Ian Crowe

Ian Crowe

Ian Crowe is a Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center and director of the Edmund Burke Society of America. He is currently an associate professor of History at Brewton-Parker College, Mount Vernon, Georgia, and book review editor of the journal Studies in Burke and His Time.

Ian’s research interest is the career and writings of the eighteenth-century Irish politician and thinker Edmund Burke, regarded by many as the father of modern intellectual conservatism, and a figure whose thought was central to the writings of Russell Kirk. He also writes and lectures on the wider history of the development of British and American conservative thought since the French Revolution. His publications include An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life and Thought of Edmund Burke (2005), The Enduring Edmund Burke (1997), Unwelcome Truths (1997), “The Hereditary Peerage: a Voice in and for Rural Britain” in Another Country, and a number of articles and reviews in Modern Age, The Civil War Book Review, The University Bookman, and Conference and Common Room.

Ian's monograph study of Edmund Burke’s “pre-political” writings, Patriotism and Public Spirit: Edmund Burke and the Role of the Critic in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain, is scheduled for publication by Stanford University Press in August 2012. See details at Amazon or the publisher. He is also compiling and editing an anthology of some of Burke’s less familiar works. Provisionally entitled “Edmund Burke and the Politics of Common Sense,” this project is designed to increase awareness of the breadth and diversity of Burke’s thought among students and the wider public.

Ian is concerned to make Burke’s historical and intellectual influence on conservative thought in Europe and the United States recognizable to young scholars, and it was this interest that first brought him to the Russell Kirk Center. His efforts to move Burke studies on from the ideologically driven debates of the Cold War period are also a tribute to the spirit of scholarship in which Russell Kirk, Peter Stanlis, and Francis Canavan invigorated Burke studies and ensured that Burke’s thought would remain vital and accessible to future generations.

Ian studied Modern History at the University of Oxford and earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before moving to Chapel Hill, he and his wife were resident in Mecosta, where he served as program director for the Kirk Center from 2000 to 2002.

Real progress consists in the movement of mankind toward the understanding of norms, and toward conformity to norms. Real decadence consists in the movement of mankind away from the understanding of norms, and away from obedience to norms.

Russell Kirk, Enemies of the Permanent Things, 1969

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Highlights

Roots in Russian

Newsletter coverThe Spring 2018 Permanent Things Newsletter is now available. News items include an announcement of Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order recently published in Russian for the first time. Translator Dr. Marina Kizima, a professor at Moscow State Institute, was a Wilbur Fellow at the Kirk Center while researching and writing on American literature, culture, and intellectual traditions.

May 2018

In Memoriam: Sally Sluhan Wright (1947–2018)

Sally Wright, a long-time family friend of the Kirks and the Kirk Center, passed away on June 15, 2018. Her father Clyde Sluhan, founder of Master Chemical Company in Ohio, and his wife Marian were great friends of Russell Kirk. The Sluhans exchanged many visits with the Kirks and on one occasion brought Count Nikolai Tolstoy, the Russian-English writer and politician, to visit the Kirks.

Sally was a prolific writer of mystery novels and an Edgar Alan Poe Award Finalist. Sally’s Ben Reese series chronicles the investigations of a WWII Ranger turned academic archivist in six mysteries that unfold in Britain, the U.S., and Italy where he researches arcane artifacts while seeking some sort of justice for the victims of unsolved murders. In her Jo Grant mystery series, the story is driven by the conflicts and emotional connections in three family businesses in the horse industry in Kentucky in the early 1960s. The University Bookman reviewed both series in an essay called “The Moral Imagination in the Mystery Novels of Sally Wright” by Ashlee Cowles.

Reviewers have compared her work to that of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Josephine Tey, Margery Allingham, and Ngaio Marsh. Sally said that her literary influences ranged from all of those to Tolstoy and Jane Austen. “And yet it’s C. S. Lewis who’s probably influenced me most, through the whole body of his work, as a thinker, a person, and a writer,” she wrote. “In his Chronicles of Narnia and his metaphysical novels, The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters, he uses popular fiction to talk about what T. S. Eliot called ‘the permanent things’—consideration of morality, of origin, and spiritual meaning. It was those books that started me thinking about writing mysteries to begin with.”

Sally and her husband Joe were stalwart supporters of the Kirk Center. In honor of her memory, the Kirk Center is featuring the extensive personal interview that Sally conducted with Dr. Kirk.

Jun 2018

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Seminars This Spring

For a long weekend in March, Hillsdale College Honors Students gathered at the Kirk Center to explore the theme “Man as Maker in Moral Perspective.” Professor of Classics Eric Hutchinson guided the students on the complex topics of transhumanism and cloning, followed by readings from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction stories. Although the March winds deterred students from an afternoon walk, they rounded out the weekend with piano-playing and singing at the Kirk house.

Hillsdale Seminar March 2018

On April 26–29, the Kirk Center welcomes this year’s recipients of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s prestigious Richard M. Weaver Fellowships for a seminar about Plato’s writings on education, sponsored by The Liberty Fund of Indianapolis. Since 1964, the Weaver Fellowship Program has identified and supported graduate students committed to freedom-oriented teaching at the college level. This year, fifteen students from across the country were selected as Weaver Fellows. Dr. David Corey, professor of Political Science at Baylor University, and Dr. Richard Gamble, professor of history at Hillsdale College, will lead the discussions.

Apr 2018