MARK BUTTON portrait
  • Associate Instructor, Political Science Department

Professional Organizations

  • Critical Suicidology . 04/03/2017 - present. Position : Member.
  • Consortium of Social Science Associations. 03/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • Western Political Science Associattion. 09/2000 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Political Science Association. 09/2000 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. Emerson.

Courses I Teach

  • 5000 - Foundations of Political Thought
    This is an introductory course in ancient political thought. The primary focus is on Plato and Aristotle, but we will begin with a study of ancient Greek tragedy. The thinkers assembled in this course continue to be studied today because they offer visions of political and ethical life that remain exemplars of sustained reflection on the promise and peril of collective human existence. The works discussed in this class are “foundational” to western political thought because they provide some of the most significant contributions to our understanding of politics in general, and to essential political concepts, such as: law, government, justice, power, authority, leadership, and education.
  • 5010 - Modern Political Thought
    This course provides students with an introduction to the study of modern Western political thought, from the late renaissance to the end of the 19th century. We will study a wide range of important modern political thinkers, including: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. We will also consider a host of significant moral and political controversies that defined western modernity and with it, our contemporary social world.
  • 5025 - American Political Thought
    This course provides students with an introduction to the study of American political thought from the colonial period to the age of Lincoln. The course is divided into the following thematic sections: (1) Colonial Origins: Faith, Order, and Liberty with a focus on the contributions of Puritanism to American political and cultural development; (2) Right to Revolution? in which we address the moral and political ideas that helped shape the American Revolution and the responses to it; (3)Novus Ordo Seclorum, is dedicated to a critical study of the constitution and the debates that surrounded its ratification; (4) American Democracy: Promise and Peril focuses on early nineteenth century politics, slavery, the exclusion of women, and the forced removal of native inhabitants, with particular focus given to the justifications for these and other practices of repression; (5) Lincoln and the Refounding of America,assesses Lincoln'™s role in American political life before and after the Civil War; and (6) The American Self: Democracy and Individualism concludes the course with a study of the writings of Emerson and Thoreau.

Teaching Projects

  • Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation Fellowship (ENACT), Brandeis University, . Project Lead: Mark Button. Collaborators: Anthony Mastracci. International Center for Ethics, Brandeis University 05/16/2016 - present. Total Budget: $2,000.00.

Superior Teaching Award

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2007-2008