Since 2017, I have been an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. I teach the history of political philosophy, and my research focuses on ancient Greek political thought. I received my PhD in 2015 from the University of Texas at Austin, having written my dissertation on the theme of political ambition in Plato’s portrayal of Alcibiades and his relationship to Socrates. That project became a book, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in May of 2017.
My current project is a new book on Plato’s Letters, which includes an introduction addressing the state of scholarly debate concerning authenticity, a new English translation, and an interpretive essay. Following most ancient commentators and a handful of more recent ones, I take the entire Letters as a Platonic literary whole providing an account of Plato’s own political career—including the writing of his dialogues—and of the place of philosophy therein. I have presented my work on various aspects of the Letters at several political science conferences over the past few years. The manuscript now complete, I anticipate publication in 2022.
My teaching at Wayne State covers the whole history of political philosophy, from classical to contemporary. At the undergraduate level, I teach PS 2510, a survey course in 17th to 19th century political theory, PS 3530, a course on Platonic political philosophy, and PS 3515: “American Political Thought,” which includes units on the American Federalist/Anti-Federalist founding debates, Tocqueville’s Democracy and America, and the history of African American political thought from abolition to civil rights (Douglass, Washington, Du Bois, King, and Baldwin). At the graduate level, I alternate yearly between PS 7550, in which we undertake a semester-long reading of a classical political philosopher (Plato’s Republic F17, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics W20, Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War W22), and PS 7560, in which we study the intellectual-historical arc traced by Hobbes’s On the Citizen, Rousseau’s First and Second Discourses, and a selection of works by Nietzsche (Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spake Zarathustra). In both graduate courses, students also learn about the contemporary study of the history of political philosophy by reading books and articles representative of a variety of approaches, perspectives, and schools of thought.
My theory offerings at Wayne are supplemented by my weekly “Reading Group in the History of Philosophy,” in which my students and I engage in intensive studies of texts not covered in class as well as their contemporary interpreters. Since 2017, we have read works by Plato, Xenophon, Niccolo Machiavelli, Edmund Burke, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, Quentin Skinner, and John Rawls.
Moreover, I have been fortunate enough to teach, in addition to my specialty in political theory, courses and workshops drawing on my secondary political science specialization in quantitative methodology. I have taught introductory graduate courses in statistical inference both at Michigan State University (where I held a postdoctoral position from 2015 to 2017) and at Wayne State, and have taught “Math Camp” workshops to incoming graduate students at UT, MSU, and WSU. Since inheriting that program as a graduate student at UT Austin, I have expanded it to incorporate material for more advanced students, and am now working on new versions that will include students from other social science departments, and even incoming undergraduates in the natural sciences. In my undergraduate studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, I double-majored in physics and political science. In another life, had I been unable to pursue my passion in the study of ancient Greek philosophy, I could have been very happy as a math teacher; in this one, at least I get to teach Math Camp.
Though I have been living and studying in the United States for almost half my life, I am a still a proud Canadian, born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. When the Canadian government first allowed Covid-vaccinated citizens to reenter without quarantining, I managed to return to my hometown, for the first time in two years, just in time to enjoy the Stanley Cup finals buzz before my beloved Habs lost in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was still a nice homecoming. In my spare time, I enjoy chess, camping, cooking, comedy, playing music, etymologies, and, more than anything, playing with my sons.
Which brings me to my life’s blissful epicenter. In 2017, I married my wife, Cassie, and since then we have produced a pair of indescribably beautiful boys, Oskar and Solomon. Our happy family lives in Ferndale, MI.
Please find Curriculum Vitae, project abstracts, and other resources on the pages of this website. Some of the content is still to come, but email me to request any materials or information.