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James Madison College resumes annual Jack Paynter Lecture

February 21, 2022 - Beth Brauer

Michigan State University’s James Madison College welcomes Susan Collins, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, as the 2022 Jack Paynter Lecture guest speaker. Titled “The Spartans and the Ancient Regime: Political Order in a World of Conflict,” Collins’ lecture will be held in Club Spartan, located on the third floor of Case Hall, at 6 p.m., March 24. The event also will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

headshot of Susan Collins

Collins, who specializes in ancient political philosophy and is book review editor of the Review of Politics, joins a group of esteemed scholars since the Jack Paynter Lecture was established in 2006.

The lecture celebrates the life of JMC founding faculty member Jack Paynter who served Michigan State as an inspirational teacher and scholar from 1969-1982. He then went on to a successful career at the University of Dallas, becoming both a professor and provost.

Paynter taught courses on a wide range of subjects, including liberalism, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Plato and American constitutional law. Established after Paynter’s passing in 2005 by former students, friends, family and colleagues, the endowed lecture brings renowned speakers to Madison to discuss historical, philosophical, social, legal and political subjects in the spirit of Paynter’s career and intellectual curiosities.

Collins’ lecture will examine reasons why Classical Sparta was once admired, the challenge the Spartan regime poses for classical political philosophers and the ways this regime can inform problems of political order today.