I’m a political theorist and Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. My research bridges contemporary political theory and social history by focusing on the entangled development of global capitalism, empire, and the legacies of racial slavery since the seventeenth century. In 2020 I received the Stephen E. Bronner Dissertation Award in New Political Science from the American Political Science Association. I hold a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge. My work is forthcoming in Contemporary Political Theory and Modern Intellectual History.
My current book manuscript, Factories of Modernity: Political Thought in the Capitalist Epoch, argues that the factory system acted as a decisive yet under-recognized stage for political ideas and practices in the Atlantic world from 1688 to 1807. Based on this historical study, I develop a new conceptual framework for understanding contemporary capitalism and confronting its patterns of racialization, poverty, and inequality in our present. My second project, tentatively titled Badlands of Utopia: Empire’s Lost Futures of Work, will explore how early modern ideas of idleness and waste were rooted in a conceptual grammar of imperial expansion, economic improvement, and moral reform upon which an array of utopian thinkers and projectors relied to articulate novel visions of work in model societies to come. The project aims to recover neglected synergies between utopian fictions and real attempts by British industrialists, Portuguese explorers, and French reformers to create “utopian” settlements across Latin America and Africa in the long eighteenth century.
At the University of Chicago, I teach undergraduate seminars in the Social Sciences Core sequence “Classics of Social and Political Thought.” In the fall of 2019 I was a faculty fellow at the University of Chicago’s Center in Paris. As part of the Arts and Sciences Summer Program, I have co-taught interdisciplinary classes, with faculty in English and Anthropology, that reconsider urbanization through social and political theory. From 2016 to 2018 I was a lecturer in the Social Sciences Core sequence “Power, Identity, and Resistance.” In the Spring of 2016 I was invited to teach a graduate seminar at the New School for Social Research that connected the history of new media art with critical theories of capitalist society.
In the spring of 2017, I co-founded the Historical Capitalisms Workshop with colleagues from the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago.
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