Political Theory Colloquium Lecture Series
The Washington, D.C., Political Theory Colloquium, founded by Alan Levine 15 years ago, brings noted speakers to campus each semester. Its central purpose is to provide a focal point for the community and provide a real sense of intellectual excitement. We hope to engage the community and classrooms in a common conversation.
Friday, September 21
Fred Baumann, Kenyon College, on "The Problem of Trust in Democracies"
Fred Baumann is Professor of Political Science at Kenyon College. He came to Kenyon as director of the Public Affairs Conference Center and part-time teacher of Political Science in 1980, entering the department full-time in 1986. He teaches courses in the history of political philosophy, politics and literature, diplomatic history and statesmanship as well as PSCI 101-102. The author of Fraternity and Politics: Choosing One's Brothers, Baumann is now working on a book on the status of political humanism. He is an associate editor of the journal Interpretation, and has served as chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Baumann received the Senior Faculty Trustee Teaching Award and was invited to give the Founders' Day talk. He earned a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. Recent publications include “Humanism and Transhumanism,” in The New Atlantis (2010), “Humanism’s Four Stages,” in the American Interest (2010), “Schiller on Aesthetic Education: Radicalization by Return” in Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle (2010), and Visions of Utopia: Philosophy and the Perfect Society, a course of 14 recorder lectures.
Tuesday, October 16
James Stoner on "Republicans v. Democrats: The Case of the Confederate Constitution"
James R. Stoner Jr. is Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University, where he has taught since 1988. He is the author of Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 1992), as well as a number of articles and essays. He was the 2010 recipient of the Sternberg Professorship at LSU and served in Fall 2010 as Acting Dean of the LSU Honors College. He has chaired the Department of Political Science since 2007. In 2002-03 he was a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He served from 2002 to 2006 on the National Council on the Humanities. Since 2009 he has been a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. His current research includes a study of American constitutional development and a study of Catholic political thought.
Friday, November 30
Ronna Burger on "Aristotle's Ethics as Socratic Political Philosophy"
Ronna Burger received her PhD in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research in 1975 and in 1980 began teaching at Tulane University, where she is now Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair, Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair, and Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies. With the support of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation, she has published books on Plato’s Phaedrus (Alabama 1980) and The Phaedo: A Platonic Labyrinth (Yale 1984; St. Augustine’s Press 1999) as well as Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates: on the Nicomachean Ethics (Chicago 2008). She is also the co-editor of two volumes of essays by Seth Benardete. Prof. Burger regularly teaches an upper-level seminar devoted each semester to a particular text of Plato or Aristotle and is directing several dissertations on these thinkers. Her work in ancient philosophy has provided the basis for extending her studies in recent years to Maimonides and to the Hebrew Bible.
Friday, December 7
Brandon Turner on "The Intellectual Origins of the Economic Way of Thinking"
Brandon Turner is currently the 2012-13 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Political Theory Institute at American University, where he serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs. He is currently on leave from Clemson University, where he is Assistant Professor of Political Science and, in a joint appointment, with the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He has published articles in The Review of Politics, Polity, and elsewhere, and is currently finishing manuscripts titled Antagonism in the Liberal Tradition and Classical Liberalism: A Short History. His current research focuses on the emergence of the economic way of thinking in the early modern period. Turner has been the recipient of several teaching awards; this year at AU, he will offer a Fall course on the political theory of capitalism and a Spring course on classical liberalism. He earned his B.A. at Miami University in 2004 (Political Science, History, Philosophy), an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008.
Friday, February 1
Rafael Major on "Shakespeare's Cunning Comedy: The Treatment of Religion in
Rafael Major is the Director of Faculty Development at The Jack Miller Center and teaches at Ursinus College. Prior to joining the Miller Center, he taught at Michigan State University’s James Madison College, Rhodes College (Memphis, Tenn.) and Trinity College (Hartford, CT). He is the editor of Leo Strauss's Defense of the Philosophic Life(2012), and has published articles and book chapters on Shakespeare and Lincoln, Shakespeare and secularism, Machiavelli's Prince, Leo Strauss and Quentin Skinner, and the introduction to the forthcoming Japanese translation of Leo Strauss's What Is Political Philosophy? He is currently finishing a book length study on Shakespeare’s Comedies. His BA and MP degrees are from the University of Dallas and his PhD is from the University of North Texas.
Friday, February 22
Aurelian Craiutu, Indiana University Bloomington,
on "In Praise of a Forgotten Virtue: Moderation in the Twenty-First Century"
Aurelian Craiutu is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington and Director of its Tocqueville Program. His main research interests include French political and social thought, varieties of liberalism and conservatism, democratic theory as well as theories of transition to democracy and democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe. His most recent book is A Virtue for Courageous Minds: Moderation in French Political Thought, 1748-1830 on which his presentation at AU is based. He is also author of Liberalism under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires (2003), translated into French in a revised and enlarged edition as Le centre introuvable: la pensée politique des doctrinaires sous la Restauration (2006), two books in Romanian: In Praise of Liberty: Essays in Political Philosophy (1998) and In Praise of Moderation (2006). He is the editor and translator of many works, including: Guizot’s History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe (2002), Madame de Staël's Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (2008), Tocqueville on America after 1840: Letters and Other Writings (with Jeremy Jennings, Cambridge University Press, 2009), America through European Eyes (with Jeffrey C. Isaac, Penn State University Press, 2009), and Conversations with Tocqueville (with Sheldon Gellar, Lexington Books, 2009). Dr. Craiutu's articles and reviews were published in many academic journals including American Political Science Review, The Review of Politics, History of Political Thought, Political Theory, European Journal of Political Theory, and History of European Ideas. He serves as Associate Editor of the European Journal of Political Theory. Professor Craiutu has received awards, fellowships and grants from many institutions including the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Earhart Foundation. In 2000, he won the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of political theory. In 2004, he received a Student Choice Award and an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award at Indiana University. During the AY 2008-09, Professor Craiutu was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has a BA is from the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania; an MA from the University of Rennes I, Rennes, France; and a PhD is from Princeton University.
Friday, March 1
Paul Carresse, Air Force Academy,
on "Constitutional Political Science: Rediscovering Storing's Philosophical Moderation"
Paul Carrese is professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and co-founder and former director of its great-books honors program. During 2012-13 he is the Forbes Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program, Department of Politics, at Princeton University. He teaches and researches in political philosophy, constitutionalism, American political thought and constitutional law, and American foreign policy and grand strategy. He is author of The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism (2003) and co-editor of John Marshall’s The Life of George Washington: Special Edition (2001). Carresse is completing a book on the philosophy of moderation in constitutional democracies, focusing on Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and the debates over America’s founding principles, from which his talk at AU will draw. His BA is from Middlebury College, he has two MAs from Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and his PhD is from Boston College. He has also been a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard, and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Delhi.
Wednesday, March 27, 5:30-7:00 pm,
Anderson Conference Room
James Piereson, William E Simon Foundation and the Manhattan Institute,
on "John Maynard Keynes and the Modern Revolution in Political Economy"
James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation, a private, New York City grant-making foundation. Piereson is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York where he is director of the Center for the American University and chairman of the selection committee for the Veritas Fund, which allocates grants to programs on college and university campuses. Piereson was executive director and trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation from 1985 to 2005 when the foundation closed its doors. Before joining the John. M. Olin Foundation, he served on the political science faculties of several prominent universities, including Iowa State University, Indiana University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Piereson is also trustee of the William E. Simon Foundation and serves on the boards of several other institutions, including the Pinkerton Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, the Center for Individual Rights, the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Foundation for Cultural Review (chairman), the American Spectator Foundation, the Hoover Institution, Donors Trust, the William F. Buckley Program at Yale University, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He is a member of the selection committee for the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in the Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering, and is chairman of the selection committee for the Hayek Book Prize. He is also a member of the Grant Advisory Committee of the Searle Freedom Trust and of the publication committees of City Journal and National Affairs. Piereson is likewise a member of the executive advisory committee of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, of the board of visitors of the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, and of the advisory council of the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (2007) and, with J. Sullivan and G. Marcus, of Political Tolerance and American Democracy (1982). He is the editor of The Pursuit of Liberty: Can the Ideals That Made America Great Provide a Model for the World (2008). He has also published articles and reviews in numerous scholarly and intellectual journals, including Commentary, Philanthropy, The American Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. His BA and PhD are both from Michigan State University.
John Christian Laursen on "A Human Right to Sexual Satisfaction?"
Thursday, April 25
John Christian Laursen is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. He earned degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Carlsberg Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society, and most recently was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Spain. He is the author or editor of over two hundred books, articles, book chapters, and reviews, mostly about the influence of skepticism, cynicism, and irony in political thought, with other interests in toleration, freedom of the press, and cosmopolitanism.