My teaching interests range from ancient political thought to contemporary political theory, and from critical theory to political economy. Besides my focus on Western political thought, I am also interested in early-modern accounts of civilizational encounter, pre-Columbian political thought, theories of empire, and postcolonial political theory.
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
This course offers an overview of classic texts in modern political thought. Attention is given to thinkers’ historical contexts, their debates across time with one another, and the relevance of their political thought today. Throughout the course we will explore key concepts such as the social contract, sovereignty, authority, and autonomy; we will address the relation between politics and language; and investigate the foundations and meaning of rights, liberty, and equality. Finally, throughout the course we will link these discussions to larger questions of modernity, liberalism, and democracy.
The syllabus is available HERE.
POL 981 Money and Political Thought
This workshop examines the relation between money and politics. 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, 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 or 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 currencies?
The syllabus is available HERE.
HUM 218-19 Approaches to Western Culture from Antiquity to Modernity
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, and literature from antiquity to the 20th century. Humanistic Studies 216-219 is an intensive yearlong exploration of the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition. With a team of faculty drawn from across the humanities and social sciences, students examine pivotal texts, events, and artifacts of European civilization from antiquity forward. Our themes are the great ones, ethics, politics, beauty, truth, and European legacies of bondage and freedom.
More information about the Humanities Sequence can be found HERE.