Senior Fellows

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

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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.


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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Margarita Mooney '95

Princeton Theological Seminary

Margarita Mooney is Associate Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she teaches classes on philosophy of social science, religion and social theory. After receiving her BA in Psychology from Yale College, she conducted fieldwork on the re-integration into civilian life of ex-combatants in Central America. She then earned a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University, publishing her dissertation as the book, Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009). She was on the faculty of the Sociology Departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale University, where she was a faculty resident fellow of Calhoun College and collaborator with the Elm Institute. She is Executive Director of Scala Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating classical liberal arts education and preserving the ideas and practices necessary to maintain a free society.

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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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Danilo Petranovich G'07

Abigail Adams Institute

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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Noël Valis

Yale University

Noël Valis (PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is Professor of Spanish at Yale University. Her research interests are centered on modern Spanish literature, culture, and history. Her books include The Culture of Cursilería: Bad Taste, Kitsch and Class in Modern Spain (Duke University Press, 2002), which won the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, Teaching Representations of the Spanish Civil War (Modern Language Association, 2007), and Sacred Realism: Religion and the Imagination in Modern Spanish Narrative (Yale University Press, 2010). Her translation of Noni Benegas’ poetry, Burning Cartography(Host Publications, 2008), received the New England Council of Latin American Studies Best Book Translation Prize. A novella, The Labor of Longing (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2014), was a Finalist for the Prize Americana for Prose and a Finalist in two categories, Novella and Regional Fiction, for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In 2017, she was awarded the Victoria Urbano Academic Achievement Prize by the International Association of Hispanic Women’s Literature and Culture. A Corresponding Member of the Royal Spanish Academy, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Professor Valis was appointed a member of the NEH’s National Council on the Humanities in 2019.