Office: FH 138
Office Hours: TR 10:30-11:30a.m., W 11:00a.m. to noon, and by appt.
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
I teach courses in two overlapping areas: political ideas and the politics of environmental sustainability. These include Introduction to Political Theory, Environmental Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, Radical Political Thought, Politics of a Sustainable Society, and seminars on a variety of themes including property, democracy, and environmental political theory. I am also active in Humboldt’s interdisciplinary programs on “Environment and Community“ and Environmental Science.
In Fall 2013, I am teaching:
(course links require HSU Moodle access)
My current research focuses upon the ways in which environmental concerns might be the basis for effective social criticism. This has led me in several directions, including a critical analysis of the liberal concept of property; reflection upon the possibilities — and limitations — of a democratic conception of sacrifice; and the tension between populist and paternalist appeals within environmental argument. I am particularly interested in the ways in which large-scale material practices in society — including use of land, reliance upon automobiles, and dwelling in homes — can create both opportunities and constraints for arguments regarding sustainability.
During the 2012-2013 academic year, I was on sabbatical leave from Humboldt, working on a book on these themes. I was a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), in Munich, Germany.
In 2010, MIT Press released my book (edited with Michael Maniates), The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice. My earlier book is Political Nature: Environmentalism and the Interpretation of Western Thought (MIT Press 2001). I have also edited a reader entitled American Indians and U.S. Politics (Praeger, 2002).
I’ve published articles, essays, and reviews in a variety of academic journals, including the American Political Science Review; Environmental Politics; Ethics, Place, and the Environment; Journal of Political Philosophy; Organization and Environment; Perspectives on Politics; Political Theory; Polity; and Theory and Event. More information about these is available on my curriculum vitae, below.
I’ve also written essays for magazines, commenting on the contemporary — and future — state of environmentalism in the U.S. My essay, “Rethinking Personal Sacrifice“ was published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. “Another Inconvenient Truth,” about Al Gore’s movie, was published in Dissent Magazine. I have written on the controversy over the supposed “Death of Environmentalism” in Dissent and a special issue of The American Prospect.
I facilitate an international discussion list and am active in an academic workshop on environmental political theory (please contact me if you wish to join the list). The workshop is held annually in conjunction with the Western Political Science Association conference, which also includes a section devoted to environmental political theory.
At Humboldt, I am a steering committee member for the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT) and was proud to receive HSU’s “Club Advisor of the Year” award in 2006 for my work with this student-driven organization. I also serve on university’s sustainability steering committee, the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund Committee and was a member of the Cabinet for Institutional Change.
Are you seeking a recommendation letter from me?
- First, read this.
- If you’re considering law school, read this.
View Curriculum Vitae (pdf)