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 political theory and social history by focusing on the entangled development of global capitalism, empire, and the legacies of racial slavery in the Atlantic world since the late seventeenth century. My article, “A Factory Afield: Capitalism and Empire in John Locke’s Political Economy,” is forthcoming in Modern Intellectual History. 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 current book manuscript, Factories of Modernity: Global Thought in the Capitalist Epoch, recasts the factory system as a decisive stage for international political thought and practice in the Atlantic world between 1688 and 1807. From this historical study, I develop a long-range conceptual framework for understanding modern capitalism and confronting its enduring patterns of racialization, poverty, and inequality. My second project, Badlands of Utopia: Empire’s Lost Futures of Work, will explore how early modern ideas of idleness and waste became part of 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 imagined societies to come. The project aims to recover the shared history of utopian thought and the attempts by British industrialists, Portuguese explorers, Swedish Abolitionists, and French reformers to create free labor colonies across Latin America and Africa over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
At the University of Chicago, I teach 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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