ACRE Colloquium

The ACRE Colloquium brings together students and faculty from universities across the state of Arkansas. Attendees spend a weekend reading and discussing economic topics from collections of primary & secondary sources. Past topics have included The Political Economy of Special Interest Groups, Free Enterprise & Socialism, and The Morality of Profit. The Colloquium is hosted annually in the fall semester.

Fall 2023 Colloquium:

Modern Racial Classification in America

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Bernstein
University Professor of Law; Executive Director, Liberty & Law Center
Professor David E. Bernstein’s latest book Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America was the central reading for the fall colloquium. Professor Bernstein holds a University Professorship chair at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Bernstein’s work outlines the history and current issues surrounding the use of racial classification in the United States. Alongside this book, colloquium attendees read a variety of historical articles discussing the origins of various racial classifications and their use throughout history. During the colloquium, Bernstein presented a key-note lecture on his book, as well as attending discussions throughout the weekend to answer questions about his work and research.
Read more about Bernstein’s book here:

Past Colloquium Topics:

Spring 2023

The Terrors of the First Night: Taverns, Commerce, and the Violent Birth of British-American “Liberty” 1765 — 1766

Keynote Speaker: Vaughan Scribner, Assistant Professor of History, University of Central Arkansas


Fall 2019 Colloquium

“Free Enterprise & Socialism: What Ends by What Means”

Readings focused on the goals of those who promote socialism and free markets and their successes and failures at reaching those goals and included:

  • G. A. Cohen’s Why Not Socialism?
  • Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History
  • Hans Rosling’s Factfulness
  • Wolfgang Becker’s 2003 German tragicomedy film Goodbye, Lenin
  • a variety of primary source articles

Spring 2017 Colloquium

“Political Ignorance in a Democracy: Consequences and Antidotes”

Attendees of ACRE’s fourth annual colloquium read and discussed Ilya Somin’s Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Small Government is Smarter as well as additional articles. Participants learned about the status of political knowledge in Arkansas among college students and the general public as well as focusing on policy issues that economists generally agree on like the benefits of free trade and problems with subsidies. Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, attended event and made himself available for students and faculty to question and challenge his ideas. He also gave the keynote address on recognizing political ignorance, the concept of “rational ignorance,” and on “foot voting.”

Professor Ilya Somin gave a keynote address on rational ignorance and foot voting.

Students and faculty from across the state of Arkansas came together to discuss the status of political and economic knowledge in Arkansas.