Phronesis: Program in Politics and Ethics

The Honors College’s new minor, Phronesis: A Program in Politics and Ethics, had a wonderful first year. Approximately 25 students have already formally declared or indicated interest in the minor. In addition to its course offerings, Phronesis also sponsored a well-received speaker series on the rise of modern liberty, which featured such notable academics as Jack Rakove from Stanford, Thomas Pangle from UT Austin, and Sharon Krause from Brown University. Our students and faculty had the opportunity to meet with these scholars in seminar and at dinners and lunches, in addition to seeing them lecture. Phronesis also supported Professor Pangle’s visit as the College’s first distinguished teacher in the Ross M. Lence Teacher Residency Program. Thanks to Dean Monroe and the members of the Lence Committee for making this visit a great success.

This coming fall, the program continues to expand its course offerings with Professor Tamler Sommers’ course on Punishment and Professor Greg Weiher’s course on Religion and Politics; both professors were awarded Quality in Education Program (QEP) grants for undergraduate research. 

We also welcome a new colleague! Professor Jeffrey Church, a political theorist, comes to us from Notre Dame via Duke University. Professor Church’s expertise is in the history of political thought, with a special interest in modern thought, and he will be teaching our core Liberalism and its Critics course.

And our speaker series continues! In October, William Ian Miller, Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, will deliver a public lecture on the topic of punishment and also visit in seminar with students.  Robert C. Bartlett, Arthur Blank/NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor at Emory University, will be lecturing in Human Situation on Plato’s Protagoras and leading a seminar on the philosophical roots of modern secularism.

And, finally, thanks to Krystafer Redden, an Honors student who will make a presentation on the Phronesis program at the National Collegiate Honors Council (N.C.H.C.) in October after a successful application.  A special thanks also goes out to all the Honors students and faculty who have turned out for presentations, lectures, seminars, and dinners, as well as to our deans and great staff who work to support the program. We look forward to a great year ahead!