Thomas Cloud | LSU Political Science

Office:  310 Stubbs Hall


Ph.D. Candidate (currently ABD)
MA: Politics, Hillsdale College Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship, 2017
BA: Economics and History, University of Washington, 2011


I grew up in the Seattle area (with my wonderful parents and two loving sisters) and I spent many of my summers visiting my grandparents and extended family in Tennessee.  I have always thought spending so much time in two very different parts of the country was very good for me.  And thanks to my mother's job as a flight attendant, I have also visited many other parts of the U.S. and seen some of Europe's most famous cities.  I even spent the night in a Bedouin tent in Jordan once.

After I finished my undergraduate degree I did a few internships in Washington, D.C. and I worked briefly for a software company before entering graduate school.  Those were valuable experiences, but my interests shifted decisively towards political philosophy.  Unlike so many in my field, I first encountered Aristotle when I reached graduate school.  There is a reason his writing endures to this day.  If you have any doubt, whatch what happens to undergraduates after they read Aristotle on friendship.  They are shaken in a good way when they read "a friend is like another self."

I met my beautiful wife, Christine, in 2018 and we are now married with one daughter and another baby on the way. Christine has her PhD in literature from Baylor University, and has taught courses on King Arthur and Solitude.

I have many interests, but what I enjoy most is connecting with people in a good conversation.  I try to get to know my colleagues and neighbors and I have friendships going back to kindergarten (I met three of my groomsmen in kindergarten).  Akin to that, I love teaching.

In addition to teaching my field, I care about teaching my students how to learn, because I find that much of the discouragement they experience in school stems from not knowing proper study strategies.  I have found a lot of good resources on learning how to learn and I am happy to share them.  I am also always looking for new ones.

Areas of Interest

Political Philosophy (Ancient, Modern, 20th century)
Philosophy of Science
American Political Thought (Founding, Civil War, Early Progressives)
Conservative Political Thought
International Relations Theory
C.S. Lewis

Academic Awards and Honors

Cecil Eubanks Award, 2022
Voegelin Institute Scholar' Fund, (five time recipient) 2018-2022
Emogene Pliner Graduate Fellowship Award, 2018

Teaching Experience

POLI 2060 Introduction to Political Theory, LSU (Fall 2019, Spr 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
HNRS 2013 C.S.Lewis: Imagination and Politics, LSU (Spr 2022, Fall 2022, Spr 2023, Fall 2023)
POLI 1001 Fundamentals of Politics, LSU (Fall 2022, Spr 2023)


Order and History Society graduate student book club, LSU (founding officer; currently only a member); the name is in reference to the title of Eric Voegelin's Quintet