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. In my dissertation, I turn away from the attempt to settle this definitional question, and instead examine how and why it emerged as a historically specific problem. I reconstruct the development of the varied uses of the concept of violence 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 BA in philosophy and an MA in history from Yale, as well as an MPhil in political thought and intellectual history from the University of Cambridge. You can view my CV here (.pdf).
Beyond my dissertation project, my work deals mostly with the politics of information society and with methodological issues in contemporary critical theory.
“A Rumble in the Taupe Hum of Info-Capital: On Reduction and the Neoliberal City.” With Matthew Claudel. Journal of Design and Science issue 5 (MIT Media Lab). Open access here.
A coauthored essay critiquing the Silicon Valley obsession with the Singularity as a symptom of the neoliberal project of “informational capitalism” as it unfolds in urban and digital space.
“Between Mediation and Critique: Quaker nonviolence in apartheid Cape Town, 1976–1990.” European Journal of Political Theory, 2017. 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, 2017. 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.
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.