research

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My research addresses the relationship between political theory and ideas of nature in the context of the global ecological crisis.

I recently defended my dissertation, “On the Political Uses of Creative Darkness: Freedom, Subjectivity, and Normativity.” The basic argument is that reworking elements salvaged from F. W. J. Schelling’s philosophy of nature helps me (1) formulate a novel theory of the ecologically conditioned human subject and (2) propose a creative biopolitics that amends some longstanding concerns about freedom and normativity in the context of political theory. Throughout the dissertation, I engage extensively with Schelling’s naturalism, with political ecology, and with Italian biopolitical theorist Roberto Esposito’s immunitarian ontology. I also address a number of related topics, such as immunology, landscape architecture, new materialism, microbiology, and poststructural anthropology, as well as engaging other relevant figures, including Georges Bataille, Manuel DeLanda, Iain Hamilton Grant, Donna Haraway, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Michel Serres.

For my M.A., I studied the history of the idea of the end of history, drawing upon both 19th-century German philosophy and the conflicting projects of Alexandre Kojève and Carl Schmitt in order to explore how philosophies of history shape perceptions of geopolitical possibility. I remain interested in the theoretical foundations of contemporary geopolitics.

I also follow closely the applications and implications of developments in political theory sometimes called the new materialisms, particularly insofar as these developments help us rethink how perceived or real conditions of ecological crisis, existential threat, and political decay affect us as collective and individual political agents.

I translate texts from French, German, Italian, and Spanish, and I have translated excerpts from texts by Kojève, Ludwig Klages, and Schelling. I recently finished translating an unproduced screenplay by the Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni (Tecnicamente dolce, 1966), and I am currently translating Fabián Ludueña Romandini’s monograph La comunidad de los espectros, I: Antropotecnia (Buenos Aires: Miño y Dávila, 2010) (1, 2).