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Statesmanship Theses

Andrea Wiebe defends her thesis.

All Ashbrook Scholars are required to write a senior thesis, known as a Statesmanship Thesis, prior to graduation. This thesis is a lengthy paper, typically 50 pages or more, that attempts to answer a well-developed question regarding a topic of particular interest to a Scholar. After this paper is written, the Scholar publicly defends it in front of a thesis committee and an audience of interested parties.

This thesis is each Scholar’s opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in a particular area of learning. It is the culmination of their entire undergraduate education and an expression of what they are capable of intellectually. It is a work they can carry with them as they begin their career or continue their education in graduate school.

Each year, the Director of the Ashbrook Center, in consultation with the faculty from Ashland’s Department of History and Political Science, selects one or more theses to receive the Charles Parton Award for Outstanding Thesis.  The theses linked below are the past winners of that award.

2013
Milton, Paradise Lost, and the Question of Kingship
by Jarrod Brown

“True to a Single Object”: The Character of Tadeusz Kościuszko
by Lindsey Grudnicki

“The Pinnacle of Life’s Jubilation”: An Exploration of the Vitality for Human Greatness in the Poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche
by Sarah Spinner

The Great Generalization: The Theory of Evolution in American Political and Social Thought after the Civil War
by Erin Sutter

2012
The Happy Empire: Aristotle, Publius, and the American Regime
by Dantan Wernecke

Boundless Vision: A Reading of Plato’s Symposium
by James Velasquez

A History of the Anglo-American Special Relationship
by Rebekah Brown

Noise Pollution: A Look at the Effects of Rock Music on a Liberal Education
by Alyssa Bornhorst

2011
Similarly Situated?: The Evolution of Gender Equality Jurisprudence and the Role of Women in Combat
by Allison McGuire

“He Who Rules Over Men Must be Just”: The Life and Reign of King David
by Andrea Wiebe

2010
The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun: An Argument Worth Refuting
by George Alecusan

The British Empire in India
by Ryan Brown

“Just as the Corybantes Seem to Hear the Flutes”: A Reading of Plato’s Crito
by Timothy Haglund

2009
Rule in The Tempest: The Political Teachings of Shakespeare’s Last Play
by Lauren Arnold

Bletchley’s Secret War: British Code Breaking in the Battle of the Atlantic
by Colleen Carper

The Higher Law Background of the Constitution: Justice Clarence Thomas and Constitutional Interpretation
by Michael Sabo

2008
Power and Pretext: The Status of Justice in Thucydides
by Caitlin Poling

The Morality of Killing in Self-Defense: A Christian Perspective
by Jonathan Spelman

Elena’s War: Russian Women in Combat
by Samantha Vajskop

Moral Beauty’s Divine Center: Jonathan Edwards and the Necessity of God in Ethics
by Adam Carrington

2007
A Two Horse Race: An Explanation of The Virginian‘s Natural Equality Based on Man’s Faculty of Reason and Sentiment of Pity
by Clint Leibolt

Abraham Lincoln’s Understanding of the Nature of the Union: Secession, Slavery, and the Philosophical Cause
by Jason Stevens

2006
“The Hands of a Healer”: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Understanding of Kingship
by Lauren Calco

“The Dictates of Conscience”: The Debate over Religious Liberty in Revolutionary Virginia
by Deborah O’Malley

2005
Improvisation and Self-Emancipation in the Novels of Ralph Ellison
by Carolyn Garris

2004
The Thought of Sayyid Qutb: Radical Islam’s Philosophical Foundations
by Luke Loboda

2003
The Problem of Courage
by Brinton Brafford

2001
An Apple of Gold: Abraham Lincoln and Constitutional Interpretation
by Kevin Portteus

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