Tel: (415) 422-6356

Tom Cavanaugh


Professor Cavanaugh's research and teaching interests concern the conjunction of philosophical and theological ethics as found in everyday life as well as in the medical and military arenas. An allied area of research and teaching concerns his interest in the Western religious tradition of thought, with a focus on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Tel: (415) 422-6349

Robert Elias


Robert Elias has taught in the Politics Department at USF since 1989. He founded the USF Legal Studies and the Peace & Justice Studies programs. He coordinates the Legal Studies, Criminal Justice Studies, and the 4+3 Law programs, teaches in the Honors Humanities and BA/MA in International Studies programs, and is the Editor of Peace Review: An International Journal of Social Justice.

Tel: (415) 422-4372

Kouslaa Kessler-Mata

Assistant Professor

Dr. Kessler-Mata's research interests include: democratic politics; the normative dimensions of policy making; negotiating political boundaries between local and tribal governments; the rights and powers of local government; and Federal Indian law in general.

Tel: (415) 422-5867

Patrick Murphy


Patrick Murphy is a Professor in the Department of Politics. He is on leave for the 2013-14 academic year. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master's of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas-Austin. He received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. His professional experience prior to coming to USF includes teaching as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin. Professor Murphy also has worked for the RAND Corporation and at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C.

Tel: (415) 422-6074

Kathryn Nasstrom


Kathryn Nasstrom, Associate Professor of History, teaches in the U.S. field and specializes in women's history, oral history, and civil rights history. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993 and has been at USF since 1994.

Tel: (415) 422-5116

Jeffrey Paris

Associate Professor

Jeffrey Paris joined the USF faculty in 2001, and has taught over twenty different courses ranging from Political Philosophy, Science Fiction, and Imprisonment, to current issues in Environmental Ethics.

Tel: (415) 422-5414

Kimberly Richman

Associate Professor

Kimberly Richman received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include law and society, crime and deviance, family law, gender and sexuality, and reintegrative programming for prison inmates. She is the author of the book Courting Change (NYU Press) and multiple articles and book chapters. She is also President of the non-profit Alliance for C.H.A.N.G.E.

Tel: (415) 422-5624

Cecília Santos

Associate Professor

Cecília MacDowell Santos received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She teaches courses on gender and development, globalization, sociology of law, and Brazilian culture and society. Her research focuses on legal mobilization within and across national borders, violence, memory, and women's and human rights. She is interested in investigating how legal mobilization relates to politics and shapes the recognition of violence and subjects of rights on the basis of gender, race, class, and/or sexual orientation. This was examined in her book, Women's Police Stations: Gender, Violence, and Justice in São Paulo, and guides her current projects on transnational legal mobilization and human rights in Brazil and in Portugal.

Tel: 415-422-5063

James Lance Taylor


James Lance Taylor received his graduate degrees at the University of Southern California (USC). His teaching and research scholarly interests are in religion and politics in the United States, race and ethnic politics, African American political history, social movements, political ideology, law and public policy, and the U.S. Presidency. He is author of the book Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama.

Tel: (415) 422-6789

Manuel Vargas

Professor of Philosophy and Law

Manuel Vargas is Professor of Philosophy and Law.

His primary research interests include moral agency, philosophical issues in the law, and Latin American philosophy. He splits his teaching between the Philosophy Department, the Honors Program in the Humanities, and the School of Law.

Website. Course information. CV.

Tel: 415-422-6861

Brian Weiner

Associate Professor

Brian Weiner received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He specializes in political theory (from the ancients to contemporary theory), American political theory, and public law. Weiner was the recipient of the 2003-2004 University Distinguished Teaching Award. His book, Sins of the Parents: The Politics of National Apologies in the United States, was published by Temple University Press in 2005. The book examines the political and legal issues raised by recent attempts by the U.S. government to redress past wrongs.