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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Dana Stauffer

Affiliated Faculty, Adjuncts and Lecturers Ph.D., University of Toronto

Lecturer
Dana Stauffer

Contact

Biography

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.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37820 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
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GOV 312L ISSUES AND POLICIES IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

 

In this course, we will seek to understand the theoretical foundations of the American political system, and how those foundations have evolved over the course of American history. The story begins in John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. Written in support of a constitutional monarchy, the Second Treatise became the basis for the modern understanding of liberty and ultimately provided the theoretical framework for the American rejection of monarchy in favor of popular government. We will spend the first quarter of the course on Locke’s theories. Then we will turn to the Founding Period, to see how the political principles of the day found concrete expression in both the ideas of the Founders and in the misgivings of those who opposed the Constitution, the Anti-federalists. We will read the highlights of Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic analysis, in Democracy in America, of American equality and its ramifications for politics, family life, and culture. We will examine the debate about the founding principles prompted by the issue of slavery. And finally, we will consider how our understanding of the core American principles of liberty and equality has changed since the nineteenth century.

 

Grading and Requirements:

 

Option 1 (No paper):

Midterm Exam: 40%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam: 50%

Option 2 (With paper):

Midterm Exam: 20%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam:  30%

Paper: 40%

 

 

Required Texts (4):

 

1. COURSE READER, available at Jenn’s Copying and Binding, 2518 Guadalupe St., at the corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton, tel. 482-0779.

 

2. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke. Hackett edition, edited by C.B. Macpherson.

 

3. The Federalist Papers by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.  Signet Classics edition, edited by Clinton Rossiter.

 

4. Democracy in America,Volume Two, by Alexis de Tocqueville. Vintage Classics edition.

GOV 351L • Morality And Politics

37980 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 325 )
show description

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%

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38775 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

 

This course examines the principles that lie at the core of the American political system. Why do we, as Americans, stand for liberty, equality, and democracy? How did these come to be our principles? How has our commitment to these principles manifested itself in our political history? How has our understanding of these principles changed over time, and what do these principles demand of us today?

 

We will begin by considering the theoretical foundations of our liberal democracy in the thought of John Locke. Then we will consider how the political theory of modern liberalism found expression in the American Founding. We will examine the considerations that led the Founders to design the Constitution as they did, as well the arguments of those who opposed the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists. We will turn from the Founding period to Alexis de Tocqueville’s great work Democracy in America, and consider his analysis of American political life and of the American character more generally. After that, we will consider how liberty and equality became thematic issues in the debate over slavery. We will examine the ways in which Americans conceived of liberty and equality changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will examine how those principles were defended in the context of the Cold War. And we will conclude by considering some of the most compelling and provocative assessments of American life today.

 

Requirements: A mid-term exam, an optional paper, and a final exam. Class participation is taken into consideration and attendance counts.

 

Texts:

Second Treatise of Government by John Locke

The Federalist Papers

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

A Course Reader

GOV 351C • Classical Quest For Justice

38850 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 1.102
(also listed as CTI 320 )
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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.

 

Flags:

Ethics and Leadership

Global Cultures

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38745 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm UTC 3.122
show description

See syllabus

GOV 351C • Classical Quest For Justice

38860 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 335, EUS 348 )
show description

See syllabus

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38655 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description

The focus of this course is the most famous book ever written on American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The wide-ranging insights of this classic work  speak not only to American political life and culture, but also to race, class, the family, friendship, and the state of the American soul. We will read as much of the two-volume work as possible, focusing particular attention on its main themes, such as the American love of equality, the importance of local government, the perils of American materialism, and the dangers of tyranny of the majority. We will discuss his observations on American religion, ambition, intellectual life, family life, and the relations between the sexes. We will consider such questions as: What is unique about American democracy? What are its strengths and weaknesses? What can the world learn from American democracy, and what can legislators and citizens do to ensure that it remains healthy and vibrant? What were Tocqueville’s broader concerns about the future of America? In the latter part of the course, we will examine the ways in which Tocqueville’s predictions have and have not been borne out. Now over a century and a quarter old, Tocqueville’s analysis remains surprisingly accurate and surprisingly relevant.

This course fulfills the second half of the legislative requirement for government.

 

Grading Policy

A mid-term exam, an optional paper, and a final exam. Class participation is taken into consideration and attendance counts.

 

Texts

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Volumes I and II, Vintage Classics edition

A Course Reader

GOV 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

38865 • Fall 2012
Meets M 330pm-630pm MEZ 1.104
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Course Description

The Honors Tutorial is designed to facilitate the successful completion of a thesis in political science. The goals of the tutorial are three: first, to provide students with supervision and advice in the development of their ideas, and in the crafting of a thesis itself; second, to provide structure (read: deadlines!) in the completion of work that is primarily self-directed and independent in nature; and third, to provide a forum for students to develop their ideas, test out theories, and present their work to one another in a collegial setting. 

The Honors Tutorial is part of the year-long Honors Thesis Program. By the end of the academic year, students are expected to complete a thesis under the supervision of the Honors Advisor (Fall) and their individual thesis advisor (Spring). There are only a few required readings in the Honors Tutorial. But bear in mind that this is because a tremendous amount of outside reading and writing relating to your individual thesis projects is required. In the Honors Tutorial, students will be expected to complete all required readings before class, read extensively in their research areas, participate in all class discussions and other in-class activities, such as reading and commenting on other students’ research, meet regularly with their individual thesis advisors, and hand in all assignments on time. By the end of the Tutorial, students are required to have completed a 10-15 page proposal, including an outline of their thesis in its entirety, and the first chapter of their thesis. Students making sufficient progress at the close of the fall semester will be admitted to the spring semester of the Honors Tutorial (GOV679B).

 

Grading Policy

Students will earn a grade in the fall semester of the Honors Tutorial on the basis of the following factors: quality and rate of progress on the thesis project, particularly the first chapter submitted in the last three weeks of the course; quality of participation in class activities, including in-class presentations, class discussions, and assessments of peers’ work; and their ability to meet deadlines.  Attendance does not comprise a part of the grade per se. But it is expected that students doing work at this level will be dedicated participants in the tutorial and will attend every class. Any absences should be explained in advance, and repeated lack of attendance will prompt re-evaluation of your participation in the program.

 

Texts

The Elements of Style. By William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.  50th Anniv. Ed. Longman, 2008.

Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing. By John R. Trimble. 2nd Ed. Prentice Hall, 2000.

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38575 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 201
show description

This course examines the principles that lie at the core of the American political system. Why do we, as Americans, stand for liberty, equality, and democracy? How did these come to be our principles? How has our commitment to these principles manifested itself in our political history? How has our understanding of these principles changed over time, and what do these principles demand of us today?

We will begin by considering the theoretical foundations of our liberal democracy in the thought of John Locke. Then we will consider how the political theory of modern liberalism found expression in the American Founding. We will examine the considerations that led the Founders to design the Constitution as they did, as well the arguments of those who opposed the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists. We will turn from the Founding period to Alexis de Tocqueville’s great work Democracy in America, and consider his analysis of American political life and of the American character more generally. After that, we will consider how liberty and equality became thematic issues in the debate over slavery. We will examine the ways in which Americans conceived of liberty and equality changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will examine how those principles were defended in the context of the Cold War. And we will conclude by considering some of the most compelling and provocative assessments of American life today.

Requirements: A mid-term exam, an optional paper, and a final exam. Class participation is taken into consideration and attendance counts.

Texts:

Second Treatise of Government by John Locke

The Federalist Papers

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

A Course Reader

GOV 335M • Morality And Politics

38640 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 2.210
(also listed as CTI 335 )
show description

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%

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38815 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
show description

 

This course examines the principles that lie at the core of the American political system. Why do we, as Americans, stand for liberty, equality, and democracy? How did these come to be our principles? How has our commitment to these principles manifested itself in our political history? How has our understanding of these principles changed over time, and what do these principles demand of us today?

We will begin by considering the theoretical foundations of our liberal democracy in the thought of John Locke. Then we will consider how the political theory of modern liberalism found expression in the American Founding. We will examine the considerations that led the Founders to design the Constitution as they did, as well the arguments of those who opposed the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists. We will turn from the Founding period to Alexis de Tocqueville’s great work Democracy in America, and consider his analysis of American political life and of the American character more generally. After that, we will consider how liberty and equality became thematic issues in the debate over slavery. We will examine how the ways in which Americans conceived of liberty and equality changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will examine how those principles were defended in the context of the Cold War. And we will conclude by considering some of the most compelling and provocative assessments of American life today.

The course aims first to give students a better understanding of the origins and evolution of American principles and beliefs about politics. Second, it aims to provide students with a theoretical framework that will allow them to think critically about those principles and beliefs, and finally, it seeks to enable them to make informed judgments about how well America has achieved its ideals.

Required Texts (5):

1. COURSE READER, available at Jenn’s Copying and Binding, 2518 Guadalupe St., at the corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton, tel. 482-0779.

2. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke. Hackett edition, edited by C.B. Macpherson.

3. The Federalist Papers by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.  Signet Classics edition, edited by Clinton Rossiter.

4. Democracy in America, Volume Two, by Alexis de Tocqueville. Vintage Classics edition.

5. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. 40th Anniversary edition, University of Chicago Press.

Grading and Requirements:

Option 1 (No paper):

Midterm Exam: 40%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam: 50% 

Option 2 (With paper):

Midterm Exam: 20%

Pop Quizzes: 10%

Final Exam:  30%

Paper: 40%

GOV 335M • Morality And Politics

38517 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 335 )
show description

 

 

GOV 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

38745 • Fall 2010
Meets T 330pm-630pm BAT 5.108
show description

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38750 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Morality And Politics

38805 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 2.124
(also listed as WCV 320 )
show description

 

 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39115 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WEL 2.246
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

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