The Academy of Philosophy & Letters

"Men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." – Edmund Burke


President: Luke C. Sheahan

Vice-President: C. R. Wiley

Treasurer: Matthew T. Cantirino

Secretary: Jay Schalin

Board of Directors

Eric Adler
University of Maryland

Eric Adler is Professor and Chair of Classics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Ph.D. in classical studies from Duke University. His scholarship focuses on Roman historiography, the history of the humanities, and the history of classical scholarship. Adler is the author of three monographs: Valorizing the Barbarians: Enemy Speeches in Roman Historiography (2011), Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond (2016), and The Battle of the Classics: How a Nineteenth-Century Debate Can Save the Humanities Today (2020). His articles have appeared in such venues as the American Journal of Philology, Classical Receptions Journal, Arion, and the International Journal of the Classical Tradition. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Humanitas.

Andrew Balio
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

In 2014, Andrew Balio, along with Roger Scruton and Leon Krier, launched the Future Symphony Institute, a research body for the sustainability of classical music. Wisconsin native Balio was appointed as Principal Trumpet of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2001 by Yuri Temirkanov. He recently served as principal trumpet of the Oslo Philharmonic concurrently with his BSO duties in 2014/15. Prior to his arrival in Baltimore, he had been principal trumpet of the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta since 1994 and the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico since 1990, as well as the Boston Philharmonic. His solo debut was at age 15 with the Milwaukee Symphony playing the Haydn Concerto. His teachers included Charles Schlueter, Adolph Herseth, Roger Voisin and Gene Young.

William F. Byrne
St. John’s University

William F. Byrne is Associate Professor of Government and Politics at St. John’s University (NY), where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in political theory and American politics. A former Congressional staff member, Dr. Byrne also spent several years in the private sector before entering academia. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from The Catholic University of America, an M.B.A. from George Mason University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. An Associate Editor of the journal Humanitas, he is the author of Edmund Burke for Our Time: Moral Imagination, Meaning, and Politics, as well as of numerous scholarly articles.

Matthew T. Cantirino
Assumption University

Matthew T. Cantirino is Visiting Assistant Professor of American Government in the Department of Political Science at Assumption University. He earned his PhD with distinction at the Catholic University of America and holds a bachelor’s in government from Georgetown University. His PhD dissertation centered around the American writer Henry Adams and the place of the person in history. His interests include the republican and constitutional traditions of the United States, “big picture” debates about foreign policy and self-government, the intersection of literature, art, and imaginative works with political philosophy, and the question of historicity and normativity, including philosophies of history and their discontents. He also serves as an editor for the scholarly journal Humanitas and (prior to academia) worked as an editor for the ecumenical journal First Things.

Michael P. Federici
Middle Tennessee State University

Michael P. Federici is professor and chair of the Political Science and International Relations Department at Middle Tennessee State University. He received his B.S. in economics from Elizabethtown College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from The Catholic University of America. He has published six books, The Challenge of Populism, Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order, The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, Rethinking the Teaching of American History, The Culture of Immodesty in American Life and Politics: The Modest Republic, and The Catholic Writings of Orestes Brownson. He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Humanitas and was president of The Academy of Philosophy and Letters and the National Humanities Institute.

Justin B. Litke
Catholic University of America

Justin B. Litke earned the Ph.D. with distinction at Georgetown University, where he studied with the great George W. Carey. As an undergraduate at Catholic University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Politics and Philosophy. His doctoral work explored the idea of American exceptionalism, arguing that its origin and significance are due to a series of intellectual changes in the course of American history. It became the basis for his book, Twilight of the Republic: Empire and Exceptionalism in the American Political Tradition (2013). His writing has also appeared in Society, Anamnesis, The Journal of Church and State, and at The American Conservative online.

Dr. Litke’s work centers on the transmission of political traditions through time, especially focusing on the intersection of political theory and practical politics. He is currently at work on a manuscript that argues for the deep connection between the American republican tradition and a restrained foreign policy. Another manuscript on American statesman Henry Clay is also in the works.

Jeffrey O. Nelson
The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal

Jeff Nelson is Executive Director and CEO of The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, which he co-founded with Annette Kirk in 1995. Prior to that, he spent the better part of three decades as a senior officer at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, most recently serving as the Institute’s Chief Academic Officer. He holds a B.A. from the University of Detroit, an M.A. from Yale University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. For ten years he edited The Intercollegiate Review, The University Bookman, and was founding editor and publisher of ISI Books. He was also president of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. He is treasurer of the Edmund Burke Society of America, and editorial advisor to its journal, Studies in Edmund Burke and His Time. Dr. Nelson is the editor or co-editor of several books, including Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, The Political Principles of Robert Taft by Russell Kirk and James McClellan, Perfect Sowing by Henry Regnery, and Remembered Past by John Lukacs.

Shaun Rieley
The American Conservative

Shaun Rieley is senior director for advancement & programs at The American Ideas Institute, which publishes The American Conservative where he leads fundraising efforts, advises on strategy, and manages the Constitutional Fellows Program.  

He is also a visiting fellow and lecturer at Hillsdale College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington D.C. where he teaches courses on political philosophy and government.

He has previously held positions at several nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, focused on veterans policy, education policy, and philanthropy.

He holds a Ph.D. in political theory and American government from The Catholic University of America, and an M.A. from St. John’s College, Annapolis, where he studied philosophy, political theory, and literature. As an undergraduate he studied political science at the University of Delaware. 

Shaun served as an enlisted infantryman in the Army National Guard for nine years, which included overseas tours in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A native of Delaware, he lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.

Luke C. Sheahan
Duquesne University

Luke C. Sheahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duquesne University and a Non-Resident Scholar in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches the intersection of First Amendment rights and political theory. Sheahan’s scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in Humanitas, The Political Science Reviewer, and Perspectives on Political Science and he has lectured widely on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. His popular writing has appeared in Law and Liberty, Real Clear Civics, and other venues. He is author of Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism (2020). Sheahan is also working on a manuscript tentatively titled Pluralism and Toleration: Difference, Justice, and the Social Group.

Sheahan received a PhD and MA in political theory from the Catholic University of America and a B.S. in political science from the Honors College at Oregon State University. From 2016-2018 he was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University and from 2018-2019 he was Associate Director and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Freedom Project, an academic institute at Wellesley College. Sheahan is a five-time recipient of the Humane Studies Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies, a 2014 recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a 2015-2016 recipient of a dissertation research fellowship from the Catholic University of America, and a 2018 recipient of the Leonard Liggio Memorial Fellowship.

C. R. Wiley
Author and Minister

Rev. C. R. Wiley has written for Touchstone Magazine, Modern Reformation, Sacred Architecture, The Imaginative Conservative, Front Porch Republic, National Review Online, and First Things, among others. His most recent book is In the House of Tom Bombadil (2021) He is also the author of The Household and the War for the Cosmos (2019). His short fiction has appeared in The Mythic Circle (published by the Mythopoeic Society) and elsewhere, and the first book in his young adult fantasy series, The Purloined Boy was published by Canonball Books (2017).

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