Editors and Editorial Board


Olivia Rogers – Olivia is a Senior in Political Science and Pre-Law with a minor in Philosophy. She is from the great town of Gardner, known for its fields and town coffee shop. A fascination with the philosophical roots of the American founding as well as education policy drives her to learn as much as possible from early thinkers. Reading those thinkers firsthand has proved incredibly valuable to her studies and she can’t wait to continue working with Primary Texts.

Dr. Laurie Johnson (Political Science) – Director of the Primary Texts Certificate program and Professor of Political Science. Her research interests include early modern and modern social contract theory, the application of political philosophy to international relations theory, the study of honor in modern liberal societies, contemporary ideologies, and the political thought of Carl Jung.

Faculty Editorial Board (see biographies below):

Dr. Laurie Johnson (Political Science)

Dr. Benjamin McCloskey (Classical Studies)

Dr. John Warner (Political Science)

Student Editorial Board/Reviewers:

Andrew Brandt – Andy is a Senior majoring in English Literature and with a minor in Classical Studies. He comes to K-State from Champaign, Illinois, though he’s lived all over the Midwest. Andy is fascinated by the connections between the ideas passed down through history, and the Primary Texts program is a perfect opportunity to continue exploring these ideas and hearing what others have to say about them.

Kayla Davis – Kayla grew up mostly in Derby, KS (right outside of Wichita) but spent a lot of time in Spearfish, South Dakota, which she calls her “true hometown.” Currently, she is in her 7th and final year of undergraduate study, and will be graduating with a B.S. Chemistry, B.S. Biochemistry, B.A. Philosophy, a minor in Classical Literature, and a Primary Texts Certificate. “The study of primary literature is a must have in my academic world,” she says. She believes that there is no greater depth or scope to understanding humanity than through reading a written-record of its past, but that this is only the first step of primary texts scholarship. We must then analyze these records, together, with a constructive vision of the future.

Nathan Dowell – Nathan was raised in Liberal, Kansas. He is a Senior who uses primary texts to explore the connections between his two majors: History and English Literature. His primary academic focus is on Medieval history, but he also enjoys researching other eras. Nathan is a member of the K-State forensics team, which he believes allows him to explain his interests for new audiences. In 2019, Nathan became the AFA National Champion in Impromptu Speaking. His other interests include reading obscure detective stories, making bad puns, and designing board games.
Emma Herrman – Emma is a returning K-State student who graduated in 2016 with a degree in English Literature. She has been working in the Deans’ Office in the College of Arts and Sciences for a little over a year now and found that she missed the riveting discussions she used to have in her literature courses. Thankfully, she got the opportunity to return to K-State as a student and is now finishing up her Primary Texts Certificate. Always an avid reader, her ultimate goal in life is to one day work at a publishing agency. She hopes that maybe one day she’ll create literature that makes people think long after she’s gone.

Natalie Jabben – Natalie is a Sophomore in Philosophy and Political Science from Olathe, Kansas. At K-State, she is involved in the Model United Nations team and in the Student Governing Association as a student senator. She enjoys reading and having discussions about philosophy in her free time. After repeated exposure to primary texts in history, philosophy, and political science classes taken through her first few semesters at K-State, Natalie began to realize that these sources tied together her academic interests in a unique way. She finds herself referencing the same ancient texts in discussions that occur in almost all of her classes. She hopes to continue the study of primary texts throughout her life.

Clayton Jarrard – Clayton grew up in North Carolina and other regions of the South. He is currently a senior studying Anthropology with a minor in Queer Studies at Kansas State University. His interests revolve around topics of sexuality and gender, religious studies, and identity. Being captivated by the art of storytelling from a young age, he strives to tell stories and share ideas in new and compelling ways through his work. Clayton sees primary texts as foundational to the ways we have come to view the world and considers the deep understandings and concepts within them to be especially relevant today.

Quinn Noone – Quinn Noone is a junior at Kansas State University originally from Sedgwick, KS. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. She is involved in being an Art Ambassador for the Department of Art at KSU and working as the Swim Program Supervisor for the UFM & K-State Global Campus. She is intrigued to be a peer reviewer for Live Ideas and is excited to broaden her horizons in the area of Art and Primary Texts.

Alissa Rehmert – Raised in the humble town of Purdy, Missouri, Alissa is a sophomore in English (Creative Writing) with a minor in Philosophy. In her free time, she enjoys reading and collecting classic literature, writing poetry, painting, embroidering, and playing board games and video games with her husband. As for academics, she is primarily interested in moral, religious, and political philosophy as applied to classical literature. She finds the complex and timeless interweaving of individual’s thoughts and expressions found within primary texts deeply enlightening and modernly pertinent.

Mawi Sonna – Mawi graduated from K-State in May 2019 with a degree in English and minors in Spanish and Art. She is now pursuing a MA in English at K-State. Her academic interests involve the interdisciplinary fields of art and creative writing. Though she greatly enjoys reading, she finds even more fulfillment in creating her own work. She finds it amazing that what someone created hundreds of years ago could be studied today in hopes of learning about the world around them and how it applies to our present world. What originally drew Mawi to primary texts was her realization that the thoughts and ideas that people had previously written about are still relevant to our emotional, communal, spiritual, and intellectual experience today.

Faculty Reviewers:

Kathleen Antonioli (Modern Languages) – Specializes in Modern French literature, literary history, the sociology of literature, theories of modernism, women’s writing, feminist theory, Québec literature and theories of francophone literature.

Mark Crosby (English) -Director of the Digital Humanities Center, Mark’s main avenues of research are Digital Humanities (DH) pedagogies and methodologies, and the literature and visual culture of the British Romantic period. He has published two books on William Blake and articles on Blake, William Godwin, Thomas Paine, William Hayley, and DH pedagogy.

John Fliter (Political Science) – Author of articles on freedom of speech, church-state relations, the jurisprudence of Justice David Souter, and prison reform litigation. His recent book, Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression, co-authored with Derek Hoff, was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2012. He also published a book entitled, Prisoners’ Rights: The Supreme Court and Evolving Standards of Decency, by Greenwood Press (2001). He received the 2010 K-State Presidential Teaching Award and was named the 2013-14 Coffman University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

Carol Franko (English) – Writes on utopian and science fiction and in contemporary fantasy. Her articles have appeared in Science-Fiction StudiesExtrapolation, Journal on the Fantastic in the Arts, and Mythlore.

Sara Luly (Modern Languages) – Specializes in late 18th and early 19th century literature and culture, with an emphasis on German Romanticism and Gender Studies; German Gothic literature and questions of masculinity in the works of German Romanticism.

Jim Hohenbary (Nationally Competitive Scholarships) – Directs the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at Kansas State University. He advises all students interested in nationally and internationally competitive scholarships. He is also Associate Director of K-State’s Honors program. His academic area is English literature with a focus on creative writing.

Laurie Johnson (Political Science) – Director of the Primary Texts Certificate program and Professor of Political Science. Her research interests include early modern and modern social contract theory, the application of political philosophy to international relations theory, the study of honor in modern liberal societies, contemporary ideologies, and the political thought of Carl Jung.

Benjamin McCloskey (Classical Studies) – Member of instructional team, Primary Texts core course. Director, Classical Studies Minor. He writes on the intersection of philosophy and historiography in Socratic literature of the 4th century BCE, impact of narratological approaches on our understanding of philosophy and authority in Xenophon’s corpus, construction of ethnic and gender identities in the literature of the Second Sophistic (1st to 3rd centuries CE).

Shannon Skelton (Theatre) – Member of instructional team, Primary Texts core course. He has published on topics ranging from American culture to punk subcultures and graphic novels. His plays have been performed in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wisconsin. He founded and directed the Madison Young Playwrights program in Madison, Wisconsin in which he and other teaching artists worked with more than 100 middle and high school dramatists to create 10 minute plays. His book The Late Sam Shepard is forthcoming (2015). Research interests include: Critical Theory, Popular Culture, Humanities, Late 20th Century American Drama, Contemporary Adaptations of Greek Tragedy, Circus, Re-Enactments, and Horror Cinema.

Chris Sorensen (Physics) – Member of instructional team, Primary Texts core course. Research includes experimental and theoretical studies of light scattering by particles of arbitrary size and shape; synthesis, solution properties and self-assembly of nano-particles; synthesis of graphene; aggregation and gelation kinetics in aerosols and colloids, fractal aggregate properties; and physics of flow-based refrigeration systems.

John Warner (Political Science) – Member of instructional team, Primary Texts core course. His research interests center on how politics structure experiences of intimacy. He has published articles that track this broad theme in the Journal of Politics, History of Political Thought, and The Review of Politics, and has published a book, Rousseau and the Problem of Human Relations, with Penn State University Press. He is currently working on a book manuscript concerning the role of friendship in early modern political thought.

Founding Editors:

Jakob Hanschu (Editor: F2018 – U2019) – Jakob is originally from Hillsboro, Kansas. He graduated from K-State in May 2019 with degrees in anthropology and geography, as well as a minor in statistics and undergraduate certificates in GIS and primary texts. During his time at K-State, Jakob worked extensively with primary texts and finds value in their ability to expose him and  to new and unfiltered ideas that he can then interpret and apply to his research.

Dr. Laurie Johnson (Political Science) – Director of the Primary Texts Certificate program and Professor of Political Science. Her research interests include early modern and modern social contract theory, the application of political philosophy to international relations theory, the study of honor in modern liberal societies, contemporary ideologies, and the political thought of Carl Jung.

Previous Student Reviewers:

John Dotterweich (Reviewer F2018 to S2019) – John graduate from K-State in May 2019 with a bachelors in secondary education with an emphasis in social studies. John believes that understanding where we came from is paramount to being able to understand where we are going. Using primary texts to explore the ideas and values of authors allows one to use their own reasons to interpret their meaning. John feels that introducing primary texts to younger students gives them the foundation for understanding broader societal concepts at a much younger age. 

Jessica Johns (Reviewer: F2018 – S2018)  – Jessica, originally from Richfield, Kansas, graduate from K-State in May 2019 with degrees in Philosophy and Political Science and a Primary Texts certificate. While at K-State, she developed a passion for political philosophy and normative ethics; some of her favorite K-State courses were Religion and Politics and American Political Thought.  Jessica views primary texts as a means to intimately interact with the thoughts and emotions of past thinkers who were responsible for some of the most defining movements in human history.

Andrew Le (Reviewer: F2018) – Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Andrew graduated from K-State in December 2019 with degrees in Political Science and International Studies. He views primary texts as a theoretical and cultural foundation to interdisciplinary study. He firmly believes in the value of primary texts and recommends KSU’s Primary Texts Program to any student interested in interdisciplinary study, no matter their major.