On November 2, 2019, the Institute for Humane Studies
collaborated with the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation on
its annual student colloquium. The 2019 colloquium-featured speaker was Dr.
Michael Douma from Georgetown University. Dr. Douma is an Assistant Research
Professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, as well
as, the Director of the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and
Ethics. As an interdisciplinary historian, Dr. Douma was the perfect person to
lead the event. Douma’s three main areas of study are the nineteenth century
U.S. history, the Dutch world, and philosophy and methods of history.
combination of his concentrations, Douma was able to view the reading material
through different lenses to help students gain a better perspective and understanding
of the material from multiple viewpoints.
Dr. Douma led the group of 16 students in discussions that
focused on the assigned reading, Capitalism
Under Siege. The reading consisted of 3 sections: (1) The Great Enrichment
of the World (McCloskey, Deirdre), (2) What Caused the Great Enrichment
(McCloskey, Deirdre), and (3) Threats to Liberty (Schumpeter, Joseph).
The energized and titillating conversation revolved
around the progression of humankind from the past, present and future. Students
engaged in questions like, “What do you think an entrepreneur is?” and “How do
you think rhetoric influences the worlds current economy?” Students had the
ability to critically think about and analyze the world around them, discussing
what they think are big influencers on today’s society. Participants varied
from freshman to graduate students, with a wide range of majors and life
experiences, thus providing multiple perspectives for analyzing the
With different perspectives and ideas, the conversation
flowed among the students and faculty without lull. To conclude the day, The
Institute for Humane Studies hosted a dinner at an off campus location of Off
the Rak with all of the participants. Many of the contributors conferred with how
much they look forward to next year’s colloquium.
The Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation
would like to thank the Institute for Humane Studies for a wonderful program
and we look forward to the 2020 colloquium.