My teaching interests range from ancient political thought to contemporary political theory, and from critical theory to postcolonial theory. Besides my goal to connect political economy to the humanities, I am also interested in questions of empire and narratives of civilizational encounter in the Americas, especially the imprint they left on political thought.

At Princeton, I have taught an introductory lecture course on modern political thought from Thomas Hobbes to W.E.B. Du Bois (POL 303), as well as seminars on the political theory of money (POL 981). I furthermore teach in Princeton's Humanities Sequence (HUM), an interdisciplinary introduction to the Western intellectual tradition, and run an undergraduate reading group on "Contested Receptions."

 

POL 303 Modern Political Theory (Princeton University)

This course offers an overview of classic texts in modern political thought from Thomas Hobbes to W.E.B. Du Bois. Attention is given to thinkers’ historical contexts, their debates across time with one another, their blindspots, and the relevance of their political thought today. Throughout the course we will explore key concepts such as the social contract, sovereignty, and autonomy, but also class, race, and gender; we will address the relation between politics and language; and investigate the possible foundations of rights, liberty, and equality. Finally, throughout the course we will link these discussions to larger questions of contemporary politics and democracy.

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The syllabus is available HERE.

Teaching evaluations are available HERE.

 

HUM 218-19 Approaches to Western Culture from Antiquity to Modernity (Princeton University)

An intensive year-long introduction to the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition, the Humanities Sequence (HUM Sequence) is a team-taught, double-credit course that examines Western history, philosophy, political thought, and literature from antiquity to the 20th century. With a team of faculty drawn from across the humanities and social sciences, students examine pivotal texts, events, and artifacts of European civilization . More information about the Humanities Sequence can be found on the website of the Humanities Council: HERE

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Spring 2018 syllabus available HERE.

Teaching evaluations are available HERE.

 

POL 493 Race and Credit in America (Princeton University)

The racial wealth gap is today one of the most salient features of the American polity. This course places widening racialized inequalities in a broad historical perspective by connecting them to the politics of money and credit. Ever since colonial times, Americans have passionately, even violently, debated the nature of money. Throughout, the character of money was moreover intimately linked to questions of race. We will follow these connections to study how in antebellum America slavery underwrote the American banking system, how during the New Deal government-backed mortgages explicitly excluded African-American neighborhoods, and how the Civil Rights movement staked out economic demands that touched on the very nature of American money. We will connect this historical material from Hamilton to Martin Luther King Jr. to political theoretical debates about race, credit, and money today.

 

POL 981 Money and Political Thought (Princeton University)

This seminar examines the relation between money and politics from the perspective of the history of political thought. Money is one of the most defining social institutions of human societies and at the same time often seen as a source of moral and political corruption. In the workshop we will explore this ambivalence between money as “filthy lucre” and currency as a political institution. We will examine a number of classic works in the history of political thought by authors such as Aristotle, Bodin, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Keynes, and Hayek to enquire into their accounts of money and currency, but also wealth, commerce, and property. We will also consider a number of contemporary debates: Are there things that should never be for sale? Is money a form of speech? Under what conditions does it corrupt politics? Who should conduct monetary policy? What would it mean for the international monetary system to be just? What are the political implications of electronic private currencies?

The syllabus is available HERE.


I am a Faculty Fellow at the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP), Princeton’s support program for first-generation and low-income students, as well as a Fellow at Whitman College. Don't hesitate to get in touch by email or come to my office hours!

(Sign up HERE for office hours via WASE.)