Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice
Phone: +1 (212) 220-1245
I have taught at BMCC since 2007. Influenced by the study of political theory and by experiences in political action, I try to make each of my courses an occasion for students (and for me) to become more thoughtful observers of public life, the better to participate in it.
Political Theory, Intellectual History
- B.A. New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL), Political Science, 1996
- Ph.D. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Political Science, 2007
- The history, development, and intellectual origin of American government are studied and analyzed. Special consideration is given to the structure and operation of the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, and the role of government and politics in a modern industrial society.
- This class involves students in observation and critical analysis of political affairs. Topics and themes will include both American and global perspectives and both contemporary and historical cases. The class introduces a range of approaches to the study of politics, such as empirical research, quantitative analysis, theoretical questioning, and the examination of literary or artistic works. Central concepts will include politics, power, government, conflict, and justice.
- This course examines political ideas and their relationship to the practice of politics. Various theories will be explored, including liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and contemporary political thought. The course will address questions such as: What is human nature? What are rights, liberty and justice? How might they be achieved? What is the proper role of government? Political theorists approach these questions differently and provide different answers. The relevance of theories to current political issues is discussed.
Prerequisites: Any Social Science course
Research and Projects
I am currently studying the American social democratic tradition, looking at its ambiguous pattern of emergence and invisibility, its place within the broader tradition of American thinking about democracy and community, and its relationship to mid-century trans-Atlantic discussions of humanism, personhood, and the concept of the political. Much of my past writing has been about the nature and meaning of European social democracy and American community organizing.
Essays, articles, etc.
- “Keeping the Left Alive: Michael Walzer’s Political Action Reissued,” Public Seminar
- “What Religious Socialists Have Brought to Socialism,” Syndicate (adapted from a panel presentation at “Democratic Socialism: Then and There, Here and Now”)
- “Can There Be Dignity in a Vast Majority?” Public Seminar
- “From Protest to Organizing,” Public Seminar
- “After Bernie,” Contrivers’ Review
- “On Organizing, Solidarity, and the Enlightenment,” in Rational Radicalism and Political Theory
- “An Apprenticeship for Life in Common: Jean Jaurès on Social Democracy and the Modern Republic,” New Political Science (35:1)
- “The President as Community Organizer,” Radio interview, KBOO (Portland, ME)
- “Obama and the Organizing Tradition,” Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (7.2)
Reviews and review essays
- Review of Tim Rogan, The Moral Economists: R.H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, E.P. Thompson, and the Critique of Capitalism, New Political Science (41.1)
- Review of Andy Blunden, The Origins of Collective Decision Making, Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (16:1-2)
- Review of Gareth Dale, Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left, New Political Science (39.2)
- Review of Gilles Candar and Vincent Duclert, Jean Jaurès, H-France Review
- “Socialism as an Ethos,” a review of A Socialist History of the French Revolution by Jean Jaurès, trans. Mitchell Abidor, Contrivers’ Review
- “Social Democracy, Here and Now,” Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (13.3-4)
- “The Production of Solidarity: Pierre Rosanvallon on Civil Society and Democracy,” New Political Science (30.4)
- Review of George Scialabba, What are Intellectuals Good For?, Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture (10.2)
- “From Liberalism to Social Democracy,” a review of Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson, Liberal Beginnings, Dissent
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- Phi Theta Kappa Award for Excellence in Education (2008)
During the 2019-2020 academic year, I will be on sabbatical.