Walters Lecture Series

Each year, the Walters Lecture Series brings a distinguished scholar to Furman to give a public lecture in the area of political thought. The aim of the series is to provide students with an opportunity to reflect in an explicit way on the moral foundations of politics. Lecturers also teach a class and are available to meet with students during their campus visit.

Conceived in 2001, the memorial lectureship was established in honor of Ernest J. Walters, Jr. Walters joined the Political Science Department in 1962, and served as the department’s chair from 1979 to 1984. He retired in 1989 as professor of political science emeritus. He continued to teach in Furman’s Learning in Retirement program until his death in 1997.

2021 – Reverend Eugene Rivers III
2021 – Yuval Levin (rescheduled from 2020)
2020 – event cancelled
2019 – Dr. Mary Nichols
2018 – Dr. William Deresiewicz
2017 – Dr. Aurelian Craiutu
2016 – Dr. Clifford Orwin
2015 – Dr. Daniel Mahoney
2014 – Dr. John Koritansky
2013 – Dr. Diana Schaub
2012 – Dr. Harvey Mansfield
2011 – Dr. Thomas Pangle
2010 – Dr. Peter Lawler
2009 – Dr. Leon Kass

Other Past Lecturers

2008 - Susan Collins
Susan Collins
“Modern Problems, Ancient Solutions?”

Susan D. Collins is an associate professor of political science and of the Honors College at the University of Houston. Before joining the faculty at the University of Houston, she taught at Southern Illinois University and spent two years developing over thirty interdisciplinary conferences under the auspices of the Liberty Fund. Professor Collins received her A.B. and M.A. from the University of Alberta and Ph.D. from Boston College.

Professor Collins is the author of ten articles, book chapters and essays dealing especially with the tradition of classical political thought and its bearing on modern politics. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Polis, Review of Politics, and Presidential Studies Quarterly, among others.

Her well-received first book, Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. She has also co-edited Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle with Robert C. Bartlett (State University of New York Press, 1999), and co-authored a Translation with Notes and Interpretative Essay entitled, Empire and the Ends of Politics: Plato’s Menexenus and Pericles’ Funeral Oration with Devin Stauffer (Focus Philosophic Library, 1999).

She is currently working on her second book, The Ancient Regime, as well as developing a new translation and accompanying interpretive essay of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (with Robert C. Bartlett), which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

In addition to giving numerous invited lectures, activity in a number of professional organizations, and extensive participation in national and international colloquia, Professor Collins has been the recipient of a number of grants and fellowships from a variety of granting agencies, including the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Earhart Foundation, the John M. Olin Center, and the Bradley Foundation. She has won awards for excellence in teaching at both Boston College and the University of Houston.

2005 - Michael Gillespie

Michael Gillespie
Duke University
“Where Have all the Evils Gone?”

Michael A. Gillespie is the Jerry G. and Patricia Crawford Hubbard Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He is also Director of the Gerst Program in Political, Economic and Humanistic Studies, which, as a result of a major NEH grant, has recently been permanently endowed as The Center for American Values and Institutions at Duke University. Professor Gillespie received his A.B. from Harvard University and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He also spent three years in Bochum, Germany as a Research Fellow at Ruhr Universit├Ąt-Hegel Archives.

Professor Gillespie is the author of over 30 articles and book chapters dealing especially with modern continental political philosophy. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Politics, Political Theory, The History of Political Philosophy, and Revue Internationale de Philosophie (among others), and several have been translated into German. To date, he has authored four books. His first, Hegel, Heidegger, and the Ground of History, and his most recent, Nihilism Before Nietzsche, were both published by the University of Chicago Press (1984, 1995). He has also co-edited two editions of political essays: Nietzsche’s New Seas: Explorations in Philosophy, Aesthetics and Politics with Tracy B. Strong (University of Chicago Press, 1988), and Ratifying the Constitution with Michael Lienesch (University Press of Kansas, 1989). He is currently revising the manuscript for his fifth book, The Theological Origins of Modernity.

In addition to giving numerous invited lectures, activity in a number of professional organizations, and extensive participation in national and international colloquia, Gillespie has served on the editorial boards of several of the leading journals in Political Science, such as the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Political Theory, and Political Research Quarterly. He has been the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including several from both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Templeton Foundation. Professor Gillespie won the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for the best dissertation in Political Theory in 1982, and in 2003 was admitted to the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke University, an honor that is extended to faculty members who are gifted teachers as well as scholars.

2004 - Arlene Saxonhouse

Arlene Saxonhouse
University of Michigan
“Rights’ Rhetoric Ancient and Modern: The Difference and Why We Should Care”

Arlene W. Saxonhouse is professor of political science and women’s studies at the University of Michigan where she has been a faculty member since 1972. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in classics from Oberlin College and was awarded a Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University.

She has written more than 30 articles and book chapters spanning several subfields within the discipline of political science. In addition to her work on several key figures in the history of political thought, Saxonhouse has written extensively in the areas of politics and literature and women and politics. Some of her written work has also been published within the disciplines of classics, philosophy and economics. To date, Saxonhouse has authored four books, with a fifth soon to be released. Her first book, Women in the History of Political Thought: Ancient Greece to Machiavelli, was published by Praeger Press as part of their series on women and politics (1985). Since then she has produced Fear of Diversity: The Birth of Political Science in Ancient Greek Thought (University of Chicago, 1992); Athenian Democracy: Modern Mythmakers and Ancient Theorists (Notre Dame University Press, 1996); and, together with Noel Reynolds, Hobbes’s Three Discourses: A Modern, Critical Edition of Newly Identified Works by the Young Thomas Hobbes (University of Chicago, 1995). Her forthcoming book, Shame, Free Speech and Democratic Theory: The “Unbridled Tongue” in Ancient Athens, will be released by Cambridge University Press later this year.

In addition to her record of scholarly accomplishment, Saxonhouse has been a fellow at the Princton University Center for Human Values and visiting professor at Stanford University. She was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences and twice appointed fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Saxonhouse has been sponsored as both a lecturer and a visiting scholar by Phi Beta Kappa, and has on several occasions been awarded fellowships sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also served as president of the Midwest Political Science Association and vice president of the American Political Science Association. Her many accomplishments have been recognized by her home institution, which honored her with a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1998.

2003 - Michael Zuckert

Michael Zuckert
University of Notre Dame
“De(a)dication: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg and 9/11”

Dr. Michael Zuckert is the Nancy R. Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to going to Notre Dame in 1998, he was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Politics, Law and Philosophy at Carleton College where he taught for 30 years. Dr. Zuckert took his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, subsequently receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

He is the author of over fifty articles and book chapters spanning several subfields within the discipline of political science, including the History of Political Philosophy, Politics and Literature, Constitutional Law, and American Political Thought. Professor Zuckert has authored four books, with five others currently under contract or in preparation. To date, he has published Natural Rights and the New Republicanism (Princeton 1994), The Natural Rights Republic (Notre Dame 1996), and Launching Liberalism: John Locke and the Liberal Tradition (Kansas 2002). Protestantism and the American Founding (Notre Dame 2004) is scheduled for release this year. Dr. Zuckert’s Natural Rights Republic has so far given rise to two separate edited collections of essays responding to the claims he raised in his book.

In addition to his record of scholarly publication, Professor Zuckert has won several N.E.H. grants to bring important aspects of the American Founding to a larger public. He co-authored “Mr. Adams and Mr. Jefferson,” a nine-part radio play based on their correspondence, as well as serving as lead scholar for “Liberty: The American Revolution,” a series produced for public television. Zuckert was also advisor for “Franklin” a recent public television series. He is currently serving as lead scholar for a new series on Alexander Hamilton, and as a consultant for another series on the Bill of Rights. Zuckert has also directed (with his wife Catherine) two N.E.H. Summer Seminars for Secondary School Teachers.

2002 - William Galston

William Galston
University of Maryland
“Pluralism and the Limits of Politics”

William Galston is Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland at College Park, and Director of the University’s Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. He is also serving as the founding director of CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Professor Galston received his B.A. form Cornell University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

From January 1993 through May 1995 Professor Galston was on leave from the University serving as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy. In that capacity he represented the White House in policy and legislative activities in the areas of education, children and families, and he helped develop the legislation establishing AmeriCorps.

Professor Galston is author of six books and nearly one hundred articles dealing with political and moral philosophy, American politics, and public policy. His related professional activities include membership on the editorial boards of five journals, including the American Political Science Review. He is also a member of the American Political Science Association’s governing Council.

Professor Galston’s voluntary sector activities include service as executive director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal and as chair of the task force on religion and public values of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. He co-organized the National Alliance for Civic Education and is a member of the Aspen Institute’s bipartisan Domestic Strategy Group.

Professor Galston’s prior political involvement includes service as chief speechwriter for John Anderson’s National Unity campaign (1980), as Issues Director for Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign (1982-1984), and as a senior advisor to Senator Al Gore’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination (1988). Since 1989 he has served as a senior advisor to the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute.

2001 - Eugene F. Miller

Eugene F. Miller
University of Georgia
“Politics in the Age of Technology: Are the Classics Still Relevant Today?”

Dr. Eugene F. Miller is Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Emory University before obtaining his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought from the University of Chicago.

He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Review of Politics, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, The Political Science Reviewer, American Journalism, Quarterly Journal for Speech, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, The Southern Communication Journal, Semiotica, New Scholasticism, The Personalist, Modern Age, Teaching Political Science, Soundings, New Individualist Review. He is editor of David Hume: Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary and author of many chapters for books dealing with modern, contemporary, and American political philosophy.

From 1982-90 he co-directed (with William B. Allen) a series of nineteen seminars, colloquia, and symposia held at various sites in the United States on “The Philosophy of the Founding Fathers: An Inquiry into the United States Constitution.” He is currently co-directing (with Timothy Fuller) a continuing series of programs on “Education in a Free Society.

Professor Miller has taught a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in political philosophy and is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Professor Miller is uniquely qualified to inaugurate the Walters Lecture series. Not only did he teach with Jay Walters at Furman University (1963-67) and develop a lifelong friendship with Jay and Terry Walters, but he also provided the initial impetus for a Memorial Endowment Fund to honor Professor Walters’ twenty-seven years of service to Furman University.