Before coming to UMass Amherst, I earned my BA in Philosophy and Political Science and then my MA in Political Science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
My main interests lie in the History of Political Thought as well as Contemporary Social and Political Theory. I am consistently preoccupied with questions about 'authenticity,' but recently I have been thinking more explicitly about its political manifestations. In what instances is rhetoric about 'authenticity' deployed, and to what effect? In what ways do calls for authenticity manifest in nationalist political movements? How do such calls for authenticity play upon affect or emotion? In what ways do individuals rely upon collective history and memory to make sense of what their authentic self might be? How can political actors take advantage of this by constructing the authentic as lost? These questions have culminated in asking about rhetorical calls for authenticity in the context of the U.S., in asking what that 'authenticity' entails in America, and in asking how it serves as a basis for what appears to be a recent rise in white nationalism.
I am also interested more generally in existential philosophy, the philosophy of education, critical theory, feminist theory, and Marxist thought. Writers who have great influence on my thought include Rousseau, Marcuse, Heidegger, Tocqueville, and Foucault.
- Political Science