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-Man and Woman, Body and Soul in the Western Tradition-

2019 Summer Seminar: August 5th-9th

Questions surrounding sex and gender, and sexual equality and freedom, are especially fraught these days, both personally and politically. By exploring the metaphysical and philosophical roots of these questions in the Western tradition, we will seek to get behind the polemics to understand better the questions themselves. 

We will read and/or discuss:

  • Plato and Aristotle

  • Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Aquinas

  • Christine de Pizan, John Locke, Rene Descartes, and Mary Astell

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, and Alexis de Tocqueville

  • John Stuart Mill, Francis Willard, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sarah Grimke, Jane Addams, and Florence Kelley

  • Dorothy Sayers and Margaret Sanger

  • Betty Friedan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Catherine MacKinnon, and Judith Butler

  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, Mary Ann Glendon, Prudence Allen, and others

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Location: The Seminar will take place in Harvard University's Center for Government and International Studies - 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, USA. The Harvard Square T Stop (red line) is an eight minute walk from our location. For those driving, there are various parking garages around Harvard Square.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the Seminar and dinner will be provided on three separate nights: first evening together, at the end of an optional social outing and on the last evening together.

Cost: A $250 registration fee is requested for overhead purposes and represents a small fraction of the true cost of the program. Reading material will be made available free of charge to the accepted applicants at least a month before the seminar. Please get in touch with for more information.

Who Should Apply?

The seminar is open to advanced undergraduates (including graduating seniors),  graduate students, and young professionals in the Boston area. Sessions begin at 9:30am. The seminar will be capped at eighteen participants, with possible exceptions. A course schedule is available here. Applications steps are below:

  1. Complete this online application. After completion of the application you will be directed to upload the following items:

    • Resume or CV with relevant coursework.

    • A writing sample from 500 to 2,000 words.

  2. Arrange to have a short letter of recommendation (academic or professional) sent to

The application deadline for the seminar is March 22nd, 2019. Applicants can expect to receive a decision by April 5th, 2018.

About the Seminar Experience

 - Seminar Faculty - 

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Erika Bachiochi JD

Erika Bachiochi is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Research Fellow at AAI. In 2018, she was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School under the faculty supervision of Mary Ann Glendon. A noted legal scholar and leading pro-life feminist thinker, Erika has published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Christian Bioethics (Oxford University), First Things, CNN, National Review Online, Claremont Review of Books, SCOTUSblog, and Public Discourse. She is also the editor of two books and is completing an intellectual history of the cause for women’s rights.


Angela Franks Ph. D. -St. John’s Seminary-

Angela Franks, Ph.D. is a theologian, teacher, speaker, and writer. She serves as Professor of Theology at the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization at St. John's Seminary in Boston and is a Faculty Fellow at AAI. She has published in The Thomist, Nova et Vetera, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, as well as America Magazine, First Things, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal, and The Plough, in addition to contributing chapters to edited books. She has written two books on sexual ethics and the history of eugenics, and she is currently focused on bringing key ideas in contemporary Continental philosophy into conversation with the Catholic intellectual tradition. Her writings can be found at


- Questions - 

If you have any questions about the seminar or the application process please do not hesitate to send your queries to