2018 IA Conference

America’s Place in the World: Power, Influence, and World Order

July 21 – 28, 2018

What are America’s biggest challenges on the international stage? Since the end of the Second World War, the US has dominated the world politically, economically, and militarily. But America’s place in the world is constantly changing and evolving.

During the morning theme talks, we will look at different perspectives on the question of how the US formulates a new global strategy and how to implement it, including, what are the new challenges and opportunities for American leadership? What role does the US have in the global economy? On energy and climate change? As a model for democracy and human rights? And what about our relations with rising powers, especially the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China)?

In addition to the morning theme talks, we offer a variety of daily workshops including writing, chorus, yoga, and art. Afternoon activities include swimming, softball, visits to the Marine Lab, rowboat and kayak trips in the harbor or to neighboring islands, low tide walks and history tours. There is also time for reading a book in a rocking chair on the front porch or taking a walk to the back of the island. Evening activities include a bonfire, an intergenerational dance, a conference talent show and a staff talent show, lay-led chapel services, and more.



Barry Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and the director of MIT’s Security Studies Program. His most recent book is Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy published in 2014.

Charles Maynes is an independent radio producer based in Moscow. A frequent contributor to PRI/BBC’s The World, his work has also been featured on This American Life, 99% Invisible, Radiolab, BBC Radio 4, and America Abroad among other programs and podcasts. He has been the recipient of a Third Coast International Audio Award (Three Records from Sundown, 2011) and the Prix Marulic gold prize for documentary (Looping Swans, 2017). He is originally from the Washington DC area. A list of links to his recent reporting can be found here.

Patrick Lawrence is a longtime columnist, essayist, critic, and lecturer. He was a correspondent abroad (writing as Patrick L. Smith) for many years, chiefly for the Far Eastern Economic Review, the International Herald Tribune, and The New Yorker. He has written several books and currently is a contributor to The Nation.

Jendayi E. Frazer is a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a former US Ambassador to South Africa, and the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2005-09.

Syaru Shirley Lin teaches political economy at the University of Virginia and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her book on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. She is currently working on the high income trap in East Asia. Her commentary frequently appears in English and Chinese media.

Rev. Darrick Jackson is Minister of the Week. He is the interim associate executive director of the UU Ministers Association and a member of the affiliated faculty of the Meadville Lombard Theological School.