Published: July 30, 2020

Among those announced include faculty, student and postdoctoral visiting scholars from history, classics, philosophy, English, Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures, and theatre and dance

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization has announced three postdoctoral visiting scholars for the 2020-21 academic year: Álvaro Caso Bello (history), Catherine (Catie) Steidl (classics) and Tim Burkhardt (philosophy). 

The junior scholars in residence will join the previously named Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy John C. Eastman and Senior Scholar in Residence, Elizabeth C’de Baca Eastman, at the center. Robert Merry, also named earlier this year as a 2020-21 Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy, has opted to defer his appointment until 2021-22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Three CU Boulder professors will serve as 2020-21 Benson Center Faculty Fellows: Brian Talbot (philosophy), Jillian Porter (Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures) and Kevin Rich (theatre and dance).  

CU Boulder doctoral students Jenna Gersie (English) and Theodore (TJ) Mclemore (literature) have been named Benson Center Harper PhD Fellows. 


Álvaro Caso Bello


Catherine (Catie) Steidl

Burkhardt Headshot

Tim Burkhardt

2020-21 Benson Center Postdoctoral Visiting Scholars

Álvaro Caso Bello is a PhD Candidate in history at the Johns Hopkins University, where he received his MA in history. He holds an MA in historia del mundo hispánico from the Universitat Jaume I, Spain, and a BA in humanidades-historia with a minor in estudios latinoamericanos from the Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay. Among other honors, he received the 2019 Fred A. and Annarie P. Cazel Endowed Fellowship from the Johns Hopkins University Department of History. In fall 2020 he is scheduled to teach HIST 1028: Introduction to Modern Latin American History since 1800.

Bello said he is “honored and thrilled” to join the community of scholars at the Benson Center, the History Department and CU Boulder.

Scholar in Residence Catherine (Catie) Steidl has conducted archaeological fieldwork in multiple countries, most recently as a post-doctoral fellow at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2018-2019 she was a lecturer at Dartmouth College’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. She received her PhD from Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World in 2018. As a post-baccalaureate student, she studied classical archaeology at the University of Tübingen, Germany and earned her BA in archaeology (Honors) and German studies at Wesleyan University.

In fall 2020, Steidel will teach CLAS/ARTH 4/5149: Greek Cities and Sanctuaries.

Steidel is excited to join the “really interesting (and highly interdisciplinary) group of students and scholars assembled at the Benson Center” for the academic year.  

Snider Scholar in Residence Tim Burkhardt received his PhD in philosophy from Duke University in 2020. Burkhardt earned a BA at CU Boulder summa cum laude in 2012. His areas of specialization are ethics and applied ethics. While at Duke, Burkhardt was rated among the top 5% of undergraduate instructors for fall 2018 and fall 2019. 

Burkhardt will teach PHIL 1200: Contemporary Social Problems in fall 2020. 

Burkhardt is “especially excited” about the opportunity to teach at his alma mater.

About the Benson Center’s Interdisciplinary Scholars Program

Fundamental to the Center's mission is bringing a diversity of voices into the University by sponsoring annual fellowships for scholars from other institutions, as well as some from CU. Postdoctoral scholars in residence are chosen each year in collaboration with departments in the College of Arts and Sciences which fit well with the coming year’s theme. For the 2019-20 theme—Community or Disunity?—the Center worked with the departments of classics, philosophy and history to recruit and select finalists who are rostered to their home departments. The program is supported by private funds.

Postdoctoral visiting scholars are expected to teach one course each semester and engage in the activities of the Benson Center, their home departments, and to the university more broadly.

All Benson Center faculty and fellows demonstrate an enthusiasm for fostering intellectual diversity and dialogue, both on campus and in the broader community. By leading and participating in seminars and events, among other important work, the faculty and fellows are an essential part of advancing the mission and outreach of the center. 

Last year, Benson Center visiting faculty taught 16 courses to 468 student enrollees eager to learn more about the moral, economic and political questions of our time, a 33% increase in courses and 20% increase in enrollees over the prior year.