My research focuses on modern political thought, with emphasis on German Idealism, Hegelianism, Western Marxism, and American Pragmatism. I’m especially interested in notions of progress, the nature of hope, and how post-Enlightenment (and some self-consciously “post-metaphysical”) thinkers wrestle with the idea of history. My book The Principle of Political Hope will soon be published by Oxford University Press. I have written articles and/or chapters on John Dewey, Richard Rorty, Immanuel Kant, Ernst Bloch, William James, Wendy Brown, the appearance/reality distinction, ontological materialism, and Mad Men, among other topics, in venues including Political Theory, Theory & Event, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, Analyse & Kritik, The Journal of the Philosophy of History, Praktyka Teoretyczna, The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon, and William James Studies, a journal for which I also served as book review editor from 2013-2018. I co-translated, annotated, and introduced the first English edition of Ernst Bloch’s Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left (Columbia University Press, 2019). As of 2022, I am an associate editor of the journal New Political Science.
At Penn, I lecture on modern and American political thought, and have offered seminars on diverse topics, including the philosophy of history, German political thought, utopianism, American Pragmatism, and anarchism. I received the Pi Sigma Alpha Society's Henry Teune Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 2018, a year when, according to a rigorously scientific online poll in The Daily Pennsylvanian, my American Political Thought lecture was the most popular class on campus.
I coordinate Penn's political theory workshop, and was a fellow in the Humboldt University of Berlin's philosophy department in the Fall of 2019. Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ohio University (Political Science, 2013-2016) and held postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley (Department of Rhetoric, 2011-2013) and Rutgers University(Center for Cultural Analysis, 2010-2011).
In my spare time, when not chasing a toddler, I try to redeem our great vinyl past, usually in my basement, but occasionally in public.
Ph.D., MA, Political Science, University of Chicago (2010, 2005)
M.Phil., Politics, University of Oxford (2003)
DAAD Jahresstipendiat, Philosophy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (2000-2001)
BA, Political Science, Yale University (2000)
Undergraduate: American Political Thought; Modern Political Thought; Utopia and Its Critics; Anarchism
Graduate: German Political Thought; Philosophies of History; American Pragmatism; Hegel, Marx & Beyond; Western Marxism
The Principle of Political Hope: Progress, Action, and Democracy in Modern Thought (Oxford, in press).
“The Matter of Bloch’s Philosophy of Nature in Idealism’s Shadow,” in Rethinking Ernst Bloch, ed. Cat Moir and Henk de Berg (Brill, in press).
“Reading Wendy Brown in Ludwigshafen: Non-Synchronicity and the Exhaustion of Progress,” in Power, Neoliberalism, and the Reinvention of Politics, ed. Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta (Penn State, in press).
“William James, Energy, and the Pluralist Ethic of Receptivity,” Theory & Event 23:3 (July 2020), 706-33.
“Left Hegelian Variations: on the Matter of Revolution in Marx, Bloch, and Althusser,” Praktyka Teoretyczna 35:1 (Apr 2020), 51-74.
“Richard Rorty, Homo Academicus Politicus,” Analyse & Kritik 41:1 (May 2019), 31-70.
“Introduction” to Ernst Bloch, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left (Columbia, 2019).
Translation (with Peter Thompson) of Ernst Bloch, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left (Columbia, 2019).
“Revisiting the Social Value of College Breeding,” in Pragmatism Applied: William James and the Challenges of Contemporary Life, ed. Michael Levine and Cliff Stagoll (SUNY, 2019).
“Utopia” and “Ernst Bloch,” in The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon, ed. Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta (Cambridge, 2019).
“Learning and its Contexts,” in Dewey’s Democracy and Education: A Centennial Handbook, ed. Len Waks and Andrea English (Cambridge, 2017).
“Richard Rorty’s ‘Post-Kantian’ Philosophy of History,” The Journal of the Philosophy of History 9:3 (Nov 2015), 410-443.
“Appearance and Reality” and “Pragmatism,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought (2015).
“The Power Elite and Semi-Sovereign Selfhood in Post-War America,” in Mad Men and Politics, ed. Lilly Goren and Linda Beail (Bloomsbury, 2015).
“Getting Beyond International Relations Theory: John Dewey’s Pragmatic Method and Global Politics,” in Philosophical Pragmatism and International Relations, ed. Shane Ralston (Lexington, 2013).
“In Defense of Blinders: On Kant, Political Hope, and the Need for Practical Belief,” Political Theory 40:4 (May 2012), 497-523.
“John Dewey’s Pragmatism from an Anthropological Point of View,” Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 48:1 (Winter 2012), 1-30.
“Another Side of William James: Radical Appropriations of a ‘Liberal’ Philosopher,” William James Studies 8 (2012), 34-64.