James H. Read
Department of Political Science
College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
Simons Hall 162
Collegeville, MN 56321
Professor of Political Science, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University.
Assistant Professor of Political Science. 1988 to 1995.
Associate Professor of Political Science. 1995 to 2000.
Professor of Political Science. 2000 to present
Courses regularly taught include:
Pols 313: 20th Century and Contemporary Political Thought
Pols 312: American Political Thought
Pols 350B: American Political Thought and Contemporary Policy Applications
Pols 221: Introduction to Political Theory
Pols 211: Politics and Political Life
Pols 111: Introduction to U.S. Politics
Pols 114: Public Policy Analysis and Recommendation
In Summer 2006 organized and led the College’s first-ever study abroad course to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Course titled “Bosnia: War and Reconciliation.” May-June 2006
Ph. D. Harvard University, Department of Government 1988. Dissertation: “Scarcity, Conflict, Desire: An Inquiry into the Possibility of a Universal Increase in Power.” Faculty Advisors: Judith Shklar and Harvey Mansfield.
M. A. Harvard University, 1983;
A.B. University of Chicago, Political Science 1980 (Phi Beta Kappa)
Visiting Faculty Positions:
University of California – Davis, Visiting Professor of Political Science, Spring Quarter 2008 and Winter Quarter 2009. Taught Political Science 113, American Political Thought; and Political Science 116, Foundations of Political Philosophy. Course theme: “The Theory and Practice of Power.”
Boise State University, Institute for School Improvement and Policy Studies, Summer 2005, 2006, and 2008. Co-taught seminar for school teachers in the Teaching American History Summer Institute. Seminar title: “The Federalists and the Jeffersonians: Political Ideas and Arguments in the Constitution’s First Decade.”
Awards and Fellowships:
2010 Wilson Cary McWilliams award from the American Political Science Association for best paper in the Literature, Politics, and Film section presented at 2009 APSA national meeting. Paper title: “The Limits of Self-Reliance: Emerson, Slavery, and Abolition.”
Joseph P. Farry Professorship in Public Policy and Civic Engagement for 2009-2012, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University.
Fellow, International Center for Jefferson Studies. Charlottesville, Virginia. Fall 2002.
Policy Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 1994-1995.
Post-doctoral fellow. Harvard Program on Constitutional Government. Cambridge, MA. Spring and Fall 1991.
Majority Rule versus Consensus: The Political Thought of John C. Calhoun. University Press of Kansas, 2009.
Doorstep Democracy: Face to Face Politics in the Heartland. University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
Power versus Liberty: Madison, Hamilton, Wilson and Jefferson. University of Virginia Press, 2000.
II. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
“Living, Dead, and Undead: Nullification Past and Present.” With Neal Allen. American Political Thought, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 2012), 263-297.
“Is Power Zero-Sum or Variable-Sum? Old Arguments and New Beginnings.” Journal of Political Power, Vol. 5 No. 1 (March 2012), 5-31.
“Leadership and Power in Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.” Journal of Power, Volume 3, No. 3 (December 2010).
“ ‘Our Complicated System’: James Madison on Power and Liberty.” Political Theory. Vol. 23, No. 3 (August 1995), 452-475.
“Thomas Hobbes: Power in the State of Nature, Power in Civil Society.” Polity. Vol. 23, No. 4 (Summer 1991). 505-525.
“Nietzsche: Power as Oppression.” Praxis International. Vol. 9, No. 1/2 (April and July 1989), 72-87.
III. Book Chapters
“James Madison’s Retirement, 1817-1836: Engaging the Republican Past, Present, and Future.” In Stuart Leibiger, ed., A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) 224-240.
“The Limits of Self-Reliance: Emerson, Slavery, and Abolition.” In Daniel Malachuk and Alan Levine, editors, A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2009), 152-184.
“John C. Calhoun’s Federalism and its Contemporary Echoes.” In Lee Ward and Ann Ward, eds., Ashgate Research Companion to Federalism (Ashgate Publishing, 2009), 245-260.
“Universal Empowerment as a Utopian Idea.” In Elizabeth Russell, ed., Trans/Forming Utopia. Peter Lang Publishers, 2009, 101-110.
“Machiavelli, Hobbes, Clausewitz, and Foucault: Four Variations on the Zero-Sum Theme.” Sharon Krause and Mary Ann McGrail, eds., The Art of Rule: Essays in Honor of Harvey C. Mansfield (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009), 201-227.
“Madison’s Response to Nullification.” In William Pederson, John Vile, and Frank Williams, eds., James Madison: Philosopher, Founder, and Statesman (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2008), 269-283.
“Politics the Old-Fashioned Way: Doorknocking in the Age of the Blogosphere.” In Steve Hoffman, Angela High-Pippert, and Kay Wolsborn, eds., Perspectives on Minnesota Government and Politics, 6th Edition (Pearson, 2007), 137-139.
“Alexander Hamilton’s View of Thomas Jefferson’s Ideology and Character.” In Douglas Ambrose and Robert Martin, editors, The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton (New York: NYU Press, 2006), 77-108.
“Participation, Power, and Democracy” in Political Dialogue: Theories and Practices. Editor, Stephen L. Esquith. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and Humanities, Vol. XX, 239-261. Amsterdam; Atlanta: Rodopi Press, 1996.
IV: Articles in Reference Works
“Consensus.” In Geoffrey Garrett, et. al., editors, The Encyclopedia of Political Science (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010).
“John Caldwell Calhoun.” In Mark Bevir, ed., The Encyclopedia of Political Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010, Vol. 1, pp. 153-154.
“Rachel Carson.” In Matt Lindstrom, ed. Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment: History, Policy, and Politics. The U.S. Government and the Environment: A Reference Encyclopedia., (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 172-173.
“James Madison,” “Report of 1800,” and “Memorial and Remonstrance.” Three entries for John Vile, David Schultz, and David Hudson, eds., the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. Washington, Dc: CQ Press, 2008.
“Natural Law” in Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery, edited by Joseph C. Miller and Paul Finkelman (New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1998): Volume 2, 630-32.
Review of George Anastaplo, Reflections on Slavery and the Constitution. Forthcoming in The Review of Politics.
Review of Kevin R.C. Gutzman, James Madison and the Making of America. Liberty Law Blog, April 30, 2012.
Review of Eric Charles Hoffer, The Treason Trials of Aaron Burr by Peter Charles Hoffer. The Law and Politics Book Review, Vol. 19 No. 1 (January 2009), 64-67.
Review of American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy by John Lamberton Harper. The American Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 3 (June 2005), 784-5.
Review of James Madison: The Theory and Practice of Republican Government, edited by Samuel Kernell. Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 1 (March 2005), 200-2.
Review of Calhoun and Popular Rule: The Political Theory of the Disquisition and Discourse, by H. Lee Cheek. The Journal of Politics. Vol. 65, No. 1 (February 2003), 291-93.
Review of Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth by Stephen F. Knott. The Review of Politics. Vol. 64, No. 4 (Fall 2002), 763-65.
Review of Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans by Joyce Appleby. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Vol. 108, No. 3 (2000), 316-18.
Review of Vindicating the Founders: Race, Class, Sex and Justice in the Origins of America by Thomas G. West. American Political Science Review Vol. 92, No. 2 (June 1998), 451-52.
Review of A Sacred Union of Citizens: George Washington's Farewell Address and the American Character by Matthew Spalding and Patrick J. Garrity. William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. LIV, No. 4 (October 1997), 899-901.
Outreach: Op-Ed Columns, interviews and feature stories
“Voter ID Doesn’t Prevent Fraud.” Op-ed column, St. Cloud Times, Sunday, October 14, 2012.
“Who Judges the Constitution?” In response to Colleen Sheehan, “Sound the Alarm to the People: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the Principles of 1798.” Liberty Law Blog, April 17, 2012.
“Four Myths About the Constitution.” With Alan Gibson. Op-ed column, Sacramento Bee, Sunday, January 23, 2011.
“Author Takes Democracy to the Doorstep.” Minnesota Public Radio, Midday Program, October 30, 2008.
“Campaigning the Old-Fashioned Way Still Works the Best.” Feature article about Doorstep Democracy, in the St. Cloud Times, October 2, 2008.
Interview about Doorstep Democracy, WJON Radio, St. Cloud, Sept. 11, 2008.
“Doorknocking is Democracy.” Op-ed column, St. Cloud Times, September 17, 2008.
“What Kind of Constitution? James Madison, John C. Calhoun, and the Problem of Majority Rule.” Headwaters: The Faculty Journal of the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Vol. 27 (2010), 94-109.
“Doorstep Discourse.” Headwaters: The Faculty Journal of the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Vol. 25 (2008), 39-61.
“A Visit with James Madison.” Script for self-performed dramatic impersonation of James Madison talking about the Constitution, for Constitution Day, 2005. Script subsequently published in The Remnant Review, a publication of the Remnant Trust, Vol. 2 No. 1, April 2006, 47-64.
Recent Conference Presentations and Invited Talks
2009-Present (see later entry for presentations and talks 1988-2008)
“Transforming Power Relations: Leadership, Risk, and Hope.” With Ian Shapiro. To be presented to Leadership Symposium, Yale University, February 15-17, 2013.
“The Only True Sovereign of a Free People? Lincoln and Majority Rule.” To be presented to Lecture Series, “The Past, the Present, and the Future of the American Founding,” Utah State University, April 15, 2013.
“Lincoln and Majority Rule.” Presented to the Constitution Day Celebration, James Madison College, Michigan State University, September 27, 2012.
“Same-Sex Marriage as a Constitutional Issue.” Presentation for Constitution Day, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University; Part I of the panel series “Examining the Proposed Minnesota Marriage Amendment.” September 18, 2012.
“Transforming Power Relations: Leadership, Risk, and Hope.” With Ian Shapiro. Prepared for presentation to 2012 American Political Science Association, New Orleans (conference cancelled because of hurricane).
“Democracy, Conflict, and Collective Empowerment.” Presented to the International Political Science Association, Madrid, Spain, July 8-12, 2012.
“Is Power Zero-Sum or Variable-Sum? Old Arguments and New Beginnings.” Presented to the 2011 American Political Science Association, September 1-4, Seattle.
“Nullification, Classic and Modern: Or, What do John C. Calhoun, Tom Emmer, and Utah Have in Common?” MinnIDEA Spring Lecture, Hamline University, April 7, 2011.
“A Variable-Sum Theory of Power.” Presented to the Political Theory Workshop, University of California, Davis, April 1, 2011.
“John C. Calhoun’s Political Theory and its Contemporary Echoes.” Presented to the Washington, DC Political Theory Colloquium, School of Public Affairs, American University, January 28, 2011.
“Happiness and Power.” Presented to the Happiness Symposium, St John’s University, September 9-10, 2010.
“Calhoun’s Heirs: Southern Opposition to Integration and John C. Calhoun’s Constitutional Theory.” With Neal Allen. Presented to the Western Political Science Association, San Francisco, April 2010.
“The Only True Sovereign of a Free People? The Problem of Majority Rule in Madison, Calhoun, and Lincoln.” Alpheus T. Mason Lecture for the James Madison Program, Princeton University, March 23, 2010.
“Francis Lieber, Abraham Lincoln, and the American Contribution to International Law.” Presented to the Abraham Lincoln Without Borders Conference, Part II, at the Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai, India, December 19-20, 2009. This paper was also presented to the Lincoln Without Borders conference, Part I, at Louisiana State University, Shreveport, October 22-24, 2009.
“John C. Calhoun’s Consensus Model of Government.” Friday Forum talk, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, November 13, 2009.
“Doorstep Democracy: Candidate Doorknocking as Civic Engagement.” Keynote Address to the annual meeting of the Minnesota Political Science Association, College of St. Benedict, November 7, 2009.
“Calhoun’s Consensus Model of Government.” Presented to the Political Theory Colloquium, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, October 9, 2009.
“Doorstep Democracy: A Political Theorist Takes to the Streets.” Distinguished Alumni Lecture for the University of Chicago Alumni Association, St. Paul, Minnesota, September 27, 2009.
“John C. Calhoun’s Consensus Theory and its Contemporary Echoes.” Presented to the Political Science Research Workshop at the University of South Carolina, September 18, 2009.
“What Kind of Constitution? James Madison, John C. Calhoun, and the Problem of Majority Rule.” Constitution Day Address to the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, September 17, 2009.
“Doorstep Democracy: Face to Face Politics in Stearns County.” Address to the Breakfast Club of the Stearns County History Museum, September 9, 2009.
“The Limits of Self-Reliance: Emerson, Slavery, and Abolition.” Presented to the American Political Science Association, Toronto, Ontario, September 3-6, 2009. Winner of 2010 Wilson Cary McWilliams Best Paper Award from Literature, Politics, and Film section of APSA.
Recent University Service
Member, Rank and Tenure Committee, College of St. Benedict, 2012-2013 and 2010-2011.
Interim Director, Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement, Spring semester 2011. Organized and participated in numerous events, talks, and panels, including Kathleen Hall Jamieson Residency (March 2011).
From 1988 to present: Have organized and/or participated as presenter or moderator for numerous campus panels at College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. Recent panel participation has included discussion of same-sex marriage, education policy, abortion, women candidates for office, the Tea Party movement, the future of newspapers, and presidential powers during wartime. On evening of September 11, 2001, participated in college-wide forum about terrorist attacks of that day.
Served on Constitution and Bylaws Committee in successfully establishing Phi Beta Kappa chapter for College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, 2009-2010. Served as vice-president of newly established chapter, 2010-2011.
Chair, Faculty Handbook Committee, August 2003-January 2005.
Member, Faculty Senate Task Force, 2006-2007. Participated in drafting Faculty Senate Constitution.
Member, Social Sciences Task Force, 2005-2006. Participated in drafting recommendations for Social Sciences designation under new Common Curriculum.
Organized Constitution Day as CSB/SJU all-campus activity, Fall 2005; continued to be in charge of Constitution Day 2005-2007 and again 2010 and 2012; have participated in Constitution Day public panels every year since 2005.
Member, Committee assigned to examine and rank applications for Research and Creative Project fellowships, Fall 2005 and Fall 2006.
Coordinated Program Review for the Political Science Department, 2003-2004.
Served on Political Science Department search committees, 2012, 2010, 2004.
Political Science Department Chair, 1998-2001.
Participated in Faculty Study Trips to former Yugoslavia (2003) and Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua (1999)
President, College of St. Benedict Chapter of American Association of University Professors (AAUP). 1996-2006 and 2012- present.
Reviewed manuscripts for The American Political Science Review, The Review of Politics, American Political Thought, Political Theory, American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Polity, and The William and Mary Quarterly.
Evaluated full book manuscripts for University Press of Kansas, NYU Press, University of Missouri Press, and Northern Illinois University Press.
Wrote report as external evaluator for a tenure decision at University of the Pacific. Served on oral examination committee for graduate student in political science at University of California, Davis.
Member of Executive Committee of Minnesota Conference of the American Association of University Professors. 1998-2000.
Service to the Community
2012, 2010, 2008, 2006: Moderated public forum for mayoral and city council candidates, city of St. Joseph, MN.
Democratic Party County and Senate District Chair (1990-1992 and 1996-2002) for District 14, covering Stearns, Morrison and Benton counties.
March 1996: Prepared and delivered testimony to Minnesota House of Representatives Ethics Committee concerning conduct of State Representative Jeff Bertram.
1995-96: Organized and taught "Practical Politics" course for St. Cloud (Minn.) Area Chamber of Commerce (a basic introduction to the political system).
1995-96: University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow. Theme: “Local and National Community in the United States.” Completed a public service project.
1992 Candidate for Minnesota House of Representatives, District 14A (lost by 98 votes out of 15,000 cast). (Campaign described in detail in Doorstep Democracy: Face to Face Politics in the Heartland.)
Delegate or alternate, at Democratic state convention in Minnesota, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002.
Conference Presentations and Invited Talks 1988-2008 (See entry above for 2008-present)
“Appropriate and Inappropriate Appropriations: The Founding as Contemporary Politics.” Presented to Southwest Political Science Association, Las Vegas, NV, March 12-15, 2008.
“Promoting Democracy: Finding New Theory, and Remembering the Old Theory We’ve Forgotten.” Presented to the Minnesota Political Science Association, November 10, 2007.
“Alexander Hamilton.” Public Lecture at St. Cloud State University in connection with Alexander Hamilton Traveling Exhibit. October 24, 2007.
“John C. Calhoun’s Federalism and its contemporary echoes.” Paper presented to the Association for Political Theory, London, Ontario, October 11-13, 2007.
“What James Madison can teach us about our Constitution – and what we have to learn for ourselves.” Constitution Day Address to Louisiana State University, Shreveport. September 17, 2007. Sponsored by the International Lincoln Center, LSU.
“John C. Calhoun, Slavery, and the Ideal of Consensus.” Presentation to the faculty and students of Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, March 14, 2007.
“James Madison’s Response to Nullification.” Presented to the conference “James Madison: Life, Times, and Legacy” at the International Lincoln Center, Louisiana State University Shreveport, LA, Oct. 19-21, 2006.
“Hamilton versus Jefferson: Politics, Personalities, and Passions.” Constitution Day Presentation and panel discussion at Hamilton College, September 16, 2006.
“Models of Power and Leadership in Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.” Presented to the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2006.
“Universal Empowerment as a Utopian Idea.” Presented to the 7th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, July 6-8, 2006, Tarragona, Spain.
“John C. Calhoun’s Consensus Model of Government.” Presented to the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 20-23, 2006.
“Calhoun’s Defense of Slavery.” Presented to the Bay Area Seminar in Early American History, Oakland, CA, October 16, 2005.
“A Visit With James Madison.” Wrote and performed one-person dramatic impersonation of James Madison talking about the Constitution. For Constitution Day, 2005. The script was subsequently published in The Remnant Review, a publication of the Remnant Trust, Vol. 2 No. 1, April 2006, 47-64.
“Calhoun’s Constitution, Federal Union, and Slavery.” Presented to annual meeting of Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Philadelphia, July 21-24, 2005.
“Machiavelli, Hobbes, Clausewitz, and Foucault: Four Variations on the Zero-Sum Theme.” Presented to Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 7-9, 2005.
John C. Calhoun and the Legacies of Madison and Jefferson.” Presented to the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 7-9, 2005.
“Minority Veto, Political Deliberation, and the Common Good.” Presented to the Conference “Rhetoric and Democracy: About an African Athens,” sponsored by the Rhetoric Society of Southern Africa. University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 8-15, 2004.
“John C. Calhoun: Chief Justice of the Rehnquist Court?” Presented to the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University’s Collegial Conversations Series, February 19, 2004.
“Alexander Hamilton and Liberty.” Presented to the New York Historical Society as part of the Public Symposium, “Alexander Hamilton: Immigrant, Soldier, Lover, Statesman, Visionary,” January 31, 2004. This speech and the panel discussion that followed were subsequently broadcast on C-Span on July 4, 2004 as part of the program titled “Alexander Hamilton and Liberty.”
“John C. Calhoun’s Defense of Slavery.” Presented to the 2003 Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April, 2003.
“John C. Calhoun and the Double-Edged Legacy of Jefferson.” Presented to the International Center for Jefferson Studies, Charlottesville, VA, October 2002. An earlier version of this paper was presented to the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 2002.
“Jefferson vs. Hamilton in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Commonwealth Club Address.” Presented to the 2001 Southern Political Science Association, Atlanta, November 8-10, 2001.
“Alexander Hamilton’s View of Thomas Jefferson’s Ideology and Character.” Paper presented to the conference, “Alexander Hamilton: His Life and Legacy” at Hamilton College, April 5-7, 2001. This paper also was presented to the 2001 Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 19-21, 2001.
“Diversity, Homogeneity, and Statesmanship in the Thought of John C. Calhoun.” Paper presented at the 2000 Conference of the British Association of American Studies in Swansea, Wales, April 6-9, 2000.
“Statesmanship in the Political Thought of John C. Calhoun.” Presented to the 1999 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 1999.
“Relative Power and International Relations Theory.” Presented to the 1999 annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association, Seattle, March 1999.
Chair and Co-organizer of Roundtable on the Political and Legal Thought of James Wilson, for the 1998 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, September 1998.
“Alexander Hamilton as Libertarian and Nationalist.” Presented to the 1998 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 1998.
“Jefferson, Liberty, and the States.” Presented to the 1998 annual meeting of the Southwest Political Science Association, Corpus Christi, Texas, March 1998.
“James Wilson and the Idea of Popular Sovereignty.” Presented to the 1997 American Political Science Association, Washington D.C., August 30-Sept. 1, 1997.
“Alexander Hamilton as Libertarian and Nationalist.” Presented to the Political Philosophy Colloquium at Carleton College, Northfield, MN, February 18, 1997
“Political Power, Power over Nature, and Environmental Ethics.” Presented to the Midwest Political Science Conference, Chicago, April,1996.
“Power and Justice.” Presented to the Southwest Political Science Association, Houston, March 1996.
“Environment and Political Scale: New Variations on an Old Theme.” Presented to the Western Political Science Conference, Portland, OR, March 1995.
“Freedom and Power: Oppositions and Kinships.” Presented to the Southwest Political Science Conference, April 1994. Earlier version presented to Presented to the University of Minnesota Political Science Department, November 1993.
“The Possibility and Limits of Expanded Participation.” Presented
at the Northeastern Political Science Conference, November 1992.
“Power, Liberty, and Sovereignty: Reflections on Hamilton, Madison, and Wilson.” Presentation for the Harvard Program on Constitutional Government, November 1991.
“Under What Conditions Can Power Be Increased Universally? (Can Power Be Zero-Sum If Wealth Is Not?)” Presented to Midwest Political Science Conference, April 1990.
“Marx's Ideal: Power Without Oppression?” Presented at the Midwest Political Science Conference, April 1989.
“Nietzsche: Power as Oppression.” Presented at conference on Political Philosophy and Political Practice, Goucher College, Maryland, April 1988.