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Grant number like: AQ-50357-11

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Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1600)
Brian A Smith (Project Director: September 2010 to September 2013)

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants
Education Programs

$19,505 (approved)
$19,505 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 5/31/2013

NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Sustains Liberty?"

The development of an undergraduate course on the question, What sustains liberty?

"What Sustains Liberty?" aims to stimulate wide-ranging discussions that grapple with varying accounts of the origin, preservation, and future of liberty. Supplemented with film viewing nights and an outing to a Shakespeare Theater Company of New Jersey performance, this course will cultivate intellectual excitement and critical reflection on the nature of politics. The first part of the class will focus on problems of sustaining democratic liberty in Ancient Athens, specifically the importance of the individual. The second section of the course will turn to a set of more modern American and European texts on the issue of how free societies come into being, in what way those beginnings inform their identity, and the manner in which these conditions determine the strength of their liberty. The third set of readings will introduce the possible tensions between sustaining liberty and achieving equality. The course will conclude with a look at what might help sustain liberty in the future.