Freedom and Order

Thanks for a great session—check back soon for Summer 2020!

Creating Laws, Government, and Society

July 7–13, 2019 | Annapolis, MD

Does freedom require order? This session examines the emergence of order out of chaos in the political, literary, and scientific spheres and asks whether governing structures necessarily restrict individual autonomy. Seminar readings focus on the foundation of societies or republics, and on the institution of laws and just forms of governance. The language tutorial explores questions of dominion and freedom through a close study of Shakespeare’s Tempest. The science tutorial thinks critically about organisms that form communities, as well as about the struggle for survival among individuals and species, inviting participants to broaden the discussion and push it beyond a purely human perspective.

Summer Academy Annapolis Croquet

Classes and Readings

For more information, the college urges students and parents to review expectations and policies, a campus map, and additional need-to-know details about Summer Academy in Annapolis.


Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus

Machiavelli, Discourses

DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk


Shakespeare’s Tempest


Darwin, Origin of Species

Shapiro, “Bacteria as Multicellular Organisms”

Example Workshops

Croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing

Example activities

Visits to the National Archives, Annapolis State House

Summer Academy in Annapolis

At the St. John’s College Summer Academy, the community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas formed in the classroom. To this end, Summer Academy students experience life at St. John’s by taking lessons in croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing. Students’ conversations about justice, nature, and law will continue as they are taken on a tour of the Maryland State House and attend a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company.