I am a political scientist and educator. I received my PhD from Purdue University, and since then have taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, in traditional, interdisciplinary, and ESL programs, and in face-to-face and online formats at many different kinds of educational institutions. As a result, I’ve taught a broad array of subjects, including political theory, international relations, the political economy of development, political ecology, the politics of gender, U.S. politics, American group identity formation, technological theory and ethics, research and writing methods, and many others.
My research and writing generally focuses on a cluster of problems pertaining to political obedience and obligation, freedom, and mechanisms of social control. I want to understand why people obey authorities, how power relationships and inequalities become normalized and acquire a sense of legitimacy, and what possibilities exist for exercising freedom and human flourishing amidst complex, violent, and stratified systems. I am particularly interested in the ways in which different perceptions of time can help structure, disrupt, and transform different kinds of sociopolitical organization as well as our understanding of them. Our experiences with time are deeply political, even if we don’t often explicitly consider them as such: mobilizing memories of trauma or triumph to give meaning to personal events, collective memory, or state policy; fearing or exalting continuity of the past, or the emergence of something new; dreaming of alternative futures; interpreting the world in terms of future progress, endless repetition, decline, or deferred salvation; finding purpose and expectations of security in a world where neither are guaranteed. These structures we give to temporality are the scaffolding for empires and revolutions alike, as well as shelters (however limited) against the precarity of our lives.