The 2018 Annual Jack Miller Center /
Civic Spirit Summer Institute

July 30 - August 3, 2018
Macaulay Honors College, New York City

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The annual Summer Institute, a partnership between the Jack Miller Center and Civic Spirit, is a week-long rigorous professional development conference that brings together Civic Spirit participating schools, administrators, and teachers for an immersive dive into educating for civic character and civic responsibility.

The nonpartisan training provides school representatives with resources to engage with founding American documents, strategies to develop civic virtues, and a community to learn and share best practices in civic education. Workshop scholars help teachers explore methodologies for cultivating civil discourse in their classrooms, think critically about news media, and consider the role of service—religious, military, and otherwise—in our civic life. At the end of each day of Institute learning, teachers have the opportunity to convene in small working groups and apply the knowledge gained through structured discussion and course planning.


Challenge of Statelessness and the Gift of Citizenship

Peter Nelson, Founder of Facing History and Ourselves-New York Office

Session II: The Idea of Citizenship

Roosevelt Montás, Columbia University

Session III: Freedom and Citizenship Program

Dr. Jessica Lee, Associate Director Freedom and Citizenship Program Students

Session IV: How We Get Involved: The Importance of a Call to Action to Move Us

Peter Nelson

Course planning in work blocks 

Session I: Jefferson on the Principles of Liberty and the Vision of Happiness

Darren Staloff, City College of New York

Session II: Madison’s Spirit of Moderation

Andrew Trees, Roosevelt University

Session III: Master Classes 

Darren Staloff and Andrew Trees

Session IV: The Purpose of Civic Education 

Course planning in work blocks 

Session I: “The Man Without A Country”

Edward Everett Hale Diana Schaub, Loyola University Maryland

Session II: “In a Strange Country” and “The Little Man at Chehaw Station: The American Artist and his Audience”

Ralph Ellison Benjamin Storey, Furman University

Teacher Panel: Politics as Service

  • Tamara Mann Tweel, Columbia University
  • Aaron MacLean, The Paul E. Singer Foundation
  • Wilson Martinez, De La Salle Academy
  • Audi Hecht, Yeshiva University High School for Girls

Session III: Civil Discourse Training with OpenMind

Caroline Mehl, Director of OpenMind

Course planning in work blocks 

Session I: Religion and Democratic Virtue—The Founder
Maura Jane Farrelly, Brandeis University

Session II: Religion and Democratic Virtue—The 19th Century

Maura Jane Farrelly, Brandeis University

Session III: Religious Leadership and the Public Square

  • Father John Coughlin, NYU School of Law
  • Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, NYU Wagner School of Public Service Moderator: Rabbi Robert Hirt, Yeshiva University (Emeritus)

Session IV: An Informed Citizenry in the Digital Age?

Peter Nelson

Course planning in work blocks 

Cocktail Party in Celebration of Civic Spirit (Optional)

Session I: “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”

Andrew Delbanco, Columbia University

Generation Citizen Training

Brooke Wallace, NYC Program Director Generation Citizen

Session III: Teacher Course Presentations

SAR Academy, St. Jean Baptiste High School, The Frisch School



Session II: Roosevelt Montas on “The Idea of Citizenship”

Introductory note from Professor Montas:

This session looks at some key moments in the historical development of the idea of citizenship, which is to say, key moments in the history of how we understand the place of the individual in a political community. Three moments, chronologically organized, will occupy our attention: Antiquity (represented by Plato and Aristotle); the political awakening of the 18th century (including the American Revolution); and the “new birth of freedom” announced by Lincoln at the end of the Civil War. Our ultimate aim is to contextualize our contemporary political reality in a large historical frame.

  1. Plato. Crito. Translated by Cathal Woods and Ryan Pack.
  2. Aristotle. Book 1, Chapters 1-6. Politics. Translated by C.D.C. Reeve.
    Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1998.
  3. Rousseau, Jean Jacques. Book 1. On the Social Contract.
  4. Jefferson, Thomas. Declaration of Independence. 1776.
  5. Lincoln, Abraham. Gettysburg Address. 1863.

Session I: Darren Staloff on “Jefferson’s Principles of Liberty and the Vision of Happiness”

Introductory note from Professor Staloff:

Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the most inspiring and politically influential American Founding Father. While his colleague and political partner James Madison was known for his analytic rigor and linguistic precision, Jefferson’s writings were both visionary and aspirational. As you read the enclosed documents, consider the following questions. What, for Jefferson, were the ends or purposes of government? What role did principles play in constitutional formulation, and what principles were the most important? What is the proper relationship between society and government, and what is the best social order/character for a republican constitutional regime? Finally, do be on the lookout for any internal contradictions or tensions within his doctrines, as well as significant matters that he has omitted.

  1.  Jefferson, Thomas. Paragraphs 1 and 2. Declaration of Independence. 1776.
  2.  Jefferson, Thomas. Thomas Jefferson: Writings. Edited by Merrill D. Peterson. New York: The Library of America, 2011.

Session II: Andrew Trees on “Madison’s Spirit of Moderation”

Introductory note from Professor Trees:

James Madison was our most subtle constitutional thinker. He thought long and hard about the potential problems for a republican government and how to address those. As you read these pages, keep in mind some of the broader issues Madison faced. How did he view the people? What role did he expect them to play in the government? What was essential for the government to succeed? What sort of historical context and constraints did he face as he wrestled with these issues? Also, pay attention to his writing style and his language, which were as understated as his person (he rarely provides the kind of memorable lines that flowed so regularly from Jefferson’s quill). Although not flashy, Madison was quite deliberate in his choice of words, particularly with The Federalist Papers, and was consciously trying to shape the debate even though the vocabulary he used.

  1.  Madison, James. James Madison: Writings. Edited by Jack N. Rakove. New York: The Library of America, 1999.

Session IV: “The Purpose of Civic Education”

Discussion questions for Session IV readings:

  1. In the Introduction, what qualities of American society pose a threat to national unity?
  2. Why for Allen is unity or oneness not an ideal metaphor for understanding what makes us one people?
  3. How does the Introduction suggest that we might combat qualities that could undermine national unity?
  4.  How might the metaphor of wholeness change practices of citizenship for Allen?
  5. Can unity and wholeness serve as dual ends of civic education?
  1.  Kass, Amy A., Leon Kass, and Diana Schaub, eds. “Introduction.” What So Proudly We Hail. Wilmington: ISI Books, 2011.
  2.  Allen, Danielle S. “Little Rock, a New Beginning” and “Old Myths and New Epiphanies.” Talking to Strangers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Session I: Diana Schaub on “The Man without a Country”

  1. Hale, Edward Everett. “The Man without a Country.” What So Proudly We Hail, eds. Amy Kass, Leon Kass, and Diana Schaub, 1-22. Wilmington: ISI Books, 2011.

Session II: Benjamin Storey on “In a Strange Country” and “The Little Man at Chehaw Station: The American Artist and His Audience”

  1.  Ellison, Ralph. “In a Strange Country” and “The Little Man at Chehaw Station: The American Artist and His Audience.” What So Proudly We Hail, eds. Amy Kass, Leon Kass, and Diana Schaub. Wilmington: ISI Books, 2011.

Session I: Maura Jane Farrelly on “Religion and Democratic Virtue—The Founders”

Introductory note from Professor Farrelly:
John Adams was representing Massachusetts at the Second Continental Congress when he wrote this reply to his first cousin, an ordained Presbyterian minister in Lunenberg, Massachusetts.

  1. Adams, John. “Letter to Zabdiel Adams.” June 21, 1776.

Question: Why Does Adams believe religion and mortality are essential to freedom?

Introductory note from Professor Farrelly:
Charles Pinckney represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1777-1779, and then again from 1784-1787. A Federalist, Pinckney was responsible for two clauses that were adopted by the members of the Constitutional Convention: Article IV, Section II, Clause III, now commonly known as the “Fugitive Slave Clause”; and Article VI, Clause III, which prohibits religious tests on national office holding.

2. Pinckney, Charles. “Observations of the Plan of Government Submitted to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia, on the 28th of May 1787.

Question: Why does Pinckney believe that a prohibition on religious tests is something “the world” will expect from the framers of the Constitution?

Introductory note from Professor Farrelly:
Luther Martin was a fierce anti-Federalist who played an important role in the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Martin liked almost nothing about the U.S. Constitution. Even after the first ten amendments were adopted, he still felt the system of government had granted too much power to the larger states, most particularly Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. His concerns about Article VI, Clause III, however, failed to generate much concern, even among his fellow anti-Federalists.

3. Martin, Luther. “’The Genuine Information,’ delivered to the Legislature of the State of Maryland, November 29. 1787, relative to the Proceedings of the General Convention, held at Philadelphia, in 1787.”

Question: Why does Martin call his opposition to Article VI, Clause III “unfashionable”?

Introductory note from Professor Farrelly:
James Madison did not acknowledge that he was this author of the “Memorial of Remonstrance” until 1826. He greatly admired the contributions that his fellow-Virginians, Edmund Pendleton and Patrick Henry, had made to the Independence movement; when these men proposed a bill that would have funded Episcopal schools in that state, he did not wish to offend them. But Madison felt the bill was dangerous, and he worked — successfully — to defeat it.

4. Madison, James. “A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.

Question: Does Madison believe the government of Virginia has any legitimate interest in having its citizens be Christians?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Benjamin Rush represented Pennsylvania at the Continental Congress. Raised as a Calvinist, Rush ultimately became a Restorationist, seeking to heal the wounds that denominationalism had inflicted upon Christianity by returning to a more primitive, less doctrinal form of the Church. He opposed slavery, advocated for free, government-funded schools, and worked to reform the prison system in Pennsylvania.

5. Rush, Benjamin. “Observations on the Federal Procession on the Fourth of July, 1788, in a Letter from a Gentleman in this City, to his Friend in a Neighboring State.

Question: What does Rush mean by “the connexion between religion and good government”?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Many congregations and religious societies wrote to George Washington following his election as the first President of the United States. Washington responded personally to each and every one of them. Rhode Island was home to the second-oldest Jewish community in the United States; Jews had been living there since at least 1658. When Washington wrote the Jews of Newport, it was not clear yet that they had a right to vote in the new state of Rhode Island; that situation was rectified in 1798, when lawmakers enacted a law that said a person’s religious beliefs “shall in no ways diminish, enlarge, or effect their civil capacities.”

6. Washington, George. “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island.

Question: What distinction does Washington draw between “toleration” and “liberty”?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Patrick Henry was an attorney from Virginia whose famous exhortation to “give me liberty, or give me death” made Virginia a hotbed of revolutionary sentiment in the lead-up to the Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, he staunchly opposed the French Revolution because its leaders had exiled or executed thousands of Catholic clergy.

7. Henry, Patrick. “Letter to Archibald Blair.

Question: What threat does Henry believe the “armor” or “virtue, morality, and religion” protects us against?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Tom Paine, whose pamphlets, “Common Sense” and “The American Crisis,” helped move the tide of sentiment in the British colonies towards independence, died in 1808 with few supporters in the United States. Not even the Society of Friends — an unusually tolerant religious group — was willing to let his body be buried in their cemetery in New Rochelle, New York. The ideas Paine expressed in The Age of Reason are the reason why.

8. Paine, Thomas. First Part, Section One. The Age of Reason; being and Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology. 1794.

Question: Why does Paine believe the French Revolution has made “a work of this kind exceedingly necessary”?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Benjamin Franklin, like nearly all of America’s Founders, believed that a virtuous citizenry was essential to the success of any free and democratic society. In his Autobiography, which he began writing in 1771 and worked until his death in 1790, Franklin outlined the 13 virtues that he felt were most important.

9. Franklin, Benjamin. Excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

Question: What role might any of these virtues play in the success of a free and democratic society?

Session II: Maura Jane Farrelly on “Religion and Democratic Virtue—The 19th Century”

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
John Hughes was Archbishop of New York from 1842 until his death in 1864. An immigrant from Ireland, Hughes staunchly resisted the idea — popular in antebellum America — that Catholicism had rendered immigrants unfit or ill-suited to assume the responsibilities that came with American citizenship

1. Hughes, John. “Address of the Roman Catholics to their Fellow Citizens of the City and State of New York.” 1840.


  1. What responsibilities does Hughes believe come with American citizenship?
  2. How might American citizen be best prepared to assume those responsibilities?
  3. What concerns does Hughes have with the Public School Society of New York?
  4. What does he want from lawmakers in the state?

Introductory notes from Professor Farrelly:
Horace Mann was the first Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, the first state board of education the United States. Lawmakers created the board in 1837 in response to a large number of immigrants who were arriving in Massachusetts. They were concerned that these immigrants were “wholly of another kind in morals and intellect” and that if immigrant children were not properly educated, they would “neither add to the intelligence nor wealth of this comparatively new country.”

2. Mann, Horace. The Common School Journal. May 15, 1848.


  1. What goal does Mann have for the “common schools” in Massachusetts (and the United States more generally)?
  2. Why does he believe that “non-sectarianism” is the best way to achieve these goals?
  3. Why is his understanding of “non-sectarianism”?

Introductory note from Professor Farrelly:
Joseph Brandon was a Sephardic Jew from the English island of Barbados. He moved to San Francisco in 1855 and worked actively in California to keep the Church and State separate, in law and in practice. To accomplish this, Brandon utilized the power of both the courts and the press.

3. Brandon, Joseph R. “A Protest Against Sectarian Texts in California Schools in 1875.”


  1. Why does Brandon believe that sectarianism works against the goal of “thoroughly Americanizing the children of our foreign population”?
  2. What can we learn about his understanding of “Americanization” from this concern?

Session I: Andrew Delbanco on “Bartleby”

Introductory note from Professor Delbanco:
Set in an airless law office in lower Manhattan, Herman Melville’s great short work “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street,” is told by a cautious attorney who has never doubted that the world makes sense as it is. When a new employee enters his workplace and his life, his view of the world–and of himself– suddenly undergoes a series of shocks and a deep upheaval.

“Bartleby” is a story about the limits of responsibility–about what we owe to our fellow human beings, about where to draw the line between self-interest and charity, about how to conduct one’s life in a world where the rules of how to live virtuously are rapidly changing. As such, it is a story about the meanings of individualism, community, and citizenship.

We will read the story together, and discuss how it might be used in the classroom to foster discussion of moral questions no less urgent today than they were 165 years ago when Melville broached them.

  1. Melville, Herman. “Bartleby.” Billy Budd and Other Stories, 1-46. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.

Institute Speakers

Shaun Abreu
Father John Coughlin
Andy Delbanco
Andrew Delbanco
Maura Jane Farrelly
Rabbi Hirt Civic Spirit
Rabbi Robert S. Hirt
Tom Kelly
Jessica Lee
Aaron Maclean
Caroline Mehl
Aniya Moise
Roosevelt Montàs
Peter Nelson
Peter Nelson
yehuda sarna civic spirit
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna
Diana Schaub
Darren Staloff
Benjamin Storey
Andrew Trees Civic Spirit
Andrew Trees
Tamara Tweel
Brooke Wallace


Judith Ballan
Donna Bello
Rabbi Akiva Block
Rabbi Akiva Block
Sr. Maria Cassano
Tani Cohen-Fraade
Nina Cohen
Nina Cohen
Rabbi Anne Ebersman
Petrus Fortune
Dr. Catherine Guerriero
Audi Hecht
Dennis Kallo
Caitlin Kerwin
Caitlin Kerwin
Murray Sragow
Murray Sragow
Daniel Linehan
Daniel Linehan
Wilson Martinez
Bill Mason
Liz Peralta
Liz Peralta
Dr. Rivka Schwartz
Beverly Segal
Tiphanie Shoemaker
Seth Taylor Civic Spirit
Dr. Seth Taylor
Jonathan Waechter
John Walsh
John Walsh
Dr. Ethan Zadoff