Geoffrey Kurtz

Picture of Geoffrey    Kurtz


Associate Professor
Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice

EMAIL: gkurtz@bmcc.cuny.edu

Office: N-669

Office Hours: Online, for now. Link provided to current students via Blackboard and to others by request.

Phone: +1 (212) 220-1245

I have taught at BMCC since 2007. Influenced by the study of political theory and by experiences of political participation, I try to make each of my courses an occasion for students (and for me) to become more thoughtful observers of public life, in hopes that by doing so we can better understand ourselves and the larger wholes to which we belong. My classes use history, literature, and classic works of political thought as approaches to studying politics.

Expertise

Political theory and the history of political thought, with emphasis on American political thought

Degrees

  • B.A. New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL), Political Science, 1996
  • Ph.D. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Political Science, 2007

Courses Taught

Research and Projects

I am currently studying the American social democratic tradition, looking at its place in the history of American thinking about democracy and community. My writings on Irving Howe and Michael Walzer (see below) are pieces of that project. Beyond that, my recent preoccupations have included medieval thought and culture, the emergence of modern paradigms of secularism and individualism, and the political consequences of those paradigms.

Publications

Book

Essays, scholarly articles, and book chapters

Book reviews and review essays (since 2007)

Academic conference presentations (since 2007)

  • “Maybe Even Souls: Michael Walzer on the Moral Basis of Socialism.” New York Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 2021; revised version at Association for Political Theory Annual Conference, November 2021.
  • “Michael Walzer’s Political Pluralism, Or, When is a Social Democrat Not a Communitarian?” Association for Political Theory Annual Conference, October 2018.
  • “Social Democracy in Lockean America: Michael Walzer’s Dilemma.” New York State Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 2018.
  • “An Apprenticeship for Life in Common: Jean Jaurès on the Modern Republic.” New York State Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 2012.
  • “Organizing in the Age of Experiments: Benjamin Franklin’s Public Spirit.” Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, November 2009.
  •  “Assembling the Public: Benjamin Franklin on the Practice of Organizing and the Modern Republic.” New England Political Science Association Annual Meeting, May 2009.
  • “Organizer in Chief? Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky, and the Organizing Tradition in American Democratic Thought.” Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, November 2007.

Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • Phi Theta Kappa Award for Excellence in Education (2008)

Additional Information