Faculty

Director

James W. CeaserJames W. Ceaser is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection, Liberal Democracy and Political Science, Reconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development. Professor Ceaser has held visiting professorships at the University of Florence, the University of Basel, Oxford University, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Rennes.

Professor Ceaser has spent much time working in the areas of civic education and democracy studies. He has traveled extensively for the State Department giving lectures on American politics and advising programs designed for the study of American politics. His most important contribution in the area was his role in the planning and establishment of The George C. Marshall Center for European Studies in Garmisch, Germany, for which the United States Army awarded him The Joint Meritorious Unit Award for Total Engagement (1996). Professor Ceaser is a frequent contributor to the popular press, and he often comments on American politics for the Voice of America.

Associate Director

RitaRita Koganzon is Assistant Professor of Politics (General Faculty) at the University of Virginia. Her work focuses on childhood, education, and the family in historical and contemporary political thought. Her research has been published in the American Political Science Review, the Review of Politics, and the History of Education Quarterly. Her first book, Liberal States, Authoritarian Families (Oxford, 2021), examined the way early liberal thinkers conceived the role of authority in education. She received her PhD in Government from Harvard University and her BA in History from the University of Chicago. She has worked as an editorial assistant at the New York Times, and occasionally contributes to popular publications, including The Hedgehog Review, The Point, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and National Affairs.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Rachel Alexander Rachel Alexander is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include the history of political thought, classical political philosophy, American political thought, constitutional law, and politics and literature. Her work has appeared in refereed journals such as Perspectives on Political Science, Interpretation, and Law and Justice, as well as in popular publications like Law & Liberty. 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 was awarded Baylor’s 2019-2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award. She was a 2019-2020 John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the James Madison Program and Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

Danielle Charette is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. Her current research addresses tensions between republican institutions and the emergence of political economy in the writings of David Hume and other Scottish Enlightenment figures. Her research has appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the History of Political Thought, History of European Ideas, and Political Theory (online archive). She has also written for the LA Review of BooksThe PointThe Chronicle ReviewThe Hedgehog Review, and Tocqueville 21. She earned her BA from Swarthmore College and her PhD from the University of Chicago.

Instructors

LynnLynn Uzzell received her BA in speech communications at Black Hills State University and her MA and PhD in politics at the University of Dallas. She has taught extensively on political philosophy, rhetoric, the United States Constitution, and American political thought at Baylor University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. She specializes in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. For four years she was also the scholar in residence at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. She is currently teaching a course in the American Political Tradition at the University of Virginia and working on the first complete and impartial appraisal of James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention.

Evan PivonkaEvan Pivonka received his PhD in Politics at the University of Virginia. He is Special Assistant to the Honor Committee.