I currently teach in the Politics Department at Oberlin College in Ohio. My courses at Oberlin are cross-listed in Environmental Studies; Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies; and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Previously, I taught for several years at Eugene Lang College, The New School’s liberal arts college in New York City. There I taught in the Global Studies, Politics, First-Year Writing, and Social Science Fellowship programs. I have also taught in Central and Eastern Europe, at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and at the Univerzita Jana Amose Komenského in Prague.
Current Courses (2023-24)
Political Ecology. Political Ecology studies the relationship between “nature” and “society,” while taking a critical stance towards capitalism and liberal environmentalism. We will explore questions such as: How does the meaning of “nature” change over time, space, and culture? How is knowledge about the environment produced in relation to power? Why do market solutions continue to dominate in discussions of environmental problems?
The Autocratic Turn. As of 2019, more than half of the world’s people live under non-democratic governments (V-Dem Institute, 2020). This course takes a comparative and historical approach to the study of authoritarianism. How does authoritarianism vary across space and time? How do authoritarian practices diffuse across countries? Is there an “autocratic playbook” that leaders follow? Can we observe autocracy at the sub-national or local level? Case studies will be drawn from all world regions.
Theater and Politics. From Ancient Greek tyrants to contemporary direct action protests, theater has appeared as both a vehicle and a metaphor for expressing our collective life. This course will explore connections between theatrical depictions of politics, or politics on stage, and the performative nature of politics, or politics as stage. What roles must individuals adopt in daily life in order to have their voices heard? What does the language of “performance” contribute to our understanding of politics?
Queer Comparative Politics. This course surveys contemporary LGBTQIA+ experience in different countries using the tools of comparative politics. How are gender and sexuality defined differently in different contexts? How are they (de)politicized? How do queer politics interact with national politics and global human rights discourse? Is there such a thing as a global queer community? Along the way, we will consider how it is possible to decolonize both knowledge about queer experience and comparative methods.
The Politics of Oil. Extractive industries—especially the oil industry—play an outsized role in domestic and international politics. This course focuses primarily on the colonial and neocolonial politics of oil: oil wars, the resource curse, and the power of transnational corporations. It then explores the links between (literal) resource extraction and the (figurative) extraction of value from the economy through practices like futures trading, data mining, and the patenting of genomes and indigenous knowledges.
Other Courses Taught
- Post-Soviet Politics
- Global Capitalism: Corporate Citizens and Shareholder States
- The Resource Curse
- Global Economies (introduction to Global Political Economy)
- The Nation-State and Its Discontents (introduction to Comparative Politics)
- History of Economics (Erasmus program)
- The Ends of the Earth (First-Year Writing course in political ecology)
- Undergraduate Research Methods Workshop (Social Science Fellowship program)
- Global Studies Thesis Seminar (co-taught with department chair)
- Graduate Research Methods Practicum (Politics, Economics and Philosophy M.A. program)
- Comparative and international political economy
- Central and Eastern European and Eurasian politics
- Autocracy and democracy
- Global energy and sustainability politics
- Qualitative research methods and philosophy of social science
- Capitalism studies
- Political ecology
- Global/Comparative LGBTQ+ politics
Global Economies Spring 2018 (.pdf) (an introductory seminar in Global Political Economy)