Brent Lerseth

Assistant Professor of Social Sciences

Dr. Lerseth received his B. A. in Government and Philosophy from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, his first M. A. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, and his second M. A. and his Ph. D. from the University of California-Riverside in Riverside, CA.  Dr. Lerseth taught full-time at Dickinson State University in ND and at Augustana College before teaching at USF.  While at Augustana, Dr. Lerseth was in charge of the internship program for the Government Department and the Washington Semester Program for the college.  Dr. Lerseth teaches courses in Political Science, U. S. and European History, and Geography at USF. 


  • B. A., Government and Philosophy, Augustana College, 1992
  • M. A., Political Science, Northern Illinois University, 1994
  • M. A. and Ph. D., Political Science, University of California-Riverside, 2001

Courses Taught

  • CRJ390 - Special Topics
  • HIS101 -
  • HIS102 -
  • HIS120 - United States History to 1877
  • HIS121 - United States History Since 1877
  • HIS303 - Ancient World History
  • HIS311 - United States Diplomatic History
  • HIS321 - Constitutional History of US
  • PSC211 - American Federal Government
  • PSC212 - State/Local Government
  • PSC214 - International Relations
  • PSC390 - Special Topics in Political Science
  • PSC402 - Comparative Politics
  • SSC205 - World Geography
  • SSC305 - US Geography
  • SOC390 - Special Topics


  • Political Science (especially Political Theory, American Institutions, Constitutional Law, International Relations, and Comparative Politics)
  • U. S. History
  • World Geography


Dr. Lerseth's personal research has been in these main areas:

  • Freedom of speech, press, and religion
  • The political influence of film
  • South Dakota politics including the 2006 Election and abortion debate
  • Aristotle, Adam Smith, and the American Founding on state formation and the statesman
  • American political thought

Scholarships and Creative Work

  • “Successes and Tasks to be Completed by Each of South Dakota’s Congressional Delegation”, contribution to article “Analysts: Trio Must Not Forget S. D. Interests” in the Argus Leader, August 16, 2009
Book Chapters
  • “Charles Blount” Censorship: A World Encyclopedia, edited by Derek Jones, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, London, Dec. 2001
  • “James Mill” Censorship: A World Encyclopedia, Dec. 2001
  • “John Stuart Mill” Censorship: A World Encyclopedia, Dec. 2001
  • Book Review of Politics, Philosophy, Writing: Plato’s Art of Caring for Souls, edited by Zdravko Planinc, in American Political Science Review, vol. 96, issue 02, June 2002, pp. 411-2
  • Book Review of Daschle vs. Thune: Anatomy of a High-plains Senate Race by Jon Lauck, in the Argus Leader, December 2007
  • Fall 1998, Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting: "Charles Blount: Deism and Interest Politics in the Defense of Freedom of the Press in England, 1679-93"
  • Spring 2003, Great Plains Political Science Association Annual Meeting: "The New Rhetoric of Adam Smith and Political Discourse: A Comparison to Deliberative Democracy"
  • Spring 2005, Great Plains Political Science Association Annual Meeting: "An Aristotelian Evaluation of American Constitutionalism"
  • Spring 2008, Southwestern Political Science Association Annual Meeting and Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting: "American Values and the Constitution: Assessing the Impact of the Declaration of Independence on the Formation of American Institutions"
  • “The Politics of Community Development in Sioux Falls and Other Emerging Metropolitan Areas”, given for the Humanities Symposium, November 2006
  • “Questions and Issues for the 2008 Election”, given to the Augustana Seniors at Augustana College, February 2008
  • “The 2008 Election in Retrospect”, given to the Golden Vikings at Augustana College, November 2008
  • “Perspectives on the 2008 Election”, Thought Leader Forum for Augustana College, with Dr. Joel Johnson, November 2008
  • “An Overview of the 2010 Election”, given to the Together in Ministry Pastor’s Conference at Augustana College, November 2010
  • "The Electoral College and the 2016 Election", OLLI, April 2018