I am the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Political Theory at Vanderbilt University. I received my Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2016, and was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. My research grapples with questions in contemporary political theory and practice by drawing from the history of European political thought, modern and classical Jewish thought, social theory, religious studies, and literature. Among my interests are the ways in which liberal democracies can diminish domination and achieve solidarity, the political impact of our emotions and non-rational psychology, and how theorists have secularized religious ideas for ethics and politics.
My work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, and the Oxford Handbook of Civil Society. My book manuscript, Solidarity in a Secular Age: From Political Theology to Jewish Philosophy, draws from such thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Jürgen Habermas, Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Buber, and the novelist George Eliot to develop a new normative theory of how liberal democracies can achieve social solidarity in light of humanity’s non-rational psychology.
My dissertation was nominated by Harvard for the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for Best Dissertation in Political Theory. One of my chapters was awarded the Bowdoin Prize, Harvard’s highest award in the humanities. Another received a conference prize for best political science paper. At Harvard I was a Mellon/ACLS Fellow, Presidential Scholar, Fulbright Fellow, Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellow in Ethics, and Graduate Society Merit Fellow. My work has been supported by the Harvard Center for European Studies and grants from the Harvard Center for Jewish Studies and Loeb Initiative on Religious Freedom. I graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Yale in 2009.