VI. Teaching Biography




The following teaching biography provides a chronological overview of the graduate and undergraduate courses I developed and taught, beginning with the most recent and ending with the first course I taught. Click on the course title to receive a syllabus. 


Graduate Courses:

Normative Political Theory: Introduction to Political Theory and Philosophy
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Fall 2014, Fall 2018, Spring 2021
Course-level: PhD Seminar
Format:  Seminar

Description: This core course in the doctoral program in political science provides an advanced introduction to a number of central areas in which political theory is practiced today. It is composed of three parts. The first part (I. History of Political Thought), engages with the core ideas of central thinkers in different historical periods, focusing on Plato, Machiavelli, Rousseau and Marx, as well as contemporary readings of those thinkers. The second part (II. Concepts in Political Thought), engages with core concepts in political theory and philosophy, focusing on justice, freedom, power and resistance, by reading classic historical and contemporary texts. The last part (III. Paradigms of Political Theorizing), discusses four paradigms in which political theory and philosophy is discussed today, focusing on democratic theory, feminist political theory, critical theory, and comparative or non-Western political thought. Here we assess the ways in which the thinkers within these paradigms have (re)formulated some of the concepts discussed in part two of the course. 


Power, Resistance, and Socio-Political Transformation
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Fall 2012
Course-level: PhD seminar 
Format:  Seminar

Description: This seminar engages with central themes and approaches of three Continental political philosophies: German critical theory, French post-structuralism, and Italian political thought. This course has three goals. First, we engage with these theories to obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of power in modern societies. Second, we analyze the ways in which these theories might us to rethink political resistance. Third, we analyze the ways in which the respective thinkers conceptualize socio-political transformation. We start out with Marx and Adorno (German critical theory), followed by Foucault and Lacan (French post-structuralism), and conclude with Agamben and Cavarero (Italian political thought). We will read both original texts as well as secondary literature on each of these thinkers. The seminar is primarily discussion based.


Alternative Models of Political Theorizing
Institution: The University of Chicago
Department: Political Science
Date: Spring 2007 
Course-level: Graduate course; open to undergraduate students with prior knowledge 
Format: Seminar

Description: This course is designed to teach three alternative models of political theorizing: critical theory, post-structuralism and feminist political theory. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of these models in terms of their ability to address and redress injustice in modern societies by studying the works of two representatives of each: Marx and Adorno (critical theory), Foucault and Lacan (post-structuralism), Iris Marion Young and Judith Butler (feminist political theory). We critically discuss the commonalities and differences of both the discussed thinkers and the alternative models of political theorizing they represent.


Marginalization in the Sciences: Gender, Class and Race

Institution: The University of Vienna, Austria
Department: Social Studies of Science
Date: Spring 2006 
Course-level: Graduate course, open to undergraduate students with prior knowledge 
Format: 10 days intensive seminar

Description: In this course, we critically examine the argument that gender, social class, and race-ethnicity lead to processes of marginalization in the sciences. We begin by articulating more clearly the meanings of these often used but rarely defined categories. Following this groundwork, we engage political theories, theories of science, and poststructuralist theories in order to grasp how marginalization works. As a final goal, we elaborate the ways we can resist marginalization and create sciences in which women, working-class people, and racial minorities can thrive.



Undergraduate Courses:

Contemporary Political Theory 
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2020
Course-level: Undergraduate 
Format:  Lecture 

Description: In this seminar we engage with central themes and approaches of three paradigms in contemporary political theory: critical theory, post-structuralism, and feminist political theory. This course has three goals. First, we engage with these theories to obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of power in contemporary societies. Second, we analyze the ways in which these theories might assist us to think about issues pertaining to injustices and inequalities in such societies. Third, we analyze the ways in which the respective thinkers conceptualize socio-political change. We begin with Marx and Marcuse (critical theory), followed by Foucault and Agamben (post-structuralism), and conclude with Young and Fraser (feminist political theory).


Development of Marxist Thought
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018
Course-level: Undergraduate 
Format:  Lecture 

Description: This advanced-level course traces the development of Marxist political thought from the original works of Karl Marx, over classic developments of his thought, to contemporary applications in political theory and philosophy. The course has two central goals. First, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship of the individual subject to the social and political world by engaging with Marxist thought. Second, we critically examine key themes and concepts prevalent in such thought—including alienation, exploitation, exchange- and use-value, class antagonisms, ideology, power, and revolution. The course is organized in three sections. In the first section we critically engage the original works of Karl Marx, covering both his early and late writings. In the second section we study the classic development of his thought in the German (Luxemburg) and French (Althusser) political thought traditions. In the third section, we discuss contemporary applications of Marxist thought in the early Frankfurt School of critical theory, as well as feminist, and postmodern thought.


Classical Political Thought
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Fall 2014, Fall 2012, Fall 2017
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate seminar 
Format:  Seminar

Description: This course traces the development of Western political thought from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary political theory and philosophy. The course has three central goals. First, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the centrality of political thought for the study of politics. Second, we critically examine key themes and concepts in political theory—including the end(s) of politics, the location of political authority, the limits of government, and the challenge to political authority—by reading classic texts. Third, we trace the historical evolution and shifting meaning of these themes and concepts in political thought. The course is thematically organized and unfolds as a combination of lectures and in-class discussions of the assigned texts both from a historical as well as contemporary perspective.


Philosophy and Feminism
Institution: Washington State University
Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2019
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate seminar 
Format:  Seminar

Description: This course explores the development of feminist political philosophy from the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex to the present. We consider feminist attempts to uncover and remedy the conceptual, economic, and psychological dimensions of the oppression of women. Readings explore the major feminist positions on the nature and scope of women's oppression, how it gets perpetuated, and possible solutions. We also discuss the relationship of sexism to class exploitation, racism, heterosexism, and imperialism. The focus of the course is on the variety of debates and theoretical positions within feminist political thought. 


The Frankfurt School in New York City
Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: May 2012 
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate seminar 
Format:  Seminar

Description: This course has two parts: the first part consists of an in-depth introduction to the works of the Frankfurt School through the reading the works of Georg Lukacs, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse and Jürgen Habermas, among others. During the second part of the course, we will follow the footsteps of the Frankfurt School thinkers in New York City, both at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. Ideally, students will take away from this course not only a deep understanding of the philosophical and theoretical roots of critical theory, but also a more refined awareness of the Frankfurt School’s impact on American intellectual life in general, and New York City’s in particular.


Contemporary Feminist Political Theory

Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2011 
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate seminar 
Format:  Seminar

Description: In this seminar we engage with central themes and approaches of contemporary feminist political theory. We examine the US and European feminist political theory traditions. We assess how feminist political theorists rethink key concepts at the center of contemporary debates in political theory—including power, justice, subjectivity, agency, freedom, resistance, democracy, and political transformation. This focus allows us to critically assess the commonalities (and differences) of the thinkers and the two theory traditions we discuss. After a general introduction to the topic, we start out with Iris Marion Young, Drucilla Cornell, and bell hooks (American feminist political theory), followed by Simone De Beauvoir, Luce Irigaray, and Adriana Cavarero (European feminist political thought). 


Marx’s Challenge to the Good Life in Modern Societies
Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2011 (3 sections), Fall 2010 (1 section), Spring 2010 (1 section) 
Course-level: Undergraduate course 
Format: Seminar

Description: This course is designed to ask several questions: What is the good life? How can we live the most meaningful life? How can we fulfill our highest potentials? For Karl Marx our ability to answer these questions has a direct bearing on our ability to understand ourselves as participants in a shared social world with others. People fulfill and realize their humanity through meaningful work or creative activity, which allows them to contribute to a wider community. In capitalist societies most people are denied such a work activity, which leads to dehumanization and alienation from the social world. Marx proposed a system of production, which is based on cooperation rather than acquisitiveness and self-interest to counter the negative consequences of capitalism. We will follow Marx’s search for the good life to get a deeper understanding of key concepts, such as ideology, alienation, exploitation, exchange- and use-value and class antagonisms. 


The Philosophy of Middle-Eastern Politics
Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: Spring 2010
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate course
Format: Seminar

Description: This course introduces students to the philosophy of contemporary politics in the Middle East by examining issues such as Western representations of the Middle-East, factors of early state-building and its legacies in modern states in the region, and gender politics. Its focus is on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which we study by engaging with contemporary political theorists who aim to understand Middle-Eastern politics from a philosophical point of view.

 
Power and Political Resistance
Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: Fall 2009 
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate course 
Format: Seminar

Description: In this seminar we engage with central themes and approaches of three contemporary political theories: critical theory, post-structuralism, and feminist political theory. This course has three goals. First, we engage with these theories to obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of power in modern societies. Second, we analyze the ways in which these theories might assist us to think about issues pertaining to political resistance. Third, we analyze the ways in which the respective thinkers conceptualize socio-political change. We begin with Marx and Marcuse (critical theory), followed by Foucault and Derrida (post-structuralism), and conclude with Iris Marion Young and Judith Butler (feminist political theory).


Western Political Theory
Institution: Roanoke College
Department: Public Affairs
Date: Fall 2009
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate course
Format: Lecture

Description: This course traces the development of Western political thought from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary political philosophy. The course has three central goals. The first is to gain a deeper understanding of key terms in political theory—such as democracy, justice, equality, freedom, political authority, and the good life—by reading classic texts. The second is to trace the historical evolution of these terms in Western political thought. And the third is to consider the historical context in which the discussed political philosophers produced their texts. Readings include the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Marx.


Alternative Political Theory
Institution: Dartmouth College
Department: Government
Date: Spring 2009 
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate course
Format: Seminar

Description: See course description of “Power and Political Resistance,” taught at Roanoke College in the Fall 2009 semester. 


Political Ideas
Institution: Dartmouth College
Department: Government
Date: winter 2009 
Course-level: Undergraduate course, introduction
Format: Lecture

Description: See course description of “Western Political Theory,” taught at Roanoke College in the Fall 2009 semester.


Contemporary European Political Philosophy

Institution: Dartmouth College
Department: Government
Date: Winter 2009 
Course-level: Advanced undergraduate seminar, open to graduate students
Format:  Seminar

Description: See course description of “Contemporary European Political Philosophy,” taught at Roanoke College in the Fall 2009 semester. 



Studies of Modern Society: 1798 to the Present

Institution: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York  
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Date: Spring 2003 
Course-level: Undergraduate course
Format: Seminar

Description: In this course I introduce students to major political thinkers, from the French Revolution to the present, who have contributed to shaping the Western imagination: Kant, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, De Toqueville, Le Bon, Freud, Weber, Arendt, De Beauvoir, Fanon, and Adorno. We critically assess the theoretical positions of these thinkers and place them in the historical, social and political contexts in which their thoughts emerged. 


Texts and Contexts: Old Worlds and New

Institution: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, 
Date: Fall 2002 
Course level: Undergraduate course
Format: Seminar

Description: This course introduces students to major thinkers, from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, with a focus on their political philosophies. Thinkers include De Pizan, More, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Hobbes, Descartes, Astell, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft. The overall purpose of the course is to help students to develop both political and philosophical understanding through close reading of the assigned texts, class discussion, and careful writing. 


Introduction to the History of Political Thought
Institution: Princeton University 
Department: Politics
Date: Fall 2001 
Course level: Undergraduate course
Format: Discussion

Description: This course introduces students to key concepts of the major thinkers in ancient and modern political thought: Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Tocqueville, Marx and Arendt. 


Rethinking Female Aggression

Institution: The New School for General Studies, New York 
Department: Social Sciences, Bachelor’s Program
Dates: Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Fall 2001
Course level: Advanced undergraduate course
Format: Seminar

Description: This course reviews research (Bjoerkqvist/Francek/Lindfors) and feminist psychoanalyses (Benjamin/Fast/Chodorow), as well as newer feminist scholarship on women’s aggression, rooted in postmodern and interactionist theory (Grossmann, Leeb). We analyze representations of aggressive women in film and popular culture (including Hart). We answer the following questions: How do these works define and explain female aggression? What is the theoretical basis upon which they base their arguments? Do their arguments enhance or impede our understanding of women and aggression? 


The Politics of Recognition
Institution: The New School for General Studies, New York 
Department: Social Sciences, Bachelor’s Program
Date: Summer 2001 
Course level: Advanced level on-line course 
Format: On-line discussion

Description: This course introduces students to the contemporary ‘politics of recognition’ debate in contemporary political theory. 


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