I’m an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where I teach on various topics in modern political thought and intellectual history.
I work primarily in the field of democratic theory and study how revolutionary popular agency is expressed in political thought and visual culture. In my book, The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France (Oxford University Press, 2020), I explore why popular agency frequently expressed itself as regenerative violence in France’s long nineteenth century. I’m also at work on two projects. The first, The Dreamworlds of Mass Democracy, reconstructs revolutionary conceptions of “the voice of the people” forged during the struggle for universal suffrage from the 1848 European revolutions to the triumph of neoliberalism in the late 1970s. A second project, Freud Against Empire: An Experimental History, maps how an international cohort of midcentury radicals—from surrealist poets and painters in Paris to psychiatrists in Harlem and intellectuals at UNESCO—deployed psychoanalysis to undermine racial hierarchy and civilizational difference. In 2017, I received the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for the best dissertation in political philosophy, and my research has appeared in venues such as Modern Intellectual History, Political Theory, and the American Political Science Review.
My book collection, small but growing, is at librarything.