Advisory: MHPC to Host Conference Analyzing “Global Citizenship” In The Context of American Higher Education


February 3, 2014

February 6th Event to Revisit What Does Bowdoin Teach and Feature National Association of Scholars’ Dr. Peter W. Wood

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Heritage Policy Center will host the “Global Illusions: Bowdoin’s Post-Citizens and the Future of American Higher Education” conference on February 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Inn at Brunswick Station in Brunswick, ME. A follow up to last year’s study by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), What Does Bowdoin Teach?, this conference will analyze “global citizenship,” which has become widespread in American higher education.

Dr. Peter W. Wood, President of the NAS and main author of the study, will speak on the ways that Bowdoin College emphasizes a “global” commitment over national identity. Event participants will examine the fundamental question of which is more important: learning to become a “citizen of the world,” or learning how to live up to the responsibilities of American citizenship.

Dr. Herbert London, Chairman of the NAS Board of Directors, will present the keynote address on how the idea of “global citizenship” diverts attention away from core educational goals.

Additional speakers include:

  • Dr. Michael Poliakoff, Vice President of Policy of The American Council of Trustees and Alumni​​
  • Dr. KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center
  • Dr. John Fonte, senior fellow and Director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute and author of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?
  • Dr. Susan Shell, a professor of political science at Boston College and author of Kant and the Limits of Autonomy and co-editor of America at Risk: Threats to Liberal Self-Government in an Age of Uncertainty

“The dream of becoming a citizen of the world is very old,” stated Dr. Wood. “It stretches back to the ancient Greeks and has always stood for a deep dislike for the obligations to one’s local community and one’s country. The idea, however, has gained a new life on college campuses where becoming a ‘global citizen’ is now very fashionable.”

The conference will explore two central questions that are critical to today’s discourse on the liberal arts and higher education. Is a thirst for global citizenship eroding our sense of what we owe to America? Is global citizenship a threat to the liberal arts?

“The second question comes directly from our study of Bowdoin College,” continued Dr. Wood. “Through our analysis, we found a sharp decline in courses that deal with traditional ‘core’ topics in U.S. history and Western civilization, and a significant rise in courses that emphasize so-called ‘global perspectives.’”


Thursday, February 6, 2013

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Morning Panel Discussion
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Luncheon
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Panel Discussion

Inn at Brunswick Station, 4 Noble Street, Brunswick, ME

The conference is open to the public. There is a $35 registration fee for the luncheon.

Media credentials will be required. To confirm your attendance, please register no later than 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 5, 2014.


About MHPC
The Maine Heritage Policy Center is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational organization based in Portland, Maine.  The Maine Heritage Policy Center formulates and promotes free-market, conservative public policies in the areas of economic growth, fiscal matters, health care, education, constitutional law and government transparency – providing solutions that will benefit all the people of Maine.  Contributions to MHPC are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information, see

About NAS
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is an independent membership association of academics and others working to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America’s colleges and universities. The NAS advocates for excellence by encouraging commitment to high intellectual standards, individual merit, institutional integrity, good governance, and sound public policy. For more information on the NAS, visit