Wellesley launches Freedom Project
Faculty and students explore connection between capitalism and justice
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 19:10
This fall, Wellesley will launch the inaugural session of The Freedom Project, a series of lectures and a fellowship focused on concepts of freedom and justice related to classic liberal thought and the contemporary world. The project, directed by Professor of Sociology Thomas Cushman, will feature lectures by various experts, including speakers from Brown University, Yale Law School, University of Stockholm, George Mason University and the Boston Globe.
Each lecture will cover one of five fields: law, economics, political theory, social theory and journalism. The Freedom Project’s Adam Smith Fellowship will sponsor up to eight Wellesley students to research themes of classical liberalism. Fellows will participate in a monthly meeting called The Freedom Seminar, attend lectures by visiting speakers and organize events, debates, symposia and social events for other Wellesley students.
This year, The Project will focus on the relationship between capitalism and justice.
“Unlike many programs in higher educational institutions, The Freedom Project aims to foster a more complex—and perhaps more positive—appreciation of the role of capitalism in human affairs,” Cushman explained.
All students are welcome to participate in The Freedom Project, regardless of year or background. “The core of the Project is in line with what a liberal arts institution ought to be about: helping students develop the skills with which to be responsible authors of their own lives, to think for themselves and to understand that the complexities of social life—and of freedom in particular—can never be captured by one ideological position alone,” said Professor Cushman.
Research assistant Brittany Lamon-Paredes ’15 echoed this idea. “What I love about this project the most is that any student can have an interest in it. It really is an open space for thoughts on what we do as a global society and how we could do things differently,” she said.
First-year Ruby Smith is particularly excited about the opportunity to hear speakers from universities outside the Boston area. “It’s not often that students, especially first-years, get to be a part of discussions with experts from around the country on issues that affect the world at large,” Smith said.
Art history major Hannah Ahlblad ’14 said “I like that The Freedom Project is an ongoing set of lectures, complementing more short-term lecture series like the Albright Institute.”
The application period for The Freedom Project fellowships has passed. A list of fellows will be released later this month.