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Imagining America

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My book, Imagining America: Hemispheric Collectivities and the Postcolonial Foundations of American Political Thought traces the emergence of what I call Pan-American Discourse, a hemispheric vernacular of anti-colonial revolution that I argue connected the more than thirty popular republican movements which seized control of the Americas during the Age of Revolutions (c.1775-1830). The book relies on archival analysis to connect cases of hemispheric solidarity among Indigenous, Black, and Mestizo-led insurgencies in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and the United States with the goal of showing that marginalized communities used Pan-American rhetoric to legitimize demands for egalitarian reforms such as the abolition of slavery, tributary practices, as well as for the establishment of civic equality and protected land rights. In doing so, my study of hemispheric insurgency movements demonstrates that marginalized communities transformed the principles of republican thought by centering ethnoracial standpoints, religious identities, and precolonial genealogies in their visions for post-colonial emancipation. I illustrate these political innovations by using objects of popular discourse, such as marching songs, pamphlets, poems, and visual artifacts used by these movements.

Research Agenda

My broader research agenda is situated in two areas. First, in Comparative Political Theory and Post-Colonial Thought, my work on hemispheric insurgency movements emphasizes Indigenous studies, racial and ethnic studies, popular movements, and decolonial politics. My research aims to bring a vernacular perspective in the study of marginalized groups by tracing the language, practices, and visions they used to subvert colonial power. Second, my research aims to expand the scope and archive of the History of Political Thought by highlighting the political and conceptual innovations of popular discursive contexts. My study of the Age of Revolutions focuses on the reception of Republican Political Thought in the Americas, as well as its imbrication in histories of empire and colonialism. My work on insurgency movements demonstrates that marginalized communities not only understood the saliency of republican rhetoric during the Age of Revolutions, but also shows how these groups transformed republican thinking to better address their lived experiences as colonial subjects.

 

My research in American Politics focuses on public opinion, voter behavior, issue saliency, and open-ended data methods. My co-authored project with Benjamin Page, Thomas Ferguson, Jacob Rothschild and Jie Chen, "The Roots of Right-Wing Populism: Donald Trump in 2016," appeared in the International Journal of Political Economy (July 2020). This project is funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Book Chapters, Review Essays, and Edited Issues

“Place and Supranational Politics: A Review of Inés Valdez’s Transnational Cosmopolitanism and Paulina Ochoa Espejo’s On Borders” forthcoming in Theory & Event.

 

“Alternate Imaginaries in Postcolonial, Decolonial, and Comparative Political Theory” special issue edited with Gabriel Salgado and Gauri Wagle forthcoming with Philosophy and Global Affairs.

 

“Imperial Subjectivities: Indigenous Claims-Making as Intracolonial Agency” with Owen Brown. Forthcoming in Non-Western Agency and World Politics edited by Anahita Arian and John Hobson (prepared for Cambridge University Press).

Working Projects

“Negotiating Racial Subjection: Linking Black and Indigenous Resistance through an Order-Centered Framework" with Owen Brown, Revise and Resubmit at the American Political Science Review (APSR). 

"What are the Barriers to Comparative Political Theory's Call for Equitable Global Dialogue?" with Kevin Pham. Under review.

"Liberalism and Coloniality: Indigenous Claims-Making and the Question of Civic Purity in Spanish Constitutionalism."

"'Which Oppression?' Narratives of National Progress and Popular Organizing in 1970's Colombia." with Laura García Montoya and Diana Isabel Güiza Gomez.

"Rousseau and Tlaxcala: Republican Virtue and Anti-Imperialism Beyond Europe" with David Lay Williams.

Public-Facing Scholarship

Awards and Research Grants

Association for Political Theory and Contemporary Political Theory Submission Prize for "Languages of Transnational Revolution" (2021).

Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021; Declined)

Consortium for Faculty Diversity 

 

Diversity and Inclusion Research Advancement Grant in Indigenous Studies (2020)   

American Political Science Association

 

Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellowship (2020)

Williams College, Williamstown MA

 

Presidential Fellowship Nominee (2020; Declined)

Northwestern University, Evanston IL

 

Franke Graduate Fellowship (2019)

Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Northwestern University, Evanston IL

 

Graduate Research Grant (2018)

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Northwestern University, Evanston IL

 

Doctoral Research Award in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2018)

Northwestern University, Evanston IL

 

Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Studies (2015)

Northwestern University, Evanston IL                                                                                  

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