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Western Heritage


  • John Isham

    Director, Western Heritage Program; Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media, Modern Languages, and Great Ideas

    Professor John Isham came to Carthage in 2007 from Columbia University, where he was a Core Lecturer in Literature Humanities. He teaches courses in agony and euphoria in Russian literature and Western Heritage. 

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  • Seemee Ali

    Associate Professor of Great Ideas and English

    Professor Seemee Ali teaches courses in the interdisciplinary Great Ideas Program and English Department. Since joining the Carthage faculty in 2008, she has taught classes on Homer, Dante, William Faulkner, and Salman Rushdie, in addition to leading study tours in Rome to study the philosophic and literary dimensions of Shakespeare’s Roman plays. 

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  • Kristen Drahos

    Post-Doctoral Fellow in Western Heritage

    Kristen Drahos is a post-doctoral fellow in Western Heritage. In the course of her training in Systematic Theology, she earned her B.A., M.T.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Her current projects explore apocalyptic theology, the role of doubt in the life of faith, and kenotic cruciformity.

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  • Annette Duncan

    Assistant Professor of English

    Professor Annette Duncan earned her B.A. from Evangel College and M.A. from the University of Nebraska. She teaches American Literary Traditions and Methods and Materials of Teaching English.

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  • Virginia Emery

    Post-Doctoral Fellow in Western Heritage

    An egyptologist by training, Virginia Emery is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Western Heritage.  She holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and joined Carthage from the American University in Dubai. Her research centers on the physical and social structures of ancient Egyptian palaces, combining archaeological and textual material to analyze the diachronic development of palace architecture and court culture. 

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  • Paul Kirkland

    Associate Professor of Political Science and Great Ideas

    Prof. Paul Kirkland specializes in the study of political philosophy. He earned a B.A. in politics from Ursinus College in 1994, a master’s in political science from Fordham University in 1997, and a Ph.D. in political science from Fordham in 2002, and his book, Nietzsche’s Noble Aims: Affirming LIfe, Confronting Modernity was published in 2009 by Lexington Press.

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  • Christopher Lynch

    Professor of Political Science and Great Ideas

    Prof. Lynch teaches courses in political theory and western heritage. He has published articles in Hebraic Political StudiesHistory of Political Thought, and Review of Politics, and reviews in Perspectives on Politics, Review of Politics and the Weekly Standard.

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  • Michael McShane

    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Great Ideas

    Michael McShane earned a B.A. in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He earned a master’s degree in 1992 and a Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Pennsylvania, where his dissertation discussed Plotinus’ critique of discursive rationality.

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  • Thomas Powers

    Associate Professor of Political Science and Great Ideas

    Prof. Powers teaches Constitutional Law and Religion and Politics at Carthage. His work related to the legal field explores the interrelationships between political theory and constitutional law in particular.

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  • Brian Schwartz

    Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Great Ideas

    Professor Brian Schwartz’s expertise is in nuclear and atomic physics. He teaches courses in physics, electronics, mechanics, is the advisor for the Society of Physics Students ant Carthage, and also teaches in the Great Ideas Program.

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Additional Faculty

Anna Antaramian
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage, Theatre

David Duncan
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

David Gartner
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Western Heritage and History
Lentz Hall 226A

Grant Gosizk
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

Katherine Keenan
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

Michael Mattek
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

Patrick McGuire
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage
Lentz Hall 316

Marla Polley
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage
Lentz Hall 316

Donald Russell
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage and Theatre
Lentz Hall 316

Thomas Silbernagel
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

Juliet Stephenson
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

James “Skelly” Warren
Adjunct Faculty, Western Heritage

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …