I am a PhD Student in Political Theory and American Politics. My main interests are in the history of political thought, American intellectual history, and the relevance of public opinion on issues related to inequality.
My dissertation is on the reception of Adam Smith in American political thought and intellectual history from the founding period to present. I am interested in understanding how and why Smith became “America’s economist”—as opposed to political philosopher—and how the invention of “Smithian economics” was appropriated as political ideology over time. My hope is that this project of immense historical recovery might reveal a version of Smith’s political and economic theory that is useful in the framework of liberal democratic political theory.
My historical work is part of a broader research agenda to understand where American beliefs about distributive justice, fairness, and equality come from—both in methods and in substance. My work the Laboratory for the Study of American Values (2014-2015) uses original public opinion survey data to study the differential effects of poverty, inequality, social mobility, and beliefs about wealth on peoples’ perceptions of fairness.
Courses I have taught include Justice (PoliSci 136S/EthicSOc 171) for Josh Cohen and Han van Wietmarschen, Modern Political Thought (PoliSci 131/EthicSoc 131S) for Alison McQueen, and Politics of Inequality (PoliSci 147P) for Karen Jusko.