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

Dana Stauffer

LecturerPh.D., University of Toronto

Lecturer, Department of Government
Dana Stauffer



political thought, and women in political thought


Dana Jalbert Stauffer specializes in political theory. Her particular research interests include the history of political thought, especially classical political thought, and women in political thought. Before coming to the University of Texas, she taught at Kenyon College.


CTI 335 • Women In Hist Of Polit Thought

33100 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 1.102
(also listed as GOV 335M)

Course Description: Women in the History of Political Thought

This course will examine the themes of women, the family, and the private sphere in the history of political theory. We will analyze and interpret works of political theory in which women have a central role, and we will seek to understand the relationship between political thinkers’ views about women and the family and their larger political theories. We will begin in classical Greece with political theory and drama. Then we will move through history, considering the critiques of paternalism launched by Hobbes and Locke and the portrait of the ideal woman advanced by Rousseau in Book V of the Emile. In the second half of the course, we will consider the development of early feminism in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, and Simone de Beauvoir. Some of the questions we will pursue are the following: What does justice demand in the realm of the relations between the sexes, and what kinds of social and political arrangements are best for women? How do our answers to these questions intersect with broader questions about human nature, identity, political community, and justice?


Required Texts


A Course Reader


De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. (Vintage)


Euripides II. (Complete Greek Tragedies, Chicago)


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. (Penguin Classics)


Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. Edited by Susan M. Okin (Hackett)


Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile, or On Education. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)


Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. (Prometheus)


Course Requirements and Grading


First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%

CTI 325 • Morality And Politics

33330 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as GOV 351L)

GOV 351L/CTI 325: Morality and Politics


The guiding question of this course concerns the relationship between morality and politics. What is the proper place of morality in political life? How much should moral and ethical considerations guide our political decision-making? Does the best political order aim at a morally decent life for individuals and communities? Or are moral aims misplaced in politics? We will examine the ways in which great thinkers both ancient and modern have grappled with these questions in political philosophy, history, and drama. The heart of the course consists of a contrast between the viewpoints of two giants of ancient and modern political philosophy respectively, Aristotle and Machiavelli. We will read selections from Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics, and we will follow that with a close reading of Machiavelli’s Prince. We will also consider how the ethical questions considered in abstract terms in political philosophy play out in the stories of particular political actors in the plays by the likes of Euripides, Ibsen, and Shakespeare. Questions of friendship, revenge, necessity, fortune and chance, love, greed, religion, selflessness and self-concern, form the principle elements of our examination.



Required Texts:


1. Sophocles II: Four Tragedies. By Sophocles. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago Press.


2. Euripides II.  By Euripides. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago Press.


3. Politics. By Aristotle. Oxford University Press.


4. The Prince. By Niccolo Machiavelli. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. University of Chicago Press.


5. Julius Caesar. By William Shakespeare. Bantam Classics.


6. Darkness at Noon. By Arthur Koestler. Bantam Books.


7. Ibsen: Four Major Plays, Volume II. By Henrik Ibsen. Signet Classics.


Grading and Requirements:


First Exam: 30%

Second Exam:  30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation, Including Pop Quizzes: 10%

CTI 320 • Classical Quest For Justice

34170 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 1.102
(also listed as GOV 351C)

Course Description:


This course introduces students to the political thought of classical Greek antiquity.

Ancient Greek thinkers presented their reflections on politics in a variety of ways. Some wrote treatises, but others expressed themselves through plays, histories, and, of course, dialogues. While the authors we will read in this course present their work in different formats, they all address themselves to the simplest and deepest questions raised by political life, and offer profound insight into the answers to those questions. Two main themes lie at the heart of their common inquiry: Justice—what it is, and how human beings can attain it—and the human good. Examples of the questions that we will take up are: What is the best form of political community? Why philosophize? What is human virtue? Do human beings necessarily follow their self-interest? Is devotion possible? Do we have free will? What is courage? What is friendship? What is a good life? We will not approach the texts as historical curiosities, but rather, as potential sources of wisdom about the greatest questions we face in our own lives.


Required Texts:

• Aristotle’s Politics. Translated by Ernest Barker. (Oxford)

• Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. (Penguin Classics)

Four Comedies. By Aristophanes. (Ann Arbor Paperbacks)

Sophocles I: Three Tragedies. By Sophocles. (Chicago)

• “Protagoras” and “Meno” By Plato. Translated by Robert C. Bartlett. (Agora)

• Plato’s Republic. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)

It is particularly important to obtain the recommended translations of Plato.


Course Requirements and Grading:

First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%


Exams: Exams will be in-class blue book exams, comprised mostly if not entirely of

essays. I will hand out a list of themes in advance from which the essay question(s) will be drawn. The second exam will be cumulative, but it will be weighted considerably more toward the readings of the second half of the semester.


Papers: You will be required to write one 5-7 page paper over the course of the term. I will hand out possible paper topics three times during the term, each with their own respective due dates. The task of the paper will be to explain and evaluate the arguments of one or two of the thinkers we have read. You must choose to write one of the two papers. Late work will be marked down one-third of a letter grade for each day of lateness (from a B+ to a B, for example), and papers will NOT be accepted by email.


Class Participation, Quizzes, and Attendance: The works we will read this semester were written with extraordinary care, and they are difficult. It is essential that you read every assignment carefully, preferably twice, and you should come to class with thoughtful comments and questions. Credit will be given in the area of class participation not only for serious and intelligent contributions to class, but also for listening attentively both to the lecture and to the contributions of your fellow classmates.


Laptops are not allowed in class; if you have a special need for a laptop,

please explain that need to me. To encourage students to keep up with the readings, I will give an unspecified number ofpop quizzes. These quizzes will consist of basic questions that should not be difficult forthose who have done the reading. If you are absent on the day of a quiz, you will receivea zero for that quiz. Makeup quizzes will not be given. If your absence is excused, I willnot count that quiz toward your overall quiz grade. I will also drop your lowest quizgrade.


Attendance: I will take attendance frequently, either by passing around an attendance sheet or by taking roll, either at the beginning or at the end of class. On the days on which there is a quiz, attendance will be registered by handing in the quiz. Absences will be excused with a doctor’s note only. Students with 4 or more unexcused absences will be docked a letter grade for the course. Example: the grade of a student with a B+ average who has four or more unexcused absences will be a C+.


You will be expected to bring the relevant volume(s) to every class.



Ethics and Leadership

Global Cultures

CTI 335 • Classical Quest For Justice

34095 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as EUS 348, GOV 351C)

See syllabus

CTI 335 • Morality And Politics

33985 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 2.210
(also listed as GOV 335M)

The major theme of this course is the relationship between virtue and politics, and, in particular, the different ways in which ancient and modern political philosophers understood this relationship. To that end, we will spend most of the course focusing on three key authors: Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Hobbes. We will begin by considering Aristotle’s view that moral virtue is the proper aim of life, both for the individual and for the community. Then we will examine the break with Aristotle begun by Machiavelli and continued, and modified, by Hobbes. The minor theme of the course is the subject of gratitude. What do we owe to those who have done us a good turn? And what do we have the right to expect from those whom we have benefitted? To explore these questions, and to round out our understanding of the differences between the ancient and modern perspectives, we will supplement our reading of these three philosophical giants with literary works by the likes of Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Melville. Over the course of the course, a number of related questions will also be discussed, such as the relationships between philosophy and politics, politics and necessity, and friendship and virtue.

Required Texts:

1. Sophocles II: Four Tragedies. By Sophocles. Edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. University of Chicago Press.

2. The Politics of Aristotle. By Aristotle. Edited by Peter Simpson. University of North Carolina Press.

3. The Prince. By Niccolo Machiavelli. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. 2nd Edition. University of Chicago Press.

4. Julius Caesar. By William Shakespeare. Bantam Classics.

5. Leviathan. By Thomas Hobbes. Edited by J.C. A. Gaskin. Oxford University Press.

6. Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative). By Herman Melville. University of Chicago Press.

7. Darkness at Noon. By Arthur Koestler. Bantam Books.

Grading and Requirements:

First Exam: 30%

Second Exam:  30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation, Including Pop Quizzes: 10%

CTI 335 • Morality And Politics

33131 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 335M)

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