St. John’s College Graduate Institute Announces Summer Lecture Series

Lectures, offered in person in Annapolis and Santa Fe and live-streamed, are free and open to the public.

Annapolis, MD/Santa Fe, NM [June 10, 2024] — The St. John’s College Graduate Institute has announced its summer lecture series. On Wednesdays throughout the summer, the college offers presentations by visiting scholars from notable universities across the country and members of the St. John’s College faculty. Lectures will be held in person on the college’s campuses in Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are free and open to the public; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each lecture will also be live-streamed on the college’s YouTube channel.

The full schedule can be viewed at All-College Online Graduate Institute Summer Lecture Series. To learn about other events at St. John’s College, see the Events Calendar.

The St. John’s College Graduate Institute offers Master of Arts degrees in the liberal arts and in Eastern classics. Courses may be completed over the summer or during convenient evening hours in the fall and spring. Applications are currently being accepted for the fall term of 2024 and spring 2025. For more details and to apply, visit

The lectures on the Annapolis campus will be held at St. John’s College, McDowell Hall, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, Md., 21401., at 7:30 p.m. ET. The theme for the Annapolis summer lecture series is “The Phenomena of Modern Life and the Future of Liberal Education.” This summer, all Annapolis lectures will be presented by faculty members of St. John’s College (known as “tutors”).

“The readings that comprise the Program were, by and large, published before 1950. That seems right and just, but might there be phenomena that belong distinctively to late-modern life that such readings are unable to address? If there are such phenomena, what are they? And does the Program adequately equip students to confront the phenomena in a spirit of freedom, the spirit a truly liberal education promises?” asks Brendan Boyle, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in Annapolis. “Alternatively, maybe there are no distinctive phenomena or maybe the readings of the Program, no matter their date, are still up to the task of educating late-modern citizens in ways that allow them to freely confront all aspects of late-modern life. There is no shortage of difficult questions here, and the Graduate Institute’s summer lecture series is designed to bring some clarity to them.”

The Annapolis lectures are:

“The Graduate Institute is proud to offer this series of lectures free to our students, alumni and friends,” says David Carl, Associate Dean for the Graduate Programs in Santa Fe. “While classes at St. John’s generally proceed through discussion among students, the lectures provide an opportunity for participants to hear an extended account from someone with considerable learning.”

The lectures on the Santa Fe campus will be held at St. John’s College, Junior Common Room, 1160 Camino de Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe, NM 87505, at 4:15 p.m. MT, unless otherwise noted. The Santa Fe lectures are:

  • “In this talk, I’ll explore the nature of cross-cultural philosophy, contrasting it with superficially similar approaches to doing philosophy (like comparative philosophy, intellectual history, and world philosophy) and making the case that we should view cross-cultural philosophy as a great conversation. To make that case, I’ll also explore a few different ways of thinking about what philosophical conversations are and what might make them great,” says Breyer.

  • Mike Peters is President Emeritus of St. John’s College Santa Fe. He is a retired Army Colonel with duty in Vietnam, Operation Just Cause Panama and Operation Desert Shield. He was also a Soviet/Russian specialist serving as an attaché in Moscow, as a liaison officer to the Soviet Forces in East Germany and at the Pentagon. Prior to St. John’s, he was Executive Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations. Steven Isenberg is a former newspaper publisher, chief of staff for NYC Mayor John V. Lindsay, a university president and professor of humanities and executive director of PEN America, the literary human rights group. Isenberg is a senior advisor to the Committee to Protect the Journalists and an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.

Nagarjuna is often referred to as “the second Buddha” by Tibetan and East Asian Mahayana(Great Vehicle) traditions of Buddhism. Nagarjuna offered sharp criticisms of Brahminical and Buddhist substantialist philosophy, theory of knowledge and approaches to practice. Nagarjuna’s philosophy represents something of a watershed not only in the history of Indian philosophy but in the history of philosophy as a whole.

  • July 31, Dr. Duane Roller, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Ohio State University, “On Cleopatra”


St. John’s College is the most distinctive liberal arts college in the country due to our interdisciplinary program, in which 200 of the most revolutionary great books from across 3,000 years of human thought are explored in student-driven, discussion-based classes for undergraduates, graduates and life-long adult learners. By probing world-changing ideas in literature, philosophy, mathematics, science, music, history, and more, students leave St. John’s with a foundation for success in such fields as law, government, research, STEM, media, and education. Located on two campuses in two historic state capitals—Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico—St. John’s is the third-oldest college in the United States and has been hailed as the “most forward-thinking, future-proof college in America” by Quartz and as a “high-achieving angel hovering over the landscape of American higher education” by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more at

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