Whether or not you’ve yet registered for the FPR Conference, the following information may be of interest:

We will be hosting the conference in the Maas Conference Center on the campus of Hope College. The conference center is at the corner of 10th and Columbia in Holland. We will have signs posted and on-site registration available, although we would certainly prefer if everyone would pre-register.

People traveling from out-of-town may want to stay at either the Haworth Inn on Hope’s campus, or at the City Flats Hotel, just a block or two away. Those flying into West Michigan should use Gerald R Ford Airport in Grand Rapids and may want to contact me concerning their travel plans so that we can provide shuttle service to and from the airport, which is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Holland. The Haworth Inn also provides a shuttle service. Students who wish to attend the conference and need a place to stay should contact me (polet@hope.edu) and I will help arrange some free lodging in one of the dorm rooms on campus.

At the conclusion of the conference those who wish to “continue the conversation” may wish to join us at the New Holland Brewery for some locally crafted beer (including my personal favorite: Dragon’s Milk) and appetizers.

Anyone who wishes for an audience with the Bar Jester will have to put their requests in well in advance.

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Jeffrey Polet
Jeffrey Polet grew up in an immigrant household in the immigrant town of Holland MI. After twenty years of academic wandering he returned to Holland and now teaches political science at Hope College, where he also grudgingly serves as chair of the department, having unsuccessfully evaded all requests. In the interim, he continues to nurture quirky beliefs: Division III basketball is both athletically and morally superior to Division I; the Hope/Calvin rivalry is the greatest in sports; the lecture is still the best form of classroom instruction; never buy a car with less than 100,000 miles on it; putts will still lip out in heaven; bears are the incarnation of evil; Athens actually has something to do with Jerusalem; and Tombstone is a cinematic classic. His academic work has mirrored his peripatetic career. Originally trained at the Catholic University of America in German philosophy and hermeneutical theory, he has since gravitated to American Political Thought. He still occasionally writes about European thinkers such as Michel Foucault or the great Max Weber, but mostly is interested in the relationship between theological reflection and political formation in the American context. In the process of working on a book on John Marshall for The Johns Hopkins University Press, he became more sensitive to the ways in which centralized decision-making undid local communities and autonomy. He has also written on figures such as William James and the unjustly neglected Swedish novelist Paer Lagerkvist. A knee injury and arthritis eliminated daily basketball playing, and he now spends his excess energy annoying his saintly wife and their three children, two of whom are off to college. Expressions of sympathy for the one who remains can be posted in the comments section. He doesn’t care too much for movies, but thinks opera is indeed the Gesamtkuntswerk, that the music of Gustav Mahler is as close as human beings get to expressing the ineffable, that God listens to Mozart in his spare time, and that Bach is history’s greatest genius.


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