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THE SALVATORI CENTER

Founded in 1969, the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World is CMC’s oldest research institute and the first of its kind in the world. The Center’s mission is to develop close relationships between students and scholars and to engage in the study of political philosophy and freedom as it relates to American Constitutionalism and the American Founding. It seeks to understand, and, if possible, to hearten the moral, political, and intellectual underpinnings of democracy in America.

Speakers

We routinely co-sponsor guest speakers at the CMC Athenaeum, the most popular and reliable venue on campus, to reach a wide student audience and enhance the intellectual life of the College. 

In addition to having a single speaker give a talk, we regularly organize panels that invite speakers to engage in a discussion.

Indeed, we believe that giving students direct access to leading public and scholarly minds enhances the advantages of a small liberal arts college.

John Pitney with students

Research

We sponsor a wide array of research projects for faculty and students alike. Our faculty advise students on their research while students assist them in return, granting them one-on-one access to our scholars and our institution's resources.

Our Salvatori research fellows are known for spearheading new projects and collaborative events centered around guest speakers, and for conceptualizing workshops, lunch talks, and more.

Professors Buccola, McWilliams and Thomas

Student Seminars

Friday lunch seminars offer students a chance to
engage important questions, fostering both intellectual exchange outside the classroom and a sense of community within the College and the Center.
 

 

We have also established Saturday salons, which the director and other Salvatori faculty organize in coordination with the Salvatori fellows. Almost always framed as a question or controversy, the seminars reinforce the College’s commitment to open inquiry and civil exchange across differences.

Tamoy and Tamara Lawson

Faculty in the Media

Ep 76: Did Hunter S. Thompson predict the rise of Trumpism in 1966? Guest: Susan McWilliams

Ep 76: Did Hunter S. Thompson predict the rise of Trumpism in 1966? Guest: Susan McWilliams

You can hear every episode of “TrumpWatch with Jesse Lent” on WBAI at SoundCloud.com/TrumpWatchWBAI or wherever you get your podcasts. Episode (Orginal Date Aired Date 7/4/18): It was 1965 when Hunter S. Thompson published his breakthrough article “The Motorcycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders" for the magazine The Nation. But did the work, which Thompson expanded into a book the following year entitled “Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs,” uncover more than just the inner workings of this mysterious, potentially dangerous outfit? Susan McWilliams, professor of politics at Pomona College in Claremont, California, published her own Nation article, entitled “This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism. His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson.” just five weeks into the Trump presidency. The granddaughter of Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation magazine from 1955 to 1975, Prof. McWilliams believes that in his reporting on the Angels Thompson discovered the political origins of Donald Trump’s rise to power. In this episode of “TrumpWatch” on WBAI, Prof. McWilliams explains to host Jesse Lent why the “gonzo” journalist’s work on the motorcycle club continues to be such an effective window into the psyche of the President’s core base of supporters, even in light of Trump’s recent attacks on Harley-Davidson, the preferred vehicle of the Hell’s Angels.
The Hidden World of Campus Conservatives

The Hidden World of Campus Conservatives

"A good education should be offensive," says Claremont McKenna Prof. Jon Shields. Subscribe: https://goo.gl/NqjoWI Read More: https://goo.gl/bSkupx "Diversity really is the religion of the university," says Jon Shields, co-author of the new book, Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University. "I hope that we can start asking them to better practice what they preach." A 2006 Politics of the American Professoriate survey found that even self-proclaimed Marxists outnumber conservatives in the social sciences by a five to one ratio. Overall, about five percent of faculty self-identified as conservatives. Shields, an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna University, is the co-author of the first book-length study of conservatives in academia. One finding was that free-market thinkers tend to feel less pressure to conceal their political beliefs than social conservatives. "It’s also the case that libertarians tend to gravitate toward economics," Shields told Reason TV. "It’s a much more tolerant place than the rest of the social sciences." But this wasn’t always the case. Shields credits Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek for making free market ideas more accepted on college campuses. Shields says that conservative rhetoric about the academy—Marco Rubio called colleges "liberal indoctrination camps" on the campaign trail—is overblown and counterproductive. "[T]he university is a much more tolerant place than movement conservatives and certainly Republican candidates often think that it is," he said. One explanation: tenure. Many professors, though closeted early in their careers, open up once they have full job security. "Writing this book and doing the research for it made us much more sympathetic to tenure," Shields says. "We saw what a difference it made in the lives of these conservatives." Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Alexis Garcia. Camera by Paul Detrick and Alex Manning. Music by Podington Bear. Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to get automatic notifications when new material goes live.
Athenaeum Dining Floor
  • The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs
    The Suburban Crisis: White America and the War on Drugs
    RSVP Closed
    Wed, Feb 28
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
    Feb 28, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, 385 E 8th St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
    Matthew Lassiter, professor of history at the University of Michigan will provide an overview of American drug control politics and policy from the 1950s to the 1980s, with particular focus on Southern California.
  • Campaign 2024: The Future or Demise of the GOP?
    Campaign 2024: The Future or Demise of the GOP?
    RSVP Closed
    Wed, Feb 21
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
    Feb 21, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, 385 E 8th St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
    Join leading GOP political consultant Mike Murphy for a moderated conversation with CMC's own John J. Pitney, Jr., the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Politics.
  • An Evening with Michael Chabon
    An Evening with Michael Chabon
    RSVP Closed
    Tue, Feb 20
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
    Feb 20, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, 385 E 8th St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
    Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter, and essayist Michael Chabon will join Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions George Thomas for a brief reading followed by a wide-ranging discussion about literature and society.
  • The Antislavery Origins of the Civil War and Emancipation
    The Antislavery Origins of the Civil War and Emancipation
    RSVP Closed
    Mon, Feb 12
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
    Feb 12, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, 385 E 8th St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
    James Oakes, Professor Emeritus of History from the City University of New York visits to discuss Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution, a central study of his latest book, "The Crooked Path to Abolition."
  • Freedom from Religion or Freedom for Religion?
    Freedom from Religion or Freedom for Religion?
    RSVP Closed
    Wed, Feb 07
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum
    Feb 07, 2024, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, 385 E 8th St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
    Does the First Amendment guarantee us the right to be free from religion in the public square? Does it guarantee religious individuals and institutions the right to be exempt from otherwise valid laws that burden their religious beliefs and practices?