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Department of Government


SPA: Government
Fax: 202-885-2967
Kerwin Hall, Room 230

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SPA: Government
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8130

The Washington DC Political Theory Colloquium Spring 2011

Marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the Washington DC Political Theory Colloquium explores the themes of the conflict that resonate today in our public life. Presented by the department of Government in AU’s School of Public Affairs, the five-part series is free and open to the public.

Unless otherwise noted, all talks are held on the campus of American University in the Lounge (Room 105) of the East Quad Building (also known as the Old SIS Building), from 5:30-7:00pm.

Please RSVP (acceptances only) to Tom Merrill (

Friday, January 28th

James Read, “John C. Calhoun's Political Theory and Its Contemporary Echoes”
Location: Mary Graydon 200

James H. Read, Professor of Political Science and Joseph P. Farry Professor of Public Policy and Civic Engagement at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University of Minnesota, is the author of Majority Rule versus Consensus: The Political Thought of John C. Calhoun (2009), among other books and articles.

Friday, February 25th

Diana Schaub, “Learning to Love Lincoln: Frederick Douglass's Journey from Grievance to Gratitude”

Diana J. Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Jill and Boyd Smith Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society. She is the author of Erotic Liberalism: Women and Revolution in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (1995), along with a number of book chapters and articles in the fields of political philosophy and American political thought, and a co-editor (with Amy and Leon Kass) of What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (forthcoming, 2011).

Tuesday, March 15th

William B. Allen, “What Constitution Have I? Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Moral Imperative of Constitutionalism”

William B. Allen is Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science and Emeritus Dean, James Madison College, at Michigan State University. He is the author of Re-Thinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of Harriet Beecher Stowe (2009).

Thursday, April 7th

Michael Zuckert, “Completing the Constitution: the Post Civil War Amendments”

Michael Zuckert is Nancy R. Dreux Professor of Political Science at University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Launching Liberalism: On Lockean Political Philosophy (2002) as well as many other books and articles on early modern political philosophy, American constitutional history and the theory of liberty.

Friday, April 22nd

Hugh Liebert, “Lincoln’s Political Religion”

Hugh Liebert is the John Marshall Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Richmond and will soon be joining the Department of Social Sciences in the United States Military Academy as an assistant professor. He is co-editing a volume on executive power, to which he has contributed a chapter on the development of executive power in the Roman Republic, and is completing a book project on Plutarch's political philosophy titled Plutarch’s Political Thought: City and Empire in the Parallel Lives.