So you’ve been wondering whether and when you’ll get to hear me at the political science convention in DC over the Labor Day Weekend.

The great news is that I’m part of three excellent shows. The bad is that two of them are that the worst conceivable times—8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Sunday. These times are supposed to be determined by lot, but I can’t help but smell a plot.

Anyway, at 8 on Thursday morning I will be on a panel on the relevance of Tocqueville today—featuring Ken Masugi, Jeremy Jennings, Cheryl B. Welch, Aristide Tessitore, and Eduardo Nolla (prime-time players all). My tentative thought is to push the unfashionable position that the “soft despotism” thing is not a Tocquevillian fear that is coming true. Let me know your thoughts on this, and more generally about what’s most relevant about Tocqueville these days.

At 2 p.m. Friday, I will be talking about Walt Whitman on a panel that will include some of the most able young scholars on politics and literature (a category, of course, which includes me)—Brian Smith, Lorraine Krall, Matt Sitman, and David Kennedy Thompson.

At 8 Sunday morning, I will speak on Locke and Darwin on an all-star postmodern conservative panel—including Ceaser, Hancock, and Mahoney.

I will get around to saying a bit more about each of the presentations.

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