Ball State University’s Big Year in Economics

As the summer winds down, students old and new begin fluttering back to Ball State University for the fall semester. Many professors and students are beginning to assimilate back into the academic grind. However, one professor, Dr. Cecil Bohanon, is tirelessly working away at something special and will not be teaching this fall semester. Instead, he will be on sabbatical studying the complete works and life of one famous economist, Adam Smith.

Dr. Bohanon has teamed up with fellow professor Dr. Michelle Vachris, who teaches at Christopher Newport University, to write an original book on the Adam Smith and Jane Austin. Dr. Bohanon and Dr. Vachris both met in 2007 at a Liberty Fund conference and immediately became academic friends. Soon after, both began writing articles on how to use literature in economics. Over the next few years, both wrote a chapter in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economic Education and in the Journal of Economic Education. Clearly the two have a knack for teamwork leading to their next upcoming publication.

Sometime over the past two years Dr. Bohanon began reading Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility and began to see parallels between Austin and Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Once Dr. Bohanon discovered the similarities between the two, he immediately began comparing notes with Dr. Vachris. At that point, both professors decided to write a book comparing the two and their classic works. Dr. Bohanon has stated the book currently has 70 pages complete; the next 180 pages should be finished within six weeks for the Lexington Press, the publisher.

Dr. Bohanon is also working on organizing an Adam Smith symposium for the public to attend, free of charge. This Adam Smith symposium will include four of the best Smith scholars from around the world speaking and debating on various Smith topics. He hopes for the symposium to be hosted on Ball State University’s campus. In the meantime, Dr. Bohanon will be attending an Adam Smith- Jane Austen seminar in December to polish his Smithian intellect for his book and for the public symposium.

Dr. Bohanon has stated that sabbatical is not a vacation. He has been working tirelessly to publish the book with his co-author, the Adam Smith symposium, and the Adam Smith-Jane Austen conference in December. Did I mention he also is leading the production for an Adam Smith educational film, anticipated to be finished by the end of next summer. Dr. Cecil Bohanon has no boundaries when it comes to economics and Adam Smith. From presently co-authoring a book, planning an Adam Smith symposium, to leading an Adam Smith educational film, Dr. Bohanon represents Ball State University in a way not many can; by bringing Smithian intelligence mixed with a real-world understanding of economics. The Ball State Economics Club wishes Dr. Bohanon all the best this upcoming school year.


-Michael Redchanskiy


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