New Conservative Scholar at CU-Boulder

This fall, Colleen Sheehan, a professor of political science at Villanova University, will become the newest visiting scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization.

As announced last week, the Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy changed its name to honor outgoing CU President Bruce Benson.

Sheehan will join William B. Allen, who will be returning to the Benson Center for a second year, as a Senior Scholar in Residence for the 2019-20 academic year.

The Benson Center is also announcing four other visiting scholars for the coming academic year, each looking at different aspects of Western Civilization: John Doody, Renaud-Phillippe Garner, David Yee and Scott Hill.

“As the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization has grown and matured over the last several years, it continues to attract top talent in the studies of culture, languages and ideas in Western tradition,” said Robert Pasnau, director of the center. “This new cohort of scholars will add to that mission with expertise in history, philosophy and political science.” 

Sheehan will be teaching two courses each semester. In the fall, she will be teaching a survey of the Western intellectual tradition, and a political science course on the Lincoln-Douglas debates. 

Sheehan says the Lincoln-Douglas debates are a favorite topic because of the nail-biting story and morals she sees as relevant to modern life.

“The principles at stake in pre-Civil War America are actually still at stake in America today,” Sheehan said. “And how we respond to the problems our nation is facing today is no less important than it was in 1860. I am excited to work with the students of CU Boulder on these critical questions and civic concerns.”

2019-20 Benson Center visiting scholar biographies:

Colleen Sheehan 

2019-20 Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy

Colleen A. Sheehan is professor of political science at Villanova University and director of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for Free Institutions and the Public Good. 

Sheehan has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and was a Pennsylvania gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, and to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Academic Standards. 

William B. Allen

Senior Scholar in Residence

William B. Allen is emeritus dean at James Madison College and emeritus professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University. Allen was the 2018-19 Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy and is a Senior Scholar in Residence for 2019-20. 

Allen has served as chairman for the United States Commission on Civil Rights, as a member for National Council on the Humanities, as executive director on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, among other accolades.

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