Peter Lindsay Receives the 2020 APSA Distinguished Teaching Award

The APSA Distinguished Teaching Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and graduate teaching of political science at two- and four-year institutions.

Peter Lindsay is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Georgia State University.  He received his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Before coming to Georgia State, he held positions at the University of Toronto, Harvard University and the University of New Hampshire.  He has received the Georgia Board of Regents Hall of Fame Teaching Award, the Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award and the Georgia State University Distinguished Honors Professor Award.  His research focuses on matters of economic justice, as well as pedagogy in higher education.  He is the author of two books – Creative Individualism: The Democratic Vision of C. B. Macpherson (SUNY, 1996) and The Craft of University Teaching (University of Toronto Press, 2018) – and his scholarly articles have appeared in outlets such as the Contemporary Political Theory, Polity, Political Studies, History of Political Thought, PS: Policy and Politics.  He has also written op-eds for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation, and The Hill, where he is a Contributor.  He is the co-founder and co-coordinator of the Georgia State University Prison Education Project.

Citation from the Award Committee:

It is a privilege to recognize Dr. Peter Lindsay, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Georgia State University, as the recipient of the 2020 APSA Distinguished Teaching Award.  Dr. Lindsay’s record is distinguished by three prominent and exceptional qualities.

First, his dedication to teaching and learning is exhibited across multiple academic audiences throughout the community.  Based on two years of independent teaching in jails and prisons, Dr. Lindsay co-founded the Georgia State Prison Education Project in 2016, where he teaches in state and federal penitentiaries and halfway houses and creates opportunities for interaction between current or former inmates and Georgia State University students.  He has also taught in high schools and nursing homes.  Nominators praise the sincere curiosity that he brings to the exploration of thorny moral and policy questions within these various settings, and applaud his authenticity, candor, directness, expertise, and compassion.  As a teacher and scholar, Dr. Lindsay bridges the academic world and the practical concerns that animate philosophical principles.

Second, Dr. Lindsay has produced original scholarship on the practice of teaching, and has done so in addition to a vibrant record of scholarly publication within the subfield of political philosophy.  His 2018 book, The Craft of University Teaching (University of Toronto Press), is evidence of a thoughtful approach to innovation based on experiences with diverse audiences, and nominators comment that his scholarship of teaching and learning demonstrates a deep and sustained attention to what effective teaching can achieve.  He has been a lifelong student and respected resource on pedagogical approaches, generously sharing his perspectives with colleagues and peers across the country and around the world.

Finally, Dr. Lindsay’s record of teaching excellence has been sustained over a long period of time.  Dr. Lindsay has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Georgia Board of Regents Hall of Fame teaching award, which spans all 37 campuses of the University System of Georgia.  As one nominator writes, “He has instilled the habit of critical thought and philosophical inquiry in a generation of students – many of whom happened into his classroom on the strength of his reputation as a teacher and left with a deep appreciation of the practical importance of what classical political theory in the daily practice of politics.”

For these reasons, Dr. Peter Lindsay exemplifies excellent teaching, and he is richly deserving of this additional honor, the 2020 APSA Distinguished Teaching Award.

APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Rachel Paine Caufield (chair), Drake University; Dr. Meredith Rolfe, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Dr. Jose D. Villalobos, University of Texas at El Paso.