Keegan Callahan
Tel
(802) 443-5374
Email
kcallanan@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
ON LEAVE ACADEMIC YEAR

Keegan Callanan has teaching responsibilities in the history of political philosophy and contemporary political theory. He is author of Montesquieu’s Liberalism and the Problem of Universal Politics (Cambridge, 2018) and co-editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Montesquieu (Cambridge, 2022). His writing has appeared in publications such as History of Political Thought, Political Research Quarterly, and the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Callanan has held fellowships at Princeton University and the University of Virginia. He was a member of the Executive Council of the New England Political Science Association, and he was appointed to the National Council on the Humanities in 2019. He also serves as Director of the Alexander Hamilton Forum on the American Political Tradition at Middlebury. For the 2020-2021 academic year, he will hold a visiting research fellowship at Princeton University’s James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Mr. Callanan received his MA and PhD from Duke.  

Courses Taught

Course Description

The American Political Tradition
In this seminar we will study the theoretical ideas that informed the creation and development of America’s political system and consider some of the major contemporary challenges to American democracy. Topics to be treated include the political thought of the American Founders, the place of religion in public life, the nature of written constitutions, American political culture, race in American politics, and the role of America in the world. Readings will include selections from the Federalist Papers, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, John Dewey, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and many other primary source documents. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

AMR, CW, HIS

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Course Description

Introduction to Political Philosophy
What is politics and how should it be studied? Is there a best regime? A best way of life? How are these two things related, if at all? Can we gain knowledge of such topics? We will examine these questions through a study of the some or all of the following texts: Plato, Apology of Socrates, Republic; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics; Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War; St. Augustine, Confessions; St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Summa Contra Gentiles; Machiavelli, The Prince; Hobbes, Leviathan; Locke, Second Treatise on Government; Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men; Marx, The Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology, Capital; and Weber, “Science as a Vocation.” 4 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Left, Right, and Center
In this course, we shall examine liberalism, conservatism, socialism and their competing conceptions of freedom, equality, the individual, and community. We shall consider the origins of these ideologies in early modern political theory and shall afford special attention to the connection between thought and politics. Authors may include John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, Michael Oakeshott, and Friedrich Hayek. 3 hrs. lect. (Political Theory)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Religion & Politics: Ancient & Modern
What role should religion play in politics? And what is the proper role of the state in regulating religion? Is religious conviction a precondition of or threat to healthy civic life? Why should regimes prefer religious toleration to religious uniformity? In this course we will examine these and other questions at the intersection of religion and politics in the western political tradition, affording special attention to early modern debates over the separation of church and state, toleration, and civil religion. Authors will include Plato, Emperor Julian, Augustine, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, Bayle, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Lessing, and Tocqueville. (Political Theory)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Might and Right Among Nations
What role does justice play in international politics? What role should it play? Does it pay to act justly in the conduct of foreign affairs? In this course, we will examine the place of ethical considerations in international politics. Drawing upon major works of political theory, we will pay special attention to the relationship between justice and necessity, the ethics of war and deception, and plans for perpetual peace. Authors will include Thucydides, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Kant, Weber, Woodrow Wilson, and Michael Walzer. 3 hrs. lect. (Political Theory)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Statesmanship and Modern Liberty: Montesquieu and Tocqueville
Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws and Tocqueville's Democracy in America offer profound treatments of modern representative government, its promise, and its perils. In this course we will focus on each author's understanding of the often neglected role of statesmanship in shaping political and cultural conditions favorable to the emergence and preservation of human liberty in the modern world. We will consider key themes such as the relationship between liberty and equality, the role of the passions in politics, the meaning of despotism, the relationship between culture and politics, and the promise and dangers of modern commerce for liberal democracy. (Political Theory)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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