Senior Fellows

AAI senior fellows are active participants and shapers of our intellectual programming and in some cases teach in our summer seminars.

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Prof. Sarah byers

Sarah Byers is an associate professor of Augustine and Ancient Greek Philosophy at Boston College. She received her PH.D in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include Augustine, Hellenistic philosophy, the History of ethics, the History of metaphysics (especially ancient and medieval). 

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Dr. Thomas ByrnE

Thomas Byrne is a neurologist in Boston, Massachusetts and is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a very active member of the AAI community.

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Prof. William English, Ph.D.

William (Bill) English is Assistant Professor of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. His research interests include ethical persuasion, institutional corruption, experimental social science, and the biological foundations of social behavior. He is currently studying the architecture of public trust and the varieties of corruption in political institutions.

Bill was the first director of the Abigail Adams Institute.


Prof. Maura Jane Farrelly

Maura Jane Farrelly is associate professor and chair of American Studies at Brandeis University, where she also directs the Journalism Program. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Emory University, with an emphasis on religion and the colonial and early-American periods.

Farrelly is the author of Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860 (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her current research project is entitled Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent: A Story of Mystery and Tragedy and the Closing of the American Frontier. It uses the lives of three people in Wyoming at the turn of the 20th century to explore a topic that touches the lives of many Americans today -- the right to be forgotten.

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Dr. Angela Franks

Angela Franks, Ph.D., is a theologian, speaker, writer, and mother of six. She serves as Professor of Theology at the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization at St. John's Seminary in Boston.

Her areas of specialty include the theology of the body, the New Evangelization, the Trinity, Christology, and the thought of John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar.

She teaches the Institute's new Mini-Course: Introduction to Christianity. 

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Prof. Jeffrey Hanson

Jeffrey Hanson received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in 2005. He was an adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College from 2005 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015 he was a research fellow at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. He remains an honorary fellow of their Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry.

He is the editor of Kierkegaard as Phenomenologist: An Experiment (Northwestern University Press) and co-editor with Michael R. Kelly of Michel Henry: The Affects of Thought (Bloomsbury). His first monograph, Kierkegaard and the Life of Faith: The Aesthetic, the Ethical, and the Religious in "Fear and Trembling" was published by Indiana University Press in 2017.  Dr. Hanson’s research focuses on issues in philosophy of religion, phenomenology, aesthetics, and ethics.


Dr. Danilo Petranovich

Dr. Petranovich is the Director of the Abigail Adams Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Institute provides supplementary humanistic education to the Harvard intellectual community by exploring questions of deep human concern that cut across the boundaries of academic disciplines. 

Previously, Dr. Petranovich taught political science at Duke University and Yale University. His scholarly expertise is in nineteenth century European and American political and social thought. He is currently writing a book, contracted with Yale University Press, on nationalism and the North in antebellum America. 

He is frequently seen in Harvard’s Kirkland House, where he is a dedicated member of the Senior Common Room. 


Prof. Francesco Piatti

Francesco "Chip" Piatti has over twenty-six years teaching at the Boston Architectural College and has an intimate knowledge of the convergence of architecture and history. Prior to his appointment at BAC, he also taught at Curry College, Fisher College and Bunker Hill Community College. Apart from the areas of history and architecture Prof. Piatti is also regarded as an expert in theatrical arts, having taught courses in the same at both Curry and Fisher College.

Prof. Piatti is the Institute's senior adviser on visual arts programming.


Matthew wilson Ph. D.

Matthew F. Wilson, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. Matthew holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Baylor University, a M.A. in the Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a M.B.A. from Indiana University, and a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University. He has taught courses in applied ethics that include business ethics, the philosophy of love and sex, and the seven deadly sins. He is interested in the study of individual virtues and the issues of contemporary virtue ethics in addition to the history of philosophy.

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Prof. Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D.

Tyler VanderWeele is Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Co-Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality, faculty affiliate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and Director of the Program on Integrative Knowledge and Human Flourishing at Harvard University.