current research

Contemporary debates about the concept of violence have high political stakes, yet their history has been widely neglected. For five decades, academics and activists have argued not simply over whether violence can be justified but more fundamentally over what violence is. I submit that this question cannot be answered. Instead, in my dissertation, I examine how and why this concern emerged as a historically specific problem reconstruct the development of the concept’s varied uses, and evaluate the limits of its potential for emancipatory politics today.

I am a doctoral student in political theory at Yale University. I hold a B.A. in philosophy and an MA in history from Yale, as well as  an M.Phil. in political thought and intellectual history from the University of Cambridge. You can view my CV here (.pdf).

peer-reviewed publications

“Between Mediation and Critique: Quaker nonviolence in apartheid Cape Town, 1976–1990.” European Journal of Political Theory. Available here.

An essay, based on archival research, about how white Quakers in Cape Town during apartheid struggled with the meaning of their theological-political pacifism and with the concept of violence itself.

“The Utopian Shadow of Normative Reconstruction.” Constellations. Available here.

An essay about how a particular way of thinking about freedom and social reproduction can help us theorize the concretely utopian dimensions of intimacy and relationality.

“The Queerness of Distraction: a research program for theory and theology.” Theology and Sexuality. Full text (.pdf); journal page. Selected as “Editor’s choice” article for 2014.

An essay on the implications for queer theory and queer theology of ways of thinking about time and subjectivity that start from discontinuity rather than coherence.