Elizabeth Amato

Gardner-Webb University
Honored Visiting Graduate Faculty

Dr. Elizabeth Amato is an Associate Professor of Political Science for the Department of Social Science at Gardner-Webb University. Her teaching responsibilities include courses in American politics and political theory such as constitutional law I and II, American political parties, American political thought, African American political thought, ancient and medieval political philosophy, and modern political philosophy. She also offers special topics courses on the pursuit of happiness, statesmanship and demagoguery, first ladies, and the politics of coffee and tea.

Dr. Amato is the Director for Undergraduate Research and the pre-law advisor.

Dr. Amato earned her B.A. at Berry College (Rome, GA), her M.A. and Ph. D. at Baylor University (Waco, TX) in political science. Her book, The Pursuit of Happiness and the American Regime: Political Theory in Literature, looks at how four American novelists critique the pursuit of happiness. Before coming to Gardner-Webb University, she taught at James Madison College at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI).

At Gardner-Webb, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award (2021-2022), https://gardner-webb.edu/news/amato-receives-excellence-in-teaching-award/, Faculty Service Award (2019-2020), Alfred & Shirley Wampler Caudill Rising Star Award (2016-2017).

Dr. Amato’s scholarly interests include politics and literature, American political thought, Tocqueville, Walker Percy, Aristotle, happiness, moral education, and friendship. Her non-academic pastimes include drinking coffee, watching action films, baking and candy-making, looking through children’s picture books, growing herbs and container gardening, running in the mornings, adding serrano peppers to food, collecting glassware and vintage brass, decorating with pineapples, walking her cats, and reading poetry on Sundays. She keeps two cats, Pericles and Perseus.