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The New School for Social Research
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Department of Politics
6 East 16th Street, Room 711A
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.229.5747 ext. 3090
79 5th Ave, room 711A
New York, NY 10003
Senior Secretary: Nancy Shealy
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 1pm-8pm
Student Advisor: Camila Andrade Gripp
Advisor Office Schedule
Department of Politics Handbook (PDF)
Expected CompletionApril 2014
Curriculum vitae (PDF)
Major FieldAmerican Politics
Minor FieldPolitical Theory
Dissertation Title"Racial and Ethnic Strategy in Presidential Election Year Rhetoric, 1964-2004"
Dissertation CommitteeVictoria Hattam (chair), David Plotke, Deva Woodly
Dissertation AbstractMy dissertation analyzes presidential rhetoric from 1964 to 2004 to show
how presidents have come to use ethnic rhetoric to justify subtly coded
racial appeals and sidestep issues of racial inequality. It uses a
mixed methods analysis of seventeen election-year volumes of the Public
Papers of the Presidents to track when and how presidents integrated the
term “ethnic” into their speeches. My research shows how direct
discussions of racial inequality have dropped out of presidential
speeches in favor of coded appeals on crime, welfare, and education that
presidents consistently justified with reference to values that unite
ethnically diverse supporters. This strategy allows presidents to draw
on racial resentments, frame these appeals with egalitarian messages,
and claim to be sensitive to issues of diversity. The approach employed
in this dissertation allows us to view this rhetorical strategy’s reach
across time and party to trace its growing acceptance as the dominant
rhetorical strategy for presidents to address race, softening the focus
on racial inequality through the lens of ethnicity.
Research InterestsMy research focuses on the American presidency, racial and ethnic
politics, and political rhetoric. In my dissertation, I perform a
mixed-method analysis of seventeen volumes of the Public Papers of the
Presidents from 1964 to 2004 to show how Republican presidents
established a framework for presidential speech about race that places
ethnicity alongside race and focuses on how common values unite
Americans despite their differences. I show how Republican presidents
developed this framework to justify subtly coded racial appeals and
sidestep issues of racial inequality, and how it has now become the
dominant way for presidents from both parties to speak about race.
have presented this work at several conferences including the American
Political Science Association Annual Meeting in September 2013, the
Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting in January 2013,
and the Midwestern Political Science Association Annual Meeting in March
of 2012. I have an article under review at Presidential Studies
Quarterly that analyzes Nixon’s 1972 campaign rhetoric and shows how he
used ethnic rhetoric to support his campaign strategy to harness the
racial resentments of white ethnics. I am preparing a second manuscript
for submission to Ethnic and Racial Studies titled “From South Africa to
South Central: Framing Racial Transcendence through Foreign Policy
Rhetoric” that analyzes the way that presidents frame American racial
relations in their rhetoric on foreign policy. It shows that Nixon,
Reagan, and Bush framed America as having transcended racism by
comparing domestic American racial relations with Southern African
My next project will assess the relationship
between federal disaster response and Americans’ viewpoints of
government. In this project, I will analyze federal government responses
and rhetoric on those responses through content analysis of local and
national media coverage and Federal Emergency Management Agency messages
regarding HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell Anemia, Hurricane Irene and Superstorm
Sandy. I will survey community leaders in both affected and unaffected
areas to determine if their perceptions of the federal government
changed after the federal government’s response. This project will
provide scholars with a better understanding of the political impacts of
crisis management communication techniques.
Power and the American Political System; Introduction to American Politics; Politics and Culture; The United States and the World;
Democracy and Its Critics; Introduction to Political Theory; Contemporary Political Issues.
Expected CompletionOctober 2014
Dissertation Title"Making the American Immigrant Soldier: Inclusion and Resistance"
Dissertation CommitteeDavid Plotke (chair), Timothy Pachirat, Terry Williams, Aristide Zolberg (deceased)
This thesis describes the process of immigrants' naturalization via a
powerful state institution, the U.S. military. It reveals how the
immigrant soldiers participating in this study underwent the process of
naturalization using diverse practices of both integration/assimilation
and resistance. The study presents the life stories of three immigrants
soldiers: Lily, an immigrant from Romania who serves in the Air Force;
Alexa, an immigrant from Paraguay, who is an Army veteran; and Vinod, an
Indian immigrant serving in the Army's active duty forces. Each life
story shows why the participant in question joined the U.S. military,
and to what extent did she/he became a full member of the military and
host society. This study empowers us to understand the naturalization
process from within, through the lived experiences of the immigrant
soldiers who participated in this research.
My work relies on several qualitative/interpretative methods:
life stories, theoretical and historical analysis, ethnography and
participant observation. As a result of this methodological approach, I
unearthed three distinct discoveries. First, contrary to intuition, the
three immigrant soldiers did not simply integrate or assimilate. They
engaged in various seemingly contradictory practices of
integration/assimilation and resistance in order to find a place for
themselves in the host country. Second, the participants joined the
American armed forces to obtain recognition of their identity and to
access economic resources. Third, the contemporary institution of the
U.S. military faces a set of divergent and competing demands for unity
and diversity of its personnel, especially regarding foreign-born
soldiers. Together, these discoveries portray a unique version of the
immigrants' naturalization process.
My research is in the field of American Politics, with a focus on
immigration. My previous academic training, which I undertook at the New
School for Social Research, drew from work in the areas of identity,
multiculturalism and social justice in immigration studies. My
dissertation was titled Making the American Immigrant Soldier: Inclusion
and Resistance, and the Bucerius Fellowship - "Settling into Motion"
supported its completion. It analyzed the patterns of naturalization
that immigrants used while enlisted in the U.S. military. While studying
the experiences of three immigrant soldiers this dissertation described
the practices they conducted in order to find an equal place in their
new country. Using ethnography, in-depth interviews, participant
observation, and historical analysis, I argued that in order to acquire
social justice immigrants employ a series of practices of
integration/assimilation, alongside practices of resistance.
For the past three years, I have been working on a project that furthers
a comparative dimension. It is a research study on the struggle for
justice of nomadic groups. It looks at how the nomadic Roma/Gypsies in
the European Union and Southern India access social, political and
economic justice. This qualitative, multidisciplinary research is titled
The Quest for Social Justice: The case of the nomadic Roma/Gypsies in
the EU and India. Through in-depth fieldwork, this project aims to
answer the following question: How do nomadic populations, such as the
Roma/Gypsy, acquire justice in nation states? Breaking away from the
classic paradigm, which regards the Roma/Gypsy as a minority, this
project looks at the Roma/Gypsy as a community present in various
nation-states. I intend to transform the results of this research in a
book manuscript by the end of 2016.
Beginning in the academic year 2012 - 2013, which I spent at the
Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, I have been
developing my second research project. This project investigates the
relevance of the concept of justice within the framework of American
politics, particularly as this relates to current policies of border
security and detention centers. I am interested in how local and state
politics play out with respect to more general immigration policies.
Particularly, I will analyze the U.S.'s strategies of immigration
control that heavily emphasize border enforcement and detention centers.
This research highlights the fine line between immigration and
criminality, and explores the theoretical, policymaking underpinnings of
the legal immigration system. In this regard, conducting field research
in the Northeast region of the U.S. presents a great opportunity for
exploring these issues. Work on this topic is also evident in my
teaching endeavors, as I engaged with my students in projects on the
politics of detention centers in the United States. This project is in
its initial stages, and I plan to conduct research over the next year.
I am currently working on transforming one of the life-stories from
my doctoral dissertation into an article to be published in a peer
review journal. This article titled From Being A Foreigner to Being a
Soldier and an American, presents the life story of Lily, an immigrant
soldier from Romania. Based on a five-year-long in-depth qualitative
fieldwork, this article details Lily's journey of transformation via Air
Force Reserve Service. It starts by showing Lily's life before military
service, analyzes how her life in communist Romania, her experience of
the anti-communist revolution, and her early years in an economic and
socially broken system motivated her immigration to the United States,
her stay, enlistment and life in the military.
Intro to American Government; Interest Groups; Women in Politics; Gender and Membership; Politics of International Migration;
Liberalism vs. Conservatism in American Political Thought; World Civilization I & II; Russia after 1917; American Conservative Political Thought;
Intro to Political Theory; Modern Political Thought; Eastern European Politics and Government; Eastern European Politics through Art and Film, Liars; Truth Tellers and Hypocrites; Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
I am an experienced and successful teacher. I have had the
opportunity to teach diverse student population groups and understand
the challenges of different audiences and types of courses. When
teaching arts and design students in a required core curriculum course, I
focused on improving reading and writing skills while using primary
sources to engage them. While working as a teaching assistant for
university-wide classes that included a combination of science and
traditional liberal arts students, I used group activities to bridge the
gap between students with different specializations and to create a
shared sense of community in the classroom. The honors classes, which I
taught for gifted undergraduate students, were focused on generating
particularly challenging activities that would further develop their
academic sophistication and excellence. In each instance, I have worked
to create interdisciplinary courses that engaged students in
contemporary community-based issues. Simultaneously, I strive to instill
practical knowledge and to build the students' knowledge base and
developed their repertoire of skills.
My diverse teaching portfolio includes courses in Political Science,
as well as in general Education, Philosophy and History. I truly enjoy
teaching and I am dedicated to creating a stimulating and
research-friendly environment, where students can explore their
intellectual possibilities. Teaching "Oral History" and "Liberalism vs.
Conservatism in American Politics" (in the U.S. and abroad) has been a
central academic experience that has helped me to understand the
political and philosophical bases of different political and cultural
-Event Coordinator, International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and
Citizenship (Spring 2013).
Organizing and coordinating events; contacting international scholars;
publicizing the events; introducing presenters and facilitating
conversations, furthering liaisons between members.
-Student Liaison, Politics Department, New School for Social Research
Advised prospective students; connected academic and administrative
staff from different departments to prospective students. Organized
meetings, participated at open-houses.
-Research Assistant, Prof Aristide Zolberg, New School for Social
Research (2009- 2012).
Research for book manuscripts and articles about democratic management
of minorities, immigration policies and their impact, citizenship in the
era of globalization, and migration vs. immigration patterns in Africa,
Asia and Latin America.
-Research Assistant, Charney Research Institute, New York (2008-
Conducted research on domestic and international politics for private,
international and federal agencies. Topics of research: democratic
development, international security issues, Middle-East politics,
defense strategies, legal history, program implementation and
evaluation. Created and organized rapports. Assisted with the organizing
the data, organized database supporting research presentations.
-Researcher, Hunter College, Political Science Department, New York
Conducted comparative field research in Eastern Europe (Romania and
former East Germany) on the process of democratization. Orchestrated
research strategies, conducted field research, interview subjects,
created analysis reports and organized database supporting class
-Research Assistant, The New School, Parsons Gimbel Library, (2004-
Assisted professors with teaching materials. Conducted on line and
library research. Research and organized visual resources database.
-Faculty Coordinator, Eugene Lang College, The New School.
Assisted faculty with logistic and academic resources; connected
academic and administrative staff from different departments. Conducted
research and performed a wide variety of administrative tasks. Organized
-Telephone Fundraiser, The New School for Social Research.
Assist with transcribing interviews; created a data base. Analyzed
fundraising materials and implemented fundraising techniques. Called
prospects. Related friends to alumni. Closed gifts.
-TV Program Host, Romanian Voice TV Program, New York (2004).
Created and maintained relationships in the Romanian community.
Researched and orchestrated cultural events, interviews and hosted a
Romanian TV program. Researched, and edited copy for news presentations.
-Interviewer and Researcher, National Sociological Institute
“Metro-Media Transilvania,” Romania (1997- 1999).
Conducted polling research. Utilized database. Transcribed interviews.
Selected subjects. Conducted interviews. Organized and edited data.
Expected CompletionSpring 2017
Re-Focus on the Family: The development of a liberal family politics 1980-2015
My research documents the development of a progressive family politics in America from the Reagan era to the present. Conservatives have based claims in favor of “traditional” gender roles, deregulation, and lower taxes on a defense of the traditional family for the for more than four decades. In recent years this conservative capture of the family has given way to an emergent Left politics that emphasizes familial diversity, exemplified in part by President Barack Obama’s outreach programs targeting fatherless men of color and references to his own family life in speeches. My research on presidential rhetoric, federal policy, and social movements reveals that conservative “family values” politics laid the groundwork for a more liberal and democratic family politics now unfolding.
Each chapter of my doctoral dissertation, entitled “Re-Focus on the Family: The development of a liberal family politics 1980-2015,” focuses on one aspect of the shifting terrain of family discourse and social policy. The first chapter examines “personal responsibility” rhetoric as a central element of welfare reform policy debates. Over the late-20th century, conservatives reframed the liberal call for greater community responsibility in addressing familial breakdown as a demand for more personal responsibility among people of color and the poor. The second chapter analyzes the history of child support enforcement to show how the federal government rationalizes increased scrutiny of men’s lives in a process I call “the responsibilization of fatherhood.” Chapter three is a case study of President Barack Obama, who has adopted conservative family themes and redeployed them for liberal purposes. Obama demonstrates both the dialogic process of articulating political messages and the pitfalls of reshaping themes. Chapter four focuses on conservative anti-gay discourse to show how the mantra of “family values” is no longer culturally resonant. By comparing Anita Bryant’s activism from the 1970s with Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis’s recent protest against same-sex marriage, I show that conservative anti-gay rhetoric has shifted toward personal religious freedom away from defending the traditional family. The final chapter considers three social movement organizations that work for criminal justice reform by highlighting the impact of tough sentencing laws on families. These organizations rework familial political discourse by applying the theme of family impact, first promoted by conservatives in the Reagan White House, for liberal ends. In the conclusion I argue that progressive groups can win public favor by framing their issues with reference to family, but these references must confront the historical legacy of conservative familial politics.
American Political Development; Contemporary Political Theory; 20th Century American History; Sociology of Family Life
I teach and research. I read. I care about the future, democracy, and the ways that politics is communicated. I think the family is a deeply flawed institution. It also might be our only hope.
"Gender, the Family, and the State in American Politics"
"Contemporary Feminist Theory"
"Women in US Politics"
I have had the pleasure of teaching a variety of courses, including introductions to American politics, feminist theory, and conservative thought. My courses are united by a concern for American political institutions, race politics, feminist theories, and political philosophy. Previous courses include lectures, seminars, and discussion sessions held at universities in New York City, Dresden, Germany, and Manchester, England.
Generations of AIDS: The Political Ecology of a Thirty-Five Year Old Virus
Dissertation CommitteeVictoria Hattam Chair, Miriam Ticktin, Jasmine Rault, Rafi Youatt, Ann Snitow
My dissertation, “Generations of AIDS: The Political Ecology of a Thirty-Five year old virus” uses the AIDS crisis as a window into the dynamics of institutional change in the U.S. Political System. I argue that AIDS reconfigured the U.S. approach to disease prevention but that the fundamental structures of U.S. public health institutions were left untransformed. To explain this phenomenon I examine documents from early HIV/AIDS activists and organizations, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and federal legislation addressing the epidemic. My primary source materials include scientific journals, magazines, and biology textbooks, and secondary texts charting the history of AIDS science. I couple this archival work with interviews with contemporary actors who have influenced AIDS discourse, ranging from artists and activists to HIV scientists and historians. The multi-method approach offers a way to get at both the complexity of the virus, which has been woefully neglected within institutional scholarship, and the complexity of U.S. public health institutions, which has been neglected within literature on HIV/AIDS. The first chapter examines the ways in which memory works to reconfigure the history of the virus for different sets of communities. I analyze contemporary institutional and community memory projects, oral histories, memorials, and museums to highlight the multiple sites where the history and meaning of the ongoing epidemic are produced towards different ends. The second chapter examines how the Centers for Disease Control’s epidemiological methods were reconfigured, not due to new scientific data, but rather, because of a focused and persistent social movement mobilization that forced the institution to change. The third chapter explores how the epidemic was securitized in the late 1990s leading to a reconfiguration of how the U.S. conducts global health development work, culminating in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), passed in 2003 by George W. Bush. The final empirical chapter explores how three decades of research on the immune system has reconfigured the way scientists understand the inner working of our bodies. The wake of AIDS fostered new political formations, new institutional alignments, and new questions about where our bodies begin and end. However the crisis has not led to solutions to the ever-persistent questions about the access and affordability of health care. After generations of people and policies have combatted the virus, we remain outwitted not only because the virus is biologically complex but more so because the disease is understood as a personal failing of marginalized people, as a security threat, or as a manageable illness rather than a communal political problem catalyzed by systemic racism, poverty, and homo- and trans- phobias.
Feminist Science Studies, Historical Institutionalism, Political Ecology, Critical race, disability, and trans theory, Queer Theory
Teaching Fellow (Instructor of Record): “Radical Arguments: First Year Writing I” (Fall 2011, 2012, 2013)
Teaching Fellow (Instructor of Record): “Queer Theories: First Year Writing II” (Spring 2012, 2013,
Teaching Assistant: “Introduction to Feminist Thought and Actions” (Fall 2012)
Teaching Assistant: “Old Left, New Left, Future Left,” University Lecture (Spring 2011)
Teaching Assistant: “Introduction to Cultural Studies” (Spring 2012- Present)
Price, J. Ricky. “The Treatment and Prevention of HIV Bodies: The Contemporary Science and Politics of a Thirty-Year-Old Epidemic,” in LGBTQ Politics: A Critical Reader. Eds. Marla Brettschneider, Susan Burgess, and Cricket Keating. Forthcoming 2017, NYU Press.
Expected CompletionSpring 2018
Keeping Order: Sound Power and the Colonized Body
Sound—existing at the interface of physiological reception and vibratory signal—represents an understudied modality of political power. In neglecting the audial dimension of the political realm, we fail to perceive a crucial host of governance strategies adopted by military and civilian authorities, consigning us to a partial understanding from which to discern contemporary local-level conflicts, government-civil society relations, and strategies of territorial domination and identity making. This dissertation centers on how political power is constituted through sound, or how sound serves as a mechanism of power, by tracing two keynote sounds—the Israeli tzeva adom, or “code red” air raid siren, and the Muslim call to prayer, or adhan, in colonial Algeria and contemporary France—across their respective political contexts. These cases demonstrate the body’s conscription into relations of power, showcasing the material and affective registers that undergird public opinion and behavior in contentious politics and revealing, in the process, a new way of understanding domination and resistance.
Critical theory, Islam, comparative politics, sound studies, postcolonialism, biopolitics, borders
“Sound-Power: New Dimensions of the Global,” Fall, 2015. I designed an undergraduate research seminar for Global Studies based on my dissertation research. The course centered on techniques of governance in the neoliberal era viewed through the lens of sensory politics. Student evaluation of teaching effectiveness: 5.0 (highest possible score).
“The Arabian Peninsula: Politics and Power in the Middle East,” upcoming, Spring 2017. The course examines the modern histories, social organizations, cultures, and political systems of 21st Century Arabia, focusing on Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. At the heart of the region, these rapidly transforming desert nations provide sites for a critical investigation into themes central to Middle Eastern politics.
Comparative/American Politics: “Power and Visuality,” Spring 2013, Fall 2014. Topics included modernity and modernization, postwar culture and the politics of representation, the body as a site of protest, and the discursive and aesthetic circulation of ideas in a post-1989 global context.
“U.S. and the World in the 21st Century,” Spring, 2015. Course themes centered on U.S. foreign policy, democracy, and American empire. My section included an area focus on ISIS and conflicts in the Middle East.
“Immigration, Politics, and America Today,” Spring 2016. Topics included migration theory, the history of U.S.-Mexico migration, contemporary immigration flows and immigration as a political issue.
The Critical Spirit, Simone Weil's Critique of Oppression
In this project, I argue that Simone Weil’s (1909-1943) mystical critical theory provides a prolegomena to the political problems of our contemporary situation. Weil’s critique of oppression operates at both the material and ideological levels. On the material ideological level, her critique of the coercive nature of ideological orthodoxy is couched in terms of the distinction between idolatry and free thought. Thusly free thought is allowed to be both atheist materialism and true religion in that place where they meet on a political and ethical level to combat contemporary idolatry. The control of ideological freedom is underpinned by physical coercion and material need rather than the needs of the soul. It is only by addressing the needs of the soul, on the political level, that we can achieve the transcendent (though still material) moment of the love of neighbor which is both the pathway and the goal of social critique and social movements. I make this argument by way of analysis of her critique of the Church, the State, and the party, her critique of oppressive and free forms of labor, her critique of violence, and her mysticism and utopian vision for post-War France. At the same time as this project is a study of Weil's political thought, it has relevance to broader practitioners of critical theory and fellow participants in contemporary, post-Occupy, social movements. To this end, I employ Weil’s own use of the term “oppression” because it provides fertile ground for the investigation of society in an open and inclusive way. I draw from her advocacy for heterodox thought for the next wave of anti-ideological movements. I present her deep understanding of the affective realities of France’s interwar factory system as a model for understanding how precarious laborers are oppressed by the constant threat of humiliation in contemporary society. I see the social ramifications of “the violence that does not kill just yet” that Weil reads in the Iliad and in French colonial practices in the never-ending cycle of police violence in the United States. And, like Weil, I see the promise of a free society of ethical individuals in nourishing communities but do not expect such a society to resolve all forms of social oppression in contemporary society – though I am not yet willing to compromise. Within the broader project of critical theory, I embrace the pessimistic premise that critique is necessary even without any suggestion of change; and the conclusion that when change does take place, everything will be the same, only slightly different. This is why Weil’s utopian vision of post-war France is compromised at best, cynical at worst.
Political Theory, Continental Political Theory, Critical Theory, Mysticism, Jewish Political Thought
Revolution & Political Violence (Fall 2012): introductory or intermediate
Politics & Literature (Fall 2013): advanced-level course
Women in Political Theory: introductory-level course
“The Training of the Soul: Simone Weil’s Dialectical Disciplinary Paradigm, a Reading Alongside Michel Foucault” in Simone Weil and Continental Philosophy, ed. A. Rebecca Rozelle-Stone, London; Rowman & Littlefield, Forthcoming.
“Judith Butler’s Critique of Zionism: Jewishness, Divine Law, and Divine Violence,” The Queens College Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol.XV, 141-150, Spring, 2013.
Expected CompletionSpring 2016
Dissertation TitleThe Times on Stage
Dissertation AbstractMy research inquires into the undecidable relation between the political and the theatrical. On the one hand I trace the theatrico-political's Other, that is, a politics of "authenticity" as the negation of the theatrico-political. The question here is whether or not authenticity can exist outside theatricality and without setting forth a tragic nihilism. On the other hand, if it is the case that politics and theater maintain an essential and inseparable "creative" relation as Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, and Jacques Rancière have posited, then what will be the kinds of drama to come, which create beyond the present limits of the theatrico-political. Such limits, I argue, are at work in the theorizations of the aforementioned thinkers insofar as the latter are bound to a politics of presence. Action, event, and dissensus, remain loyal to spatial reconfiguations of the political demanding material presence while holding alternative temporalities constant. I therefore turn to the writings of Jacques Derrida, in order to trace the possibility of a political theatricality that opens itself up to heterogeneous times and to the simultaneity of the transcendent and the immanent: A call for staging the times as such, that is to say also, a call for temporalizing the stage of the political, that condition of possibility upon and through which we act.
Areas of expertise
Critical and aesthetic theory; Theories of sovereignty and history; Politics of gender, sexuality, and the body; Iranian politics
"Performing the Iranian 2009 Show Trials in the Theatre of History." In Peninsula: A Journal of Relational Politics, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012
“The Sovereign’s Confessions: International Relations and the Iranian Post-Elections Show Trials.” In Illumine: Journal of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, Vol. 9, April 2011