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University of Notre Dame, 1993
Director, University Honors Program
Associate Professor, Political Science
Office: Garey 113; Phone: 610-519-7300
Dr. Smith’s teaching interests center on the history of political thought in the west (with a special emphasis on classical, medieval, and early modern political philosophy) and religion and politics. His current research takes issue with libertarian and post-modern accounts of human life that argue that reason is not capable of ordering complex human actions in a way that works towards the common good. Smith seeks a more expansive conception of political life that defends the dignity of politics, and acknowledges its two-fold task: ordering complex systems of human action through practical wisdom, and moderating the tendency of those attracted to public life to work for their own honor rather than the common good.
Catherine Staples teaches Augustine and Culture seminars as well as poetry workshops. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, The Southern Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Third Coast, Commonweal and others. Her chapbook, Never a Note Forfeit, was selected by Betsy Sholl for Seven Kitchens Press’ 2010 Keystone Prize. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary work involving poetry, fine art, environmental studies and conservation. She’d be open to working with students who wish to pair scientific study of the natural world with more creative “field notes” or poetry.