Stephen H. Wirls joined the Political Science department in 1994 and the Philosophy department in 2021. He teaches courses on political and moral philosophy, including Introduction to Philosophy and Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, as well as upper level courses in American Political Thought, Modern Political Philosophy, and Philosophy and Religion. He has also taught frequently, and happily, in the Search program.
In 2008, Professor Wirls won the Rhodes Campus Life Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and in 2010 received the Alpha Omicron Pi Professor of the Year. Before coming to Rhodes, he taught at Franklin and Marshall, Kenyon, and Cornell University, where he received the Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Professor Wirls has published articles, essays, and book chapters on judicial power, the presidency, liberalism, Roger Scruton's conservatism, Jefferson's understanding of civic education, and the origins of Hamilton's understanding of political obligation. He is the author (with Daniel Wirls) of The Invention of the United States Senate and is currently working on Machiavelli, religion, and politics in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.
He has also served as a consultant to the Memphis City Council, the Memphis Charter Commission, and the Metro Charter Commission.
B.A., Kenyon College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)