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

Current Fellows

Activity Fund

Jefferson Junior Fellows will be allowed to draw money from a student activity fund. Its purpose is to give you the chance to attend different cultural events, like plays, classical music concerts, and other events that you choose, both on and off campus. If you’re not sure whether an event counts or not, or if you have any other questions, please consult with Dr. Dempsey.

Fellows are encouraged to find cultural events that interest them. Here are some suggestions for this semester:

Feb. 9


Shakespeare at Winedale

Texas Union Theatre



Feb. 10

Doctor Faustus

Shakespeare at Winedale

Texas Union Theatre




April 25, 30, May 3

Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Austin Opera

Long Center

7:30pm, 3pm


Important: To use the student activity fund, there are two conditions. You must attend the event in a group made up of more than one Junior Fellow or Jefferson Junior Scholar, and only one person in the group should be reimbursed for each event. For example, if you go to a play, one person should collect money from the entire group, and that person only will be reimbursed for all the tickets. You should submit your receipts in the Government Department office, Batts 2.116.

Professor Lunches

Over the course of the semester, we’ll sponsor a number of luncheons with Junior Fellows and professors at the AT&T Center on campus. You’ll be able to choose the professors by vote, which will take place at the opening luncheon on February 3. You don’t need to choose CTI professors; we’ll sponsor lunches with anyone on the UT faculty. If you can’t make it, you can send a list of up to 3 choices for professors to Dr. Dempsey by email and your votes will be counted at the luncheon.

Opening Lunch: Tue, February 3, 2015 • 12:30 PM • BAT 5.108
Opening meeting for the Spring Jefferson Junior Fellows and Jefferson Scholars programs. We’ll pick professors for professor lunches and organize outings to cultural events.

Book Prizes

At the end of each semester, the ten Junior Fellows who earn the highest grade point averages in that semester will be awarded book prizes of $250, which you can use to build up your own great books library.

Lunchtime Lecture Series

Fri, January 30, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM • PAR 203
John Rumrich
“Liking Milton”

The talk will attempt to contextualize Milton historically--as a critical figure in the way that we who strive for political liberty and self-determination conceive of ourselves--rather than merely as the highly learned poet responsible for a long and intricate religious poem.

Wed, February 11, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM • BAT 5.108
Daniel Burns
"Augustine, Locke, and the American Experiment in Religious Liberty"

When the American founders decided to set up a government that would protect religious liberty, they were influenced by a range of different authors over the centuries who had written on the relationship between religion and politics. Two of these authors were John Locke and St. Augustine, who present sharply contrasting understandings of religious liberty. I argue that understanding the American founding as a practical compromise between the extreme positions of Augustine and Locke can help us appreciate the strength of that compromise, and can also help us understand some of the tensions within the American understanding of religious liberty that are still visible in our political debates today.

Pedernales Falls Hike and Salt Lick BBQ

Saturday, March 28 join other Jefferson Center Junior Fellows, freshman Jefferson Scholars, and faculty for a hike at Pedernales Falls State Park followed by a meal at Salt Lick BBQ. We will leave from campus at 10 am. A volunteer is needed to coordinate rides.

Spring High Tea

Join other Jefferson Center Junior Fellows, freshman Jefferson Scholars, and faculty for a Sunday afternoon high tea at the Ratiu residence in Westlake, April 12, 2-5 pm. In celebration of spring, everyone is invited to present a poem, a song, a quote (in any language), a piece of interpretive dance, or anything else you wish. A volunteer is needed to coordinate rides.