Contact details


Thompson Hall

200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Office 436


My research and teaching interests are in American political thought, democratic theory, the politics of race and indigeneity, and political theories of empire and colonialism. 

My first book, Empire of the People: Settler Colonialism and the Foundations of Modern Democratic Thought (University Press of Kansas, 2018), examines the constitutive role of settler colonialism in shaping modern norms of democratic legitimacy.  I am currently working on two book-length projects.  The first provides an intellectual genealogy of W.E.B. Du Bois’s notion of “world democracy” in the context of transnational democratic thought in the twentieth century.  The second, tentatively titled “Semisovereign Peoples,” examines narrative and rhetorical articulations of transnational citizenship in the work of Ottobah Cugoano, Frederick Douglass, Randolph Bourne, Herman Melville, and C.L.R. James.  I also work on the history and philosophy of abolitionism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

My research has appeared or is forthcoming in journals like Polity, Perspectives on Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, Journal of Politics, Constellations, Modern Intellectual History, and Political Research Quarterly, among others, and has received financial support from the Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies (CLACLS).  Before coming to UMass, I taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of the South.