How does family life affect the life of a political community? In what ways can families be beneficial to the political community? In what ways can they be harmful? What role should the state have in shaping family life?

This two-week seminar will examine different answers to these and similar questions, given by thinkers from ancient Greece to 21st-century America. In the first week, led by Professor Antón Barba-Kay, students will read closely Sophocles’ Antigone and consider its portrayal of the conflict between familial and civic duty. Over the second week, led by Professor Diana Schaub, students will examine a variety of texts to explore perennial and contemporary debates concerning the family and politics.

Image: Giuseppe Diotti, Antigone Condemned to Death by Creon, 1845

Diana Schaub on love, friendship, & politics


Antón Barba-Kay

Antón Barba-Kay is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is finishing a book on the political philosophy of the internet, which he began while a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.

Diana Schaub

Diana J. Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the Hoover Institution’s task force on The Virtues of a Free Society. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Preview the Syllabus by Week/Session

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