Professional and Biographical Information
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.A., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., University of Virginia
I am interested in contemporary cultural constructions of “the human,” especially those issuing from the medical and social sciences, and in the power of such constructions to shape how we see and govern ourselves. My current book project charts the recasting of the addict as a normal human subject over the last forty years in American culture, and theorizes the possibilities for discipline and self-control at a time when addiction appears as a latent potential in each of us, and we are all increasingly figured as addicts in miniature, or in waiting. Parts of this work have appeared in History of the Present and the Journal of Medical Humanities.
I am also broadly interested in late-modern theories of power. In relation to this theme, I have written on the notion of power in the work of Michel Foucault in an essay for Political Theory, and I am currently the guest editor of a symposium, to appear in Polity, on the visions of police power operative in contemporary U.S. abolition politics.
I teach courses on canonical and contemporary political theory. I aim to make the great works of political theory available to students as prisms through which to see new powers, conundrums, and possibilities for repair and transformation in our world. In 2022–23, I will teach two courses: “Marx, Nietzsche, Freud” (fall) and “Twentieth-Century Visions: Beauvoir, Fanon, Marcuse, Foucault” (spring). In these courses, students will learn to see political life through the eyes of each thinker, and ask to what extent their different diagnoses, concepts, questions, and dreams help, or interestingly fail, to critically illuminate the present.