Imagining America


My dissertation, entitled “Imagining America: International Commiseration and National Revolution in the Modern Post-Colony,” traces the emergence of what I call Pan-American Discourse, a hemispheric vernacular of revolutionary change that I argue connected the more than thirty popular republican movements that seized control of the Americas during the Age of Revolutions (c.1775-1830). I analyze cases of Indigenous, Black, and Mestizo-led insurgency in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and the United States to demonstrate that marginalized communities used Pan-American discourse to legitimize demands for egalitarian reforms such as the abolition of slavery, civic equality, and protection of agricultural rights. Further, my study of hemispheric insurgency movements demonstrates that marginalized communities transformed the principles of republican thought by centering racialized bodies, Indigenous identities, and religious beliefs in their visions of post-colonial emancipation. I illustrate these political innovations by using objects of popular discourse, such as novels, poetry, pamphlets, marching songs and visual artifacts depicting a collective project of anti-colonial imagination.


Research Agenda

My broader research agenda is situated in two areas. First, in Comparative Political Theory and Post-Colonial Studies, my work on hemispheric insurgency movements emphasizes Indigenous studies, racial and ethnic studies, popular movements, and post-colonial thought. My research aims to bring a vernacular perspective on comparative political theory by highlighting the contributions of popular thought and “common” actors attempting to subvert colonial order. Second, my research aims to expand the scope and archive of the History of Political Thought by tracing 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 traces the ways in which they translated and 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

“Restoring Anáhuac: Indigenous Genealogies and Hemispheric Republicanism in Post-Colonial Mexico,” forthcoming, American Journal of Political Science.

“The Roots of Right-Wing Populism: Donald Trump in 2016” with Thomas Ferguson, Benjamin I. Page, Jacob Rothschild, and Jie Chen, International Journal of Political Economy (July 2020).

Working Projects

"Convergent Ideologies: Anti- and Neo-Colonial Republicanism in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands," revise and resubmit at Contemporary Political Theory.

“Negotiating Racial Subjection: Linking Black and Indigenous Resistance through an Order-Centered Framework" with Owen Brown, under review. 

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

Public Scholarship

Awards and Research Grants

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