The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

Postdoctoral Fellows

The Thomas Jefferson Society of Postdoctoral Fellows allows young scholars the opportunity to teach in a collegial interdisciplinary setting while continuing their own research. Fellowships are awarded to scholars in all areas of the liberal arts who have in the past 7 years completed doctoral dissertations on one or more of the great books and have shown a commitment to the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the great books. The fellowships normally carry a teaching load of one course each semester and are renewable for a second year.

The Society of Postdoctoral Fellows has been supported by generous grants from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching American Founding Principles and History, the Veritas Fund, the Thomas Smith Foundation, and a number of individual donors in Texas. In announcing its most recent gift to the Jefferson Center, Rear Admiral Mike Ratliff, President of the Jack Miller Center, said:

"The Thomas Jefferson Center has made a remarkable contribution to education at the Austin campus and established a national reputation for excellence and innovation in a short period of time. This has been possible because of the support and encouragement of Dean Randy Diehl and the leadership Lorraine and Tom Pangle. The JMC is honored to be a partner in this work, and to provide support for these fellowships, which provide crucial help to young scholars just starting their careers."

Current Fellow

Philip Yoo

Philip Yoo earned his Ph.D in Hebrew Bible at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford in October 2014, with his dissertation and forthcoming book Ezra and the Second Wilderness (2017). His research focuses on a continuing interest in Pentateuchal theory with an upcoming research project centered around the Exodus and Israelite wilderness accounts and the reception of this tradition by the earliest Jewish and Christian interpreters. He will be teaching "The Bilble and its Interpreters" which includes readings from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and great discussions of these readings from more than one religious or philosophic tradition.

Past Fellows

Jonathan Koefoed

Jonathan Koefoed earned his Ph.D. in history from Boston University with a dissertation on the American Transcendental movement. His research focuses on nineteenth-century intellectual and religious history, particularly transatlantic romantic discourses and their impact on American intellectuals. While currently revising his dissertation manuscript for publication as a book, he is also completing articles on Kant, Coleridge, and their American interpreter James Marsh, as well as revising an analysis of the transcendentalist Catholic convert, Sophia Dana Ripley. He now holds a tenure-track assistant professorship at Bellhaven University in Jackson, MS.

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College in 2012, with a dissertation on the political thought of Augustine, on which he has published several articles, as well as on the political thought of Alfarabi. He is an Asst. Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas.

David Newheiser

David Newheiser earned his Ph.D. in Religion at the University of Chicago in 2012, with a dissertation on the theme of "Hope in the Unforeseeable God." He has edited (with Eric Bugyis) a volume of essays entitled Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God, published by U. of Notre Dame Press in 2015, and has published several articles in various journals of religious studies and theology. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry of Australian Catholic University.

Lesley-Anne Dyer Williams

Lesley-Anne Dyer Williams earned her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2011, with a dissertation on the concept of eternity in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance—which is being published in revised form as a book by the press of the Pontifical Institute at the University of Toronto. She is an Asst. Professor of English at LeTourneau University.

Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota in 2008, with a dissertation on Socratic persuasion. His book, Socrates and Self-Knowledge, was published by Cambridge U. Press in 2015, and he has published more than fifteen articles on Plato and classical philosophy in leading journals. He is an Asst. Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Penn State U.

Benjamin Lorch

Benjamin Lorch earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College in 2008, with a dissertation on moderation as a political virtue in Xenophon's Memorabilia—and has published several articles on that and related themes. He holds a lectureship in the James Madison College of Michigan State University.

Patrick Gardner

Patrick Gardner earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 2003, with a dissertation on the thought of Dante, and has publoished several articles on that and related themes. He has been a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College since 2012.