Research Fellows

The Elm Institute’s research fellows conduct scholarly work on topics of interest to the Institute.

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Danilo Petranovich

Danilo Petranovich is the Director of Abigail Adams Institute in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Petranovich has taught political science at Duke and Yale Universities, where he offered courses on liberalism and conservatism in the United States, American political thought, the American presidency, ethical leadership, nationalism and patriotism, and the history of Western political philosophy, as well as two seminars on William F. Buckley’s role in American politics (Dr. Petranovich served for seven months as Bill Buckley’s amanuensis). Dr. Petranovich is currently writing a book (under contract with Yale University Press) about the three-decade duel between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, which resulted, he argues, in a transformation of American nationhood. He received his BA from Harvard and his PhD in Political Science from Yale.

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Peter Wicks

Educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Dr. Wicks came to the United States as Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Graduate School before pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he completed his PhD in 2010. After spending a year on a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton, Dr. Wicks taught in the Ethics Program at Villanova University as a Catherine of Siena Fellow. His main research interests are the contemporary applications of Aristotelian ethical and political thought and the intellectual foundations of utilitarianism. He is currently completing a book, The Ethics of Peter Singer: A Study of Utilitarianism in Theory and Practice, which examines the sources of the appeal of utilitarianism in contemporary culture through a critical examination of the work of the contemporary philosopher Peter Singer. He is also co-editing, with Kelvin Knight, the second edition of The MacIntyre Reader.


Senior Fellows

The Elm Institute’s senior fellows serve as advisors for our academic programming and teach in our summer seminars.


Thomas D’Andrea

University of Cambridge

Thomas D’Andrea is a Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Philosophy, Politics, and Religion (ISPPR). In 2001 he was a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program of Princeton University, and he has lectured with the Politics Department at Princeton and in the Department of Moral Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. His research interests include moral and political thought (and its metaphysical foundations) in the Aristotelian tradition, and he is the author of Tradition, Rationality, and Virtue: the Thought of Alasdair MacIntyre (Ashgate, 2006) and articles and reviews in ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion.

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Philip Gorski

Yale University

Philip Gorski is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Yale and Co-Director of Yale's Center for Comparative Research. His empirical work focuses on topics such as state-formation, nationalism, revolution, economic development, and secularization with particular attention to the interaction of religion and politics. Other current interests include the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences and the nature and role of rationality in social life. He is the author of The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Growth of State Power in Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2003), Max Weber’s Economy and Society: A Critical Companion (Stanford University Press, 2004), and The Protestant Ethic Revisited (Temple University Press, 2011). He was educated at Deep Springs College and Harvard University and received his PhD from University of California, Berkeley.

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Harold James

Princeton University

Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University. He studies economic and financial history and modern German history. His books include a study of the interwar depression in Germany, The German Slump (OUP, 1986), an analysis of the changing character of national identity in Germany, A German Identity 1770-1990 (Routledge, 1989), and International Monetary Cooperation Since Bretton Woods (OUP, 1996). He is the coauthor of a history of Deutsche Bank, which won the Financial Times Global Business Book Award in 1996. His more recent works include The Roman Predicament (Princeton University Press, 2006), Family Capitalism: Wendels, Haniels and Falcks (Belknap Press, 2006), and The Creation and Destruction of Value (Harvard University Press, 2009). In 2004 he was awarded the Helmut Schmidt Prize for Economic History, and in 2005 he received the Ludwig Erhard Prize for writing about economics. Professor James was educated at Cambridge University and was a Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge for eight years before coming to Princeton University.


Steven Justice '80

University of California, Berkeley

Steven Justice is Chancellor’s Professor of English in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is interested in the forms of thought that shape and differentiate cultural enterprises like literature, philosophy, and religious practice, and in the forms of self-reflection built into each of them. He is the author of Writing and Rebellion (University of California Press, 1994), which won the 1995 MLA Prize for Best First Book, and Adam Usk’s Secret (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), and he is currently writing a book on medieval exegesis of the Song of Songs. Professor Justice has held fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center,  University of California President’s Research Fellow in the Humanities. In addition, he was Council of the Humanities Fellow at Princeton University and Humanities Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Justice received his BA in English from Yale College and his PhD from Princeton. He has taught at Berkeley since 1987.

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James Murphy '80 G'90

Dartmouth College

James Murphy is Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, where he has taught since 1990. After graduating from Yale College, he earned a Master’s in City Planning from M.I.T. and worked as a city planner in the City of New York. His Ph.D. in Philosophy and Political Science is from Yale University (1990). His research interests include: Aristotle, jurisprudence, semiotics, political economy, philosophy of education, and political theology. In 2008, Professor Murphy founded the Daniel Webster Project at Dartmouth College to provide greater structure and focus for the liberal arts experience. The Webster Project sponsors conferences and lectures as well as proposals for curricular reform. He has published four books: The Moral Economy of Labor: Aristotelian Themes in Economic Theory (Yale University Press, 1993), The Philosophy of Positive Law (Yale University Press, 2005), The Philosophy of Customary Law (Oxford University Press, 2014), and A Genealogy of Violence: René Girard in Dialogue (Sussex Academic Press, 2018).


James L. Nolan, Jr.

Williams College

James Nolan, Jr., is the Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College. His teaching and research interests fall within the general areas of law and society, culture, technology and social change, and historical comparative sociology. His books include The Therapeutic State: Justifying Government at Century’s End (NYU Press, 1998), Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement (Princeton University Press, 2001), Legal Accents, Legal Borrowing: The International Problem Solving Court Movement (Princeton University Press, 2009), and, most recently, What They Saw in America: Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, G.K. Chesterton, and Sayyid Qutb (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He is the recipient of several grants and awards including National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships and a Fulbright scholarship. He has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Loughborough University, and the University of Notre Dame. He is a graduate of University of California – Davis, and received his PhD from the University of Virginia.

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Noël Valis

Yale University

Noël Valis is Professor of Spanish at Yale University. Her research interests are centered on modern Spanish literature, culture, and history, with books on realist novelists, women writers, the Spanish Civil War, bad taste and class in modern Spain, and religion and literature. She is the author of twenty-four books, including The Culture of Cursilería: Bad Taste, Kitsch and Class in Modern Spain (Duke University Press, 2002), which won the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, The Decadent Vision in Leopoldo Alas (LSU Press, 1981), Sacred Realism: Religion and the Imagination in Modern Spanish Narrative (Yale University Press, 2010), translations of works by Pedro Salinas, Sara Pujol Russell, Julia Uceda, and Noni Benegas, a book of poetry, My House Remembers Me (Esquío, 2003), and a novella, The Labor of Longing (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2014), which was a Finalist for the Prize Americana for Prose. A Guggenheim and NEH Fellow, Professor Valis was educated at Douglass College and received her PhD from Bryn Mawr College.