Each year, the philosophy department organizes an International Study Tour designed to provoke thoughtful discussion and reflection.


The Struggle for Freedom & Dignity
26 May - 10 June 2014

Prague & Krakow/Oscwiecim (Auschwitz)

A tour designed and led by
Jeffrey Johnson, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Suffolk University

You can visit Europe and receive academic credits at the same time. The Philosophy Department at Suffolk University is organizing a course and study tour to Central Europe.


Freedom and dignity are at the heart of our humanity. These qualities enable us to develop and realize the fullness of our humanity. Yet these qualities are very difficult to acquire and sustain. It seems that what is most essential to our humanity is also the most elusive for so many of us. The purpose of this study tour is to study and seek some level of understanding of this enigma. The totalitarianism, wars, and genocide of our time are clear indications of the difficulties we face in achieving, acclaiming, and maintaining our humanity. These three phenomena undermine and destroy the social and spiritual conditions that foster the freedom and dignity critical to our humanity. We will be visiting places very closely associated with this scenario: Prague, Auschwitz, and Krakow. By understanding the tragedies and struggles associated with these places we hope to gain a knowledge that will aid us in our contemporary struggles for human freedom and dignity.

Aside from organized tours in these locations, there will also be ample opportunities for the students to independently explore them. This will give students a chance to visit an area of the world that has been at the heart of the greatest conflicts in recent times. By being “there” the students will be able to connect what happened with some of the reasons related to how and why certain things happened. They will be able to see how concrete events and places relate to philosophical understanding.

The title of the course is Philosophy of Freedom: PHIL 309 TC (4 semester hours, undergraduate credit); graduate level PHIL 609 TC. The course will be taught during the Winter/Spring semester of 2011 with the tour taking place during the summer break at the end of May and the beginning of June (26 May—10 June).


26 May: Flight from Boston to Prague
27 May: Arrive in Prague; Free day
28 May: Morning Lecture; Visit to Prague Castle, Saint Vitus's Cathedral, and Charles Bridge
29 May: Morning Lecture; Visit to Pinkas Synagogue Holocaust Memorial and Old Jewish Cemetery
30 May: Morning Lecture; Visit to Terezin
31 May: Free Day
1 June: Free Day
2 June: Morning Lecture; Visit to Museum of Communism
3 June: Morning Lecture; Velvet Revolution walk
4 June: Travel from Prague to Krakow
5 June: Morning Lecture; Visit to Jewish Quarter and Ghetto
6 June: Visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau
7 June: Free Day
8 June: Free Day
9 June: Morning Lecture; Visit to Wawel Castle and Cathedral
10 June: Travel from Krakow to Boston


Jeffrey Johnson, PhD
Department of Philosophy
73 Tremont Street, Floor 10
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone: 617.973.5318
E-Mail: pjohnson@suffolk.edu

Apply At:

Study Abroad Office
73 Tremont Street, Floor 6
Boston, MA 02108

If you are interested in participating in this program and wish to sign up for it, please fill out the online application at:  https://suffolk-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=13845