B.A. Macalester College
M.A. University of Amsterdam
Ph.D. Rutgers University
My engagement with philosophical problems of justice, freedom, power, democratic inclusion and exclusion is inspired by the activism of women's movements. The efforts of women's rights activists to advance gender equality through law have placed legal theory and matters of justice at the center of my research agenda. I am also interested in the role of art, imagination, and aesthetic ideals in clarifying and furthering the goals of emancipatory social movements.
My teaching and scholarship are informed by feminist theory, critical theory (the Frankfurt School), critical race theory (particularly in legal studies) and radical new interpretations of Kant, Hegel and Marx. The greatest inspiration for me, however, is the original and powerful way in which political theories are forged through women's efforts to create a more just world. Early opportunities to work with women's rights organizations in Minnesota and to participate in building stronger networks between feminist organizations in Africa and the Netherlands were a crucial part of my intellectual and political formation. In recent years, it has been an honor to continue to support women's democratic participation as a member of the Advisory Board of the UN Democracy Fund (2018-2019).
For me, political theory is always lively and in motion: my teaching focuses on facilitating the processes through which new generations of students encounter political ideas and critique or reconfigure them. I see political theory as a process, a conversation, an invitation to intellectual engagement. Political theory, in my interpretation, is an effort to build relationships and ways of thinking that might build a better world.
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