I Am The Walrus

of wolverines, walruses, and Joel Selvin

When my family first moved to the Bay Area in 1978, my father got to know Joel Selvin, the music critic at the SF Chronicle, who generously gave him a big stack of old 45’s for me. Somewhere in that stack was the 45 of the Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye,” b/w “I Am The Walrus.”  I remember being fascinated by the visual effect of the orange-and-yellow swirls spinning on my little child’s phonograph, with its pebbled plastic carrying case. Going on four decades later, on the day I brought home my new Soma Wolverine, I realized that this must be why I had known from the beginning that the panniers had to be yellow. Goo goo ga joob, and thanks, Joel.


Hannah Arendt: On Revolution

The preliminary syllabus for Political Science 24525, “Hannah Arendt: On Revolution” is now available in the classroom.  Stay tuned for information about some new publications, and n=n+1.




de revolutionibus syllaborum posterorum

I’ve made some small adjustments to my teaching plans for next year: the Agamben seminar has moved from the Winter to the Spring, and I will now be following up my Autumn undergraduate/graduate course on Arendt’s On Revolution with a graduate seminar called “On Revolution Continued.”  Details in the classroom.




“Anonymous Glory” published

In 2013, I wrote a paper on Arendt, Faulkner, and the relation of action to anonymous social processes for a panel on “Glory” at the APSA.  David Owen contributed a piece on Machiavelli; Tracy Strong wrote on Hobbes.  All three papers were accepted by the European Journal of Political Theory.  They haven’t been scheduled for a print issue yet, but my piece and David’s have been published online ahead of print, and Tracy’s should join them soon.  You can find a link to the paper here.




winter 2015 syllabi available; “Anonymous Glory” forthcoming

The syllabi for Political Science 48600, “Contemporary Political Theory and its Histories, II,” and Social Sciences 15200, “Classics of Social and Political Thought, II” are now available in the classroom, along with some tentative thoughts about what I’ll be teaching next year.  I am also pleased to announce that a new paper on Arendt and Faulkner, “Anonymous Glory,” is officially forthcoming in the European Journal of Political Theory.




“Call Us By Our Names”

Late this summer, Melvin Rogers invited me to write a short piece for a special issue of Theory & Event on Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri.  The special issue has now appeared, and will be open-access for three months.  It’s a privilege to have my essay, titled “‘Call Us By Our Names’,” appear alongside Melvin’s introduction and the contributions by Dora Apel, Utz McKnight, Michelle Smith, Tommy Curry, Lisa Miller, Vesla Weaver, Steven Johnston, and Eddie Glaude, Jr.  You can read them all here.




another new publication

I’m happy to announce that my 8000-word entry on “Hannah Arendt” has appeared in the massive new Encyclopedia of Political Thought, edited by Michael Gibbons, Diana Coole, Lisa Ellis, and Kennan Ferguson, and published (in eight print volumes and online) by Wiley Blackwell.  This was a tough one to write: encyclopedias demand a certain amount of rehearsing the uncontroversial, which I tried to do as elegantly as I could, while also putting my own stamp on the piece.  If your institution’s library hasn’t already ordered a copy or subscribed to the online version, I encourage you to encourage them to do so.  It’s a pretty remarkable collection of contributors, and I’m sure I will be using this reference for many, many years.