Constitutional Studies Placement Candidates
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Veronica Roberts is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow specializing in Political Theory and Constitutional Studies. Her research interests include the history of moral and political thought, constitutional theory, First Amendment jurisprudence, and the philosophical underpinnings of the American Founding and Progressivism and their political implications. She is particularly interested in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern thought and the dialogue between them over human nature and its implications for the political.
Accordingly, Veronica has chosen to focus on the political thought of Late Antiquity, a time of transition between paradigms as well as between political arrangements. Her dissertation examines Augustine’s appropriation of Ciceronian political philosophy in The City of God, paying attention to his critique of the idolatrous ethos of Romanitas, even as it is found in Cicero’s thought, and exploring how this critique informs Augustine’s attempt to exhort his readers to good citizenship. She expects to defend her dissertation by May 2014. Down the road, Veronica hopes to extend this project by examining the implications of Augustine’s critique of Rome for understanding the dialogue between Augustine, the Early Moderns, and the civic republican and liberal traditions that flow out of them. She also hopes to delve further into the question of what authentic Augustinian citizenship would look like today.
Veronica has a strong interest in teaching. She has welcomed the various opportunities she has had to assist professors in teaching Introduction to Political Theory, including leading discussion sections. In course evaluations and other feedback, students spoke highly of Veronica’s enthusiasm, approachability, and clarity of communication. She looks forward to teaching her own classes in which students can come to understand their own political tradition better through an encounter with the thought of those who have shaped it. Veronica also has gained key professionalization experience as an editorial assistant at the journal American Political Thought where she assisted with the reading of manuscripts, assigning of reviewers, and other administrative tasks.
Dissertation: Romanitas Recast: Augustine’s Reeducation of the Romans Against Idolatry and Towards Good Citizenship.
Committee Members: Mary Keys (Advisor), Michael Zuckert, Walter Nicgorski, and John Cavadini (Theology).