Friday, October 13, 2017

Introducing New Faculty: Gregory McBrayer

The Department is extremely pleased to welcome three new faculty members this year.  One of them is Dr. Gregory A. McBrayer, Assistant Professor of political science and Director of the AU Core Curriculum (the others will be introduced in subsequent posts).  Dr. McBrayer teaches courses in political philosophy and international relations.  Prior to Ashland, he taught at Morehead State University and Gettysburg College and was a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University.  His research interests are primarily in Classical Political Thought with a secondary interest in Medieval Political Thought, especially Arabic or Islamic Political Thought. He has published articles in Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy and Kentron: Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Antique, and reviews in a variety of professional journals.  He is the author (with Mary Nichols and Denise Schaeffer) of Plato’s Euthydemus (Focus, 2011) and is the editor of Xenophon: The Shorter Writings (forthcoming from Cornell University Press). 

Dr. McBrayer was educated at Emory University (B.A.), the University of Georgia (M.A.), and the University of Maryland (Ph.D.).  

An Air Force brat, Dr. McBrayer grew up all over the world, including Colorado Springs, CO, and Berlin, Germany, when the Berlin Wall was still standing.  Some of his earliest reflections on politics came from pondering this enormous edifice that separated peoples and, to his mind, held citizens hostage by refusing to let them leave.  But he’s always called Georgia home, and his parents, sister, and extended family still reside there.

Dr. McBrayer says that his interest in liberal education was sparked in large part by accident.  He was fulfilling a humanities requirement by taking a class called “Classical Political Thought,” and he can remember saying to himself, “This will be the most boring class you take in college.” Instead, an outrageous claim made by the philosopher Socrates in Plato’s dialogue Protagoras that no one voluntarily does wrong left him at a loss, and he began his studies of the liberal arts in earnest. His interest in precisely this question carried all the way through to his doctoral studies: he wrote his dissertation on Aristotle’s treatment of Socrates’s claim, often called the Socratic Paradox, in the Nicomachean Ethics

Among his hobbies are working out, playing and watching baseball (he’s a big Braves fan), reading, writing, and traveling. 

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