Current Visiting Fellows

Rachel Alexander

Rachel K. Alexander

  • 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Rachel K. Alexander is a 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the James Madison Program. Her primary field of study is the history of political philosophy, with a focus on classical political thought. Her current research examines the tension between the need for tradition and community and the possibility of self-reliance and change in political life in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Other interests include the relationship between regime type and individual character, as demonstrated especially in literature and film, the role of women in political life, and U.S. constitutional law.

She holds a B.A. in Politics from Washington and Lee University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Baylor University, where she taught courses on Western political philosophy, American constitutional development, and politics and literature.

Jed Atkins

Jed W. Atkins

  • Fall 2019 Visiting Fellow; E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke University
112 Fisher Hall

Jed W. Atkins, Fall 2019 James Madison Program Visiting Fellow, is the E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University, where he teaches courses on Greek and Latin language and literature and in the history of Western moral and political thought. His research focuses on Greek, Roman, and early Christian moral and political philosophy. 

He is the author of Cicero on Politics and the Limits of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Roman Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is co-editor (with Thomas Bénatouïl) of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy. He has published articles, chapters, and essays in a variety of edited books and scholarly journals, including PolisPerspectives in Biology and MedicineHistory of European IdeasJournal for the History of IdeasJournal of Early Christian StudiesClassical Receptions Journal, and Les Études Philosophiques, among others. 

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Professor Atkins completed his graduate work at the University of Cambridge, where he earned an M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History and a Ph.D. in Classics. At Princeton he will be writing a book on The Christian Origins of Toleration.

Brian Bird

Brian Bird

  • 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Brian D. N. Bird, a 2019-20 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the James Madison Program, researches in the areas of constitutional law, constitutional theory, and human rights. His academic writing has been published in venues such as the Dalhousie Law JournalCambridge Law ReviewAlberta Law ReviewSupreme Court Law Review, and Manitoba Law Journal. He has published shorter pieces in venues such as Policy Options and National Post.

He served as a law clerk for several judges of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2011-12 and for Justice Andromache Karakatsanis of the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012-13. In 2014, he was called to the Bar of British Columbia. He completed the Doctor of Civil Law at McGill University with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Law Foundation of British Columbia. His doctorate explored freedom of conscience. He also holds a B.C.L. from the University of Oxford, a J.D. from the University of Victoria, and a B.A. from Simon Fraser University.

Shilo Brooks

Shilo Brooks

  • 2019-2020 Visiting Fellow; Faculty Director, Engineering Leadership Program, University of Colorado
Bobst Hall 006

Shilo Brooks, 2019-2020 James Madison Program Visiting Fellow, is Faculty Director of the Engineering Leadership Program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado, with a faculty affiliation in the Herbst Program for Engineering, Ethics, and Society. He teaches courses using foundational works in the liberal arts to examine contemporary debates about the influence of science and technology on politics, culture, citizenship, and leadership. His 2018 book, Nietzsche's Culture War, examined Friedrich Nietzsche's critiques of modern science, modern culture, and higher education. At Princeton, he is conducting research on the ways in which science and technology have shaped America's political development and preparing a study of the art of leadership in classical thought.

He was previously a fellow at the University of Virginia’s Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy, and a visiting professor in the Department of Government at Bowdoin College. He is a member of the executive committee at the University of Colorado's Benson Center for Western Civilization; a member of the Boulder Faculty Assembly; and a faculty affiliate at the Center of the American West. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College, and his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the Great Books Program at St. John's College, Annapolis.

Flynn Cratty

Flynn J. Cratty

  • 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Flynn J. Cratty is a 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the James Madison Program. He is an historian who researches the intellectual consequences of religious conflict in early modern France and Britain. His dissertation argued that prayer became a source of acute conflict in early modern Europe as men and women struggled to know how to pray in light of shifting ideas about God’s providence, the intercession of saints, and the possibility of miracles. At Princeton, he is revising his dissertation for publication as a book and developing a project on the practice of civil religion in eighteenth-century Europe.

He holds a B.A. from Duke University, an M.Div. from Southern Seminary, and an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in History from Yale University where his dissertation won the university-wide Theron Rockwell Field Prize.

Joel Finkelstein *18

  • 2019-2020 Visiting Research Scholar

Joel Finkelstein *18, Director of the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) in Princeton, NJ, joins the James Madison Program as a 2019-2020 Visiting Research Scholar.  NCRI deploys machine learning tools to track, expose, and combat the growing tide of hate and extremism on social media. His work on hate in social media has appeared on the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN and other media outlets. 

Formerly a research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism and a graduate fellow at the National Science Foundation, Joel received his Ph.D. from Princeton University where his doctoral work focused on the Psychology and Neuroscience of addiction behavior. He received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from University of California, Santa Cruz. During his time with the James Madison Program, he will research using quantitative methods to capture psychological, political, and linguistic markers of incitement in both modern and historical episodes of group-motivated hate and violence.

Marcus Gibson

Christopher-Marcus (Marcus) Gibson *19

  • 2019-2020 Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate
Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Christopher-Marcus (Marcus) Gibson *19 is a 2019-2020 James Madison Program Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate. His present research concerns Aristotle's ethics, moral epistemology, and account of moral education, focusing on how practical reason and emotion bear on the attainment and exercise of virtue and wisdom.  His dissertation, Between Virtue & Temptation, develops an account of self-control (enkrateia) as a second-best state of character in Aristotle's ethical and psychological writings. Apart from these questions, his other research interests include ancient and contemporary moral psychology and philosophy of action. 

He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Ancient Greek from Duke University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Program in Classical Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University. While completing his Ph.D., he taught ancient philosophy at Rutgers University. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate, he will focus on adapting his dissertation's argument for publication.

William Anthony Hay

William Anthony Hay

  • 2019-2020 Garwood Visiting Fellow; Professor of History, Mississippi State University
Bobst Hall 004

William Anthony Hay, 2019-2020 James Madison Program Garwood Visiting Fellow, is Professor of History at Mississippi State University where he specializes in British History, International Relations, and the Atlantic World over the long eighteenth century. His books include Lord Liverpool: A Political Life (2018) and The Whig Revival, 1808-1830 (2005), and  writes frequently for publications including the Wall Street JournalThe National Interest, and Modern Age.  

He is currently writing a book entitled King George’s Generals: Strategy, Policy and Britain’s War for America, 1763-1781. As a study in decision-making and command, it analyzes Britain’s experience from the conflict’s origins in the 1760s through the defeat at Yorktown. Research for the project has drawn Professor Hay into further work both on Britain and the American Revolution and the wider history of British grand strategy in global context.

Elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2009, he is a past-president of the Southern Conference on British Studies. Along with research grants from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Earhart Foundation, he has held fellowships at the Lewis Walpole Library and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. He directed a program on European politics and U.S. foreign policy at the Foreign Policy Research Institute before joining the faculty at Mississippi State and served as book review editor and associate editor for its quarterly Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs. He previously worked with the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Professor Hay holds a Ph.D. in Modern European and International History and an M.A. in European History from the University of Virginia. He graduated with honors with a B.A. in History from the University of the South.

Heather E. Heying

  • 2019-2020 Visiting Fellow

Heather E. Heying, 2019-2020 James Madison Program Visiting Fellow, is a founder and chief architect of the Beringia Project, which aims to build a uniquely generative, robust, and creative school for college-age students. She was a professor at The Evergreen State College for 15 years. She and her husband, Bret Weinstein, resigned in the wake of 2017 campus riots that focused in part on Weinstein and Heying's opposition to a day of racial segregation and other college “equity” proposals.

Her scholarly research has focused on the evolution of social systems and behavior, including territoriality, mating systems, and parental care, and has been published in Animal BehaviourProceedings of the Royal Society, and the Journal of Zoology. Her book, Antipode, about research, culture, and wildlife in Madagascar, was published by St. Martin’s Press. She has also written and spoken on modern risks to higher education (in the Wall Street Journal, Public DiscourseAcademic Questions), the value of risk and wild nature (New York Times), and women, science, and feminism (QuilletteAreo).

She earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan, where she was given the Distinguished Dissertation Award, and a B.A. in Anthropology from UCSC. While at Princeton, she and Dr. Weinstein will be conducting research for their forthcoming book, which will provide an evolutionary toolkit for understanding humans, and address issues ranging from childhood and relationships to learning and how to build a better society.

Robert L'Arrivee

Robert A. L'Arrivee

  • 2019-2020 Associate Research Scholar
Corwin Hall 028

Robert A. L’Arrivee is a 2019-2020 Associate Research Scholar in the James Madison Program. His current research concentrates on Islamic medieval philosophy with a specialty in al-Farabi’s metaphysical and political thought. The subject of his forthcoming book explains how political conceptions of justice are derived from metaphysical beliefs. His other interests include Neoplatonism, Christian theology, religion and politics, and Michel Houellebecq. He taught political science at Colgate University for three years and at Skidmore College for one year. He has published articles in Utopian StudiesThe European Legacy, and History of Political Thought. He held the position of Assistant Director at the Center for Freedom and Civilization at Colgate University, and co-organized the Alexander Hamilton Institute's Annual Undergraduate Conference on the American Polity.

He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Winnipeg, an M.A. in Early Christian Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D in Political Science from Notre Dame in the subfields of political theory and international relations. He also has expertise in kickboxing and martial arts.

Bronwen McShea

Bronwen C. McShea

  • 2019-2020 Associate Research Scholar

Bronwen McShea, 2019-20 James Madison Program Associate Research Scholar, has taught at the University of Nebraska Omaha, Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, and Columbia University, where she was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow.  

She is the author of Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New France (University of Nebraska Press, July 2019) and is currently writing a biography of Cardinal Richelieu’s niece and heiress, Marie de Vignerot, Duchesse d’Aiguillon, who founded and oversaw the first missions of French Augustinian hospital nuns in Canada, Vincentians in North Africa and Madagascar, and clergy of the Missions Étrangères de Paris in Southeast Asia and the Levant. Her writings have appeared in the Sixteenth Century Journal, the Journal of Jesuit StudiesFirst Things, and other publications. 

In 2017, she received a first place award from the Catholic Press Association and, in 2018, one of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center’s inaugural Mother Theodore Guerin grants for projects on understudied Catholic women. She received her B.A. in history from Harvard University, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in early modern history from Yale University.

Jasmina Nedevska

  • 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Research Associate
Bobst Hall 302

Jasmina Nedevska is a 2019-2020 James Madison Program Postdoctoral Research Associate. She comes to us from Mälardalen University in Sweden where she is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the School of Business, Society, and Engineering. Her teaching and research are in the fields of political theory and environmental ethics.

She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stockholm University and a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden. Her dissertation, entitled “Why Care About Future People’s Environment? Approaches to Non-Identity in Contractualism and Natural Law”, was nominated for the 2019 Högskoleföreningen’s Award for outstanding scientific achievement. At the James Madison Program, she is transforming her thesis into a book manuscript, while exploring new research ground in the field of climate change litigation.

Marianna Orlandi

Marianna Orlandi

  • 2019-2020 Associate Research Scholar
Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Marianna Orlandi is a 2019-2020 James Madison Program Associate Research Scholar. Her writing has focused on the international protection of reproductive health and its potential conflicts with the right to life, and her dissertation analyzed the concept of imputation (“ascription”) of human actions to their authors, both from a legal as well as from a philosophical perspective. Her profound interest in legal philosophy and on the principles that stand beyond and justify the positive law are the basis of her studies. At Princeton, she will focus on the legal and philosophical differences between decriminalization of a human act and recognition of the same act as a fundamental human right. In particular, she will look at this difference through the lenses of abortion and euthanasia regulations, using comparative analysis from an international law perspective. 

Graduating in law, magna cum laude, from the University of Padua, Italy, she continued her studies in law receiving her Ph.D. from both the University of Padua and the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She was admitted to the Italian bar in 2015 and, after working for a pro-life NGO in the United States, practiced as a criminal lawyer in Milan. 

Bret Weinstein

  • 2019-2020 Visiting Fellow

Bret Weinstein, 2019-2020 James Madison Program Visiting Fellow, is a founder and chief architect of the Beringia Project, which aims to build a uniquely generative, robust, and creative school for college-age students. He was a professor at The Evergreen State College for 14 years. He and his wife, Heather Heying, resigned in the wake of 2017 campus riots that focused in part on Weinstein and Heying's opposition to a day of racial segregation and other college “equity” proposals.

His scholarly research is focused on evolutionary trade-offs. He has worked on the evolution of senescence and cancer, species diversity gradients, and the adaptive significance of human morality and religion. He has written for The Wall Street Journal and testified to the U.S. Congress regarding questions of freedom of expression on college campuses. He is currently the host of Bret Weinstein’s DarkHorse Podcast.

Dr. Weinstein earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan, where he was given the Don Tinkle Award for distinguished work in Evolutionary Ecology, and he earned a B.A. in Biology from UCSC. While at Princeton, he and Heather will be conducting research for their forthcoming book, which will provide an evolutionary toolkit for understanding humans, and address issues ranging from childhood and relationships to learning and how to build a better society.

Paul Wilford

Paul T. Wilford

  • 2019–2020 Visiting Fellow; Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College
Bobst Hall 006

Paul T. Wilford, 2019–2020 James Madison Program Visiting Fellow, is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College, where he teaches courses in modern political philosophy. He received the Reverend John R. Trzaska, S.J. Award for excellence in teaching in 2019. His essays and book reviews have appeared in The Review of Metaphysics, The Review of Politics, and Kantian Review. He is the co-editor of Kant and The Possibility of Progress (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming) and Athens, Arden, Jerusalem: Essays in Honor of Mera Flaumenhaft (Lexington Books, 2017). 

His principal areas of research are German idealism (especially Kant and Hegel), Ancient Greek philosophy (especially Aristotle), the philosophy of history, and Shakespeare. At Princeton, he will be working on the appropriation of Hegel in the 20th century and the connection between the problem of evil and the philosophy of history in 19th and 20th century German philosophy. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tulane University, an M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History and a B.A. in Classics from King’s College, Cambridge, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis.

Matthew Wright

Matthew D. Wright

  • 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Visiting Research Scholar; Associate Professor of Government, Biola University
Bobst Hall 004

Matthew D. Wright, 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Visiting Research Scholar in the James Madison Program, is Associate Professor of Government in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, where he teaches Western classics from Homer to T.S. Eliot. As a political theorist, he specializes in the Thomistic-Aristotelian natural law tradition, and his scholarship focuses on a precise articulation of the intrinsic value of the political common good. 

He is the author of A Vindication of Politics: On the Common Good and Human Flourishing (UP Kansas, 2019), and his articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in a variety of journals, including The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Catholic Social Science Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, First Things, Touchstone, and Public Discourse. While at Princeton, he will focus on engaging criticisms of natural law political theory advanced by political theologians, especially those of Oxford scholar Oliver O’Donovan.  

Professor Wright was a H.B. Earhart Fellow in 2006-07 and a 2008-2009 Western Civilization Fellow of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory from The University of Texas, Austin and a B.A. in History from Biola University.

Aaron Zubia

Aaron A. Zubia

  • 2019-2020 Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate
Corwin Hall 028

Aaron A. Zubia is a 2019-2020 James Madison Program Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate. Focused on the thought of eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume, his research examines the features of Enlightenment philosophy that Hume and his predecessors utilized in order to turn the study of politics into a science. At Princeton, he will be working on a book manuscript about Hume and the development of liberal perspectives on progress, sociability, and virtue. His other interests include the American founding, religion and politics, political liberalism, and ancient political philosophy. 

He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso.