Peter Ahrensdorf James B. Duke Professor of Political Science
- Ph.D. University of Chicago
- B.A. Yale University
I'm the James B. Duke Professor of Political Science and an affiliated professor of classics. My teaching focuses on classical political theory, modern political theory, and American political thought. My current research focuses on the relationship between political theory, classical literature, and classical history. I have been honored to receive Davidson College's Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award (2013) and Student Government Association Teaching Award (2020).
Born in Manila, Philippines, I grew up in Washington, D.C. and received my undergraduate degree from Yale, and my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought. I have taught as a Visiting Professor of Political Science at the Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2000) and at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China (2019).
With the support of the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Olin Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholarship, I have published essays on Plato, Thucydides, Hobbes, Sophocles, Domingo Sarmiento, Homer, and Machiavelli as well as six books: Homer and the Tradition of Political Philosophy: Encounters with Plato, Machiavelli, and Nietzsche (2022); Homer on the Gods and Human Virtue: Creating the Foundations of Classical Civilization (2014); Greek Tragedy Sophocles' Theban Plays, co-translated with Thomas L. Pangle (2013), Greek Tragedy and Political Philosophy: Rationalism and Religion in Sophocles' Theban Plays (2009), Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace, co-authored with Thomas L. Pangle (1999), and The Death of Socrates and the Life of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Phaedo (1995).
- Classical Political Theory
- Contemporary Political Ideologies
- Education for Leaders
- Ambition, Freedom, and Empire
- Lincoln and the Crisis of American Democracy
- Machiavelli and the American Founding
- Medieval Political Theory
- Thucydides on Justice and War
- Heroism and Politics
- The Crisis of Liberal Democracy
- Religion, Politics, and Law
- Politics and Literature