Hadass Silver

Photo of Hadass Silver

Ph.D. (2023) in Political Theory

Hadass Silver received her Ph.D. in 2023 from the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also was an Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy Fellow. Her research interests include contemporary American political thought, German political thought, race, class, pragmatism, critical theory, feminist standpoint theory, and revolutionary theory. Assessing potential reactionary tenets and consequences of apparently progressive ideologies unite Silver’s research agenda. Her dissertation, Utopian-Antiracism in the United States: The Pseudo-Progressivism of White Privilege Discourse, traces the genealogy, ideological principles, and consequences of “white privilege discourse.” Here, Silver argues that the call for white people to recognize and renounce their social, economic, and political privileges does not promote racial parity. Instead, she demonstrates that white privilege discourse provides a pseudo-progressive smokescreen that helps maintain racial inequity by reinforcing racial essentialism, subverting demands for universal public goods, and undermining cross-racial working-class coalitions. The central thesis of her dissertation will be published as an article— “Inventing ‘White Privilege’: Pseudo-Progressivism in American Political Discourse”—in a forthcoming issue of American Political Thought.

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