘Action’ and ‘Person’ After Aquinas”
Stephen Salkever, Bryn Mawr College “Political Animals Now and Then:Internationalization and the Politics of Virtue”
2009Sovereignty in the Twentieth Century (April)
Ian Baucom
Susan Bickford
Bruce Caldwell
Ellen Kennedy
Catherine Zuckert
In Search of Goodness (February)
Philip Costanzo “The Nature and Nurture of Innocence: Reflections on Goodness”
Peter Euban “What Good is Innocence”
Michel Allen Gillespie “The Tragedy of the Goods and the Pursuit of Happiness”
Ruth Grant “Generous to a Fault: Goodness and Psychic Health”
Amelie Rorty “Good for What? Good for Whom?”
David Wong “How Are Moral Conversions Possible?”
Sin-Yee Chan
Susan Collins
Lawrence Cooper
Andrew Delbanco
Daniel Hart
Susan Wolf
2008Nietzsche, Strauss, and Mann: the Encounter of Music and Philosophy (April)
Gregson Davis, Dean of the Humanities 
Bryan Gilliam, Duke University “Strauss and the Sexual Body: The Erotics of Humor, Philosophy, and Ego-Assertion”
Tracy B. Strong, University of California, San Diego “Music, Language, and Politics in Nietzsche”
Hans Rudolf Vaget, Smith College “’Schicksalsgeist’: Nietzsche, Music, Mann and Weimar Culture”
David Wellbery, University of Chicago “Function and Form of Tragedy According to Nietzsche”
Charles Youmans, Penn State University “Subjectivity and Sentimentality in the Late Works of Richard Strauss
Sovereignty and the Right of Revolution (April)
Srinivas Aravamudan, Duke University “Hobbes and Early America”
Joyce Lee Malcolm, George Mason University “The English and American Revolutions”
Alan Houston, University of California at San Diego “On the Levellers”
David Loewenstein Marjorie and Lorin Tiefenthaler, University of Wisconsin 
“Milton and English Nationalism”
2007“We being a little darker then they:” Humanity, Slavery, and the Law
Introduction:  Michael Munger, Duke University
Daina R. Berry, Michigan State University “Family Values and the Value of Slave Families”
Allan Buchanan, Duke University “From Abolition to Human Rights”
Laura Edwards, Duke University
Stan Engermann, University of Rochester “Slavery, Emancipation, and Freedom”
Stephen Middleton, Mississippi State University “The Social Construction of Race Slavery in America”
Michael Munger “The Law of Slavery”
On Sovereignty
Michael Gillespie, Duke University “Sovereign States and Sovereign Selves”
Maureen Quilligan, Duke University “John Knox, Female Sovereignty, and the Problem of Elizabeth I”
Paul Rahe, University of Tulsa “Under the Shadow of Averroes: Machiavelli and the Question of Civil Religion”
Nathan Tarcov, University of Chicago “The Absence of Sovereignty in Machiavelli”
2006Homo Politicus and Homo Economicus (April)
Geoff Brennan, Duke and UNC
James Buchannan, George Mason
Susan Collins, Houston
Ruth Grant, Duke
Jack Knight, Washington University                                    
Iain McLean, Nuffield College
Mike Munger, Duke
Shannon Stimson, Berkeley
Tracy Strong, UCSD
2004Speak No Evil: Moral Judgment in the Modern Age
Peter Euban “The Butler Did It”
Michael Gillespie “Where Did All the Evils Go”
Ruth Grant“Rousseauian Revolution and the Problem of Evil”
Malachi Hacohen “Liberal Delimmas and Moral Judgment”
Stanley Hauerwas “Seeing Darkness, Hearing Silence: Augustine’s Account of Evil”
Nannerl Keohane “Inequality and the Problem of Evil”
Elizabeth Kiss “Making Clear and Complex Judgments: A Layered Approach to Cross-Cultural Ethics”
Thomas Spragens “Between Bigotry and Nihilism: Moral Judgment in Pluralist Democracies”
David Wong “Evil and the Morality of Conviction”
William Banks
Andrew Delbanco
Frances Ferguson
Jerome Levi
Sanford Levinson
John McGowen
Eleonore Stump
Georgia Warnke
Inventing Europe (April)
Gerard Delanty, Liverpool “The Idea of Europe”
Alan Levine, American University “European Visions of America”
Malachi Hacohen, Duke University “Cosmopolitanism and Multiculturalism in 
Postwar Europe”
Susan Shell, Boston College “Europe as a Philosophical Idea”
Liesbet Hooghe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “The European Union”
Antony LaVope, North Carolina State University
Jerry Muller, Catholic University
Claudia Koonz, Duke University
David Soskice, Duke University and Yale
Tom Spragens, Duke University
2003America’s Ambivalent Egalitarianism: Facts and Perceptions (April)
Dorothy Ross, Johns Hopkins “The American Ideals of Equality”
Emmanuel Saez, University of California, Berkeley “Economic Equality: The Distribution of Wealth and Income in America”             
Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University “The Impact of Race on American Views of Equality”
Stanley Renshon, CUNY “Coming to America: Immigration and Changing 
Views of American Equality”     
Catherine Zuckert, Notre Dame “American Perceptions of Equality in Literature”                     
Inger Brodey, UNC
Philip Cook, Duke
Kerry Haynie, Rutgers University and Duke University
Nannerl Keohane, Duke
Noah Pickus, NCSU
2001The Ties That Bind: Community and Responsibility(March)
Michael Allen Gillespie, Duke University
Keynote Address: Jean Elshtain, University of Chicago and the National 
Humanities Center
William Galston, University of Maryland
Grant McCracken, Harvard University
W. Cary McWilliams, Rutgers University
Michael Moses, Duke University and the National Humanities Center
Hervé Moulin, Rice University
Thomas Peyser, Randolph Macon University                    
Robert Sugden, University of East Anglia
Cara J. Wong, University of Michigan
2000Reason and Virtue in an Age of Opulence (April)
Keynote Address:  Alasdair MacIntyre, Duke University
Christopher Berry, University of Glasgow
Paul Cantor, University of Virginia
Timothy Fuller, Colorado College 
Robert Frank, Cornell University
Neil DeMarchi, Duke University
Michael Allen Gillespie, Duke University
Nick Gillespie, Reason Magazine
Richard Newhauser, Trinity University and the National Humanities Center