My Wellesley


Connecting Freedom to Current Events

January 16-19, 2017

All sessions and meals will take place in PNE 349. If you have any questions, you should email or Caryn Sowa (

Day 1 (January 16) – The Meaning of Freedom.

8:30-9:30am: Continental breakfast

9:00-9:30am: Welcome and introductions

9:30-11:30am: J. Brennan on liberty and social justice

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm: J. McCabe on race and place in America


Day 2 (January 17) – Freedom to Learn and Earn.

8:30-9:30am: Continental breakfast

9:30-11:30am: O. Wasow on school choice in theory and practice

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm: K. Weeden on the sociology of rent-seeking


Day 3 (January 18) – Global Perspectives on Freedom.

8:30-9:30am: Continental breakfast

9:30-11:30am: I. Logvinenko on the new authoritarianism

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm: J. El-Hage on the global case for freedom of expression


Day 4 (January 19) – Realizing Freedom.

8:30-9:30am: Continental breakfast

9:30-11:30am: N. Hajj on finding dignity in property rights

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch

1:30-3:30pm:  F. Rojas on social movements for freedom

3:30-4:00pm: Closing remarks

Session Leaders

Jason Brennan is the Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, and by courtesy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Georgetown University. He specializes in political philosophy and applied ethics. He is the author of Markets without Limits with Peter Jaworski, Compulsory Voting: For and Against with Lisa Hill, Why Not Capitalism?, Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, The Ethics of Voting, and A Brief History of Liberty with David Schmidtz.

Javier El-Hage is Chief Legal Officer at the Human Rights Foundation and heads their Center for Law and Democracy. He researches and writes on comparative constitutional law and international law and has published work on international investment law and arbitration, international human rights law, and comparative constitutional law.

Nadya Hajj is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies at Wellesley College. Her current research examines how everyday people muddle through transitional spaces, extraordinarily difficult political economic places where there is no legal sovereign, and find protection. Her research has been published in Comparative Politics and the Policy Studies Journal. Her new book, Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps, was released just last month.

Igor Logvinenko is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. His current research explores the nexus of economic globalization and political development in low and middle-income countries. He is especially interested in the consequences of financial globalization for authoritarianism, democratization, and capital flight in Russia, Kazakhstan and China. He is working on a book project tentatively titled Open Economies, Closed Polities: Financial Globalization and Authoritarian Politics in Russia and China.

Joshua McCabe is the Associate Director of the Freedom Project at Wellesley College. His research examines the politics of tax and social policy related to poverty, housing, and federalism. His work has appeared in Social Science History, Studies in Emergent Order, and Sociological Science. He is finishing up a book project tentatively titled Fiscalizing of Social Policy: How Taxpayers Trumped Children in the Fight Against Child Poverty.

Fabio Rojas is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is particularly interested in how social movements force organizations, such as colleges, to change. He is author of Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11 with Michael T. Heaney and From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline.

Omar Wasow is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is interested in race and American political development, the political economy of education, and the intersection of social media and politics. He has been published in the American Review of Political Science. Before entering academia, he was co-founded and the Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School.

Kim Weeden is the Jan Rock ’77 Professor of the Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University. Her research investigates income inequality, gender, social class, and education. Her work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces among many others.