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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 the ACS seminar, the sophomore writing seminar, and the introduction to creative writing, as well as poetry workshops at the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Brandywine. She is the author of The Rattling Window (Ashland Poetry Press, 2013), winner of the McGovern Prize and a chapbook, Never a Note Forfeit, winner of the Keystone Prize. Her poems have appeared or are scheduled to appear in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Blackbird, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Third Coast, and others. She was awarded Villanova’s 2014 Tolle Lege Teaching Award.
She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary work involving poetry, fine art, environmental studies, and conservation. Her affiliation with Willistown Conservation Trust’s education program may be of interest for those who wish to pair scientific study of the natural world with more creative essays or “field notes.”