Political Theorist | Assistant Professor of Politics, Bard College
I’m a political theorist and Assistant Professor of Politics at Bard College. Before joining Bard, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Political Economy Project and Department of Government at Dartmouth College as well as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
My research bridges political theory, social and intellectual history, and political economy by focusing on the development of global capitalism, empire, and slavery in the Atlantic world since the seventeenth century. My current book manuscript, Factories of Modernity: Political Thought in the Capitalist Epoch, recasts the factory system as a decisive stage for social, economic, and political ideas and practices across Britain and its Atlantic colonies between 1688 and 1807. From this historical study, I develop a conceptual framework for understanding modern capitalism and confronting its enduring patterns of racialization, discipline, and inequality at contemporary workplaces like Google and Amazon.
Part of this research appears in my article, “A Factory Afield: Capitalism and Empire in John Locke’s Political Economy,” published by Modern Intellectual History in March 2022. I am currently co-editing a collection of essays by political theorists and historians titled Intellectual Histories of Global Capitalism, which explores how the early modern global economy can enrich our resources for understanding and critiquing the hyper-capitalism of our present through new chronological and thematic approaches to the long-range history of capitalist societies, from Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas. This project was the subject of a two-part conference held at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago in January and June 2022.
My second book 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 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.
I am the recipient of the 2020 Stephen E. Bronner Dissertation Award in New Political Science from the American Political Science Association and the 2021 Swogger Award for Exemplary Classroom Teaching. I hold a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago, an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge, and a BA (hons.) in Political Science with International Relations from the University of British Columbia. In 2017, I co-founded the History and Theory of Capitalism Workshop with colleagues in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago.
At Bard, I will teach two seminars in political theory: “Theories of Racial Capitalism” (Fall 2022) and “The Rise of Capitalism” (Spring 2023). At Dartmouth, I offered classes at the intersection of political theory, political economy, and the history of capitalism. At the University of Chicago, I taught in the Social Sciences Core sequences, “Classics of Social and Political Thought” and “Power, Identity, Resistance,” and co-taught interdisciplinary seminars, with colleagues in English and Anthropology, that reconsidered urbanization through classic readings in social theory, political economy, and literature. As a Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Center in Paris I taught a seminar on the Social Contract tradition that included a field trip to the house where Rousseau wrote The Social Contract! As a Visiting Fellow at the New School for Social Research, I taught a graduate seminar that bridged new media art history and critical theory.