Marx and Post-Marxism

In my current work, I argue for a continuity between Marx’s treatment of the human in his earlier and later texts, as I argue that Marx did not first adhere to a fixed notion of the human and then abandon it in his later works only to take up economic determinism. I argue that Marx’s focus on the economy in his later texts is not due to a new commitment to economic determinism, but to a continued interest in social relationality. After the 1844 Manuscripts, Marx is less interested in thinking about the essence of humans than the relationships between individuals and the relationships between those people and their creations. These relationships constitute the world of economic interactions, but this is an open field. Marx maintains an openness to possibility and creativity throughout his work. Reading Marx in such a way is important not only because it is truer to Marx’s own intentions but also because it helps us see possibility in our own historical moment for analysis and change.  For example, in “Beyond Homo Laborans: Marx’s Dialectical Account of Human Essence “(Social Theory and Practice 46, no. 3), I argue that Marx introduces a dialectical account of human essence with the notion of species being in the 1844 Manuscripts, which he then develops in The German Ideology.

In an article in Philosophy Today (64, no. 2), I investigate the trend of productivism in the work contemporary accelerationism and Jacques Rancière, and I suggest an open ontology, which Marx offers, provides a better framework for thinking revolutionary newness. I also consider Rancière’s work and its relationship to Marx in “The Limits of Radical Democracy,” a chapter in The Weariness of Democracy, which I co-edited with Obed Frausto and Jason Powell. In my article “Castoriadis, Marx, and the Critique of Productivism” (Telos), I argue against the position held by many that Marx is a thinker beholden to the logic of production. I respond to Cornelius Castoriadis’s critique along these lines and suggest instead that Marx offers us ways to think outside of production.

Feminist Theory

My research has also extended into feminist theory and gender studies, focusing on feminist theory as a way to approach expressions of toxic masculinity in internet settings. In “Men Who Love Bukowski: Hegemonic Masculinity, Online Dating, and the Aversion Toward the Feminine” (Peitho 22, no. 1), I examine performances of masculinity in digital contexts, including online dating sites, and argue against Eric Anderson and Michael Kimmel that orthodox masculinity has maintained its hegemony, despite a decline in homophobia. I have also blogged on the topic for the Women in Philosophy series of the American Philosophical Association Blog.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

My community-engaged teaching has informed my research. My article “Community-Engaged Learning and Precollege Philosophy During Neoliberalism” was published in Teaching Philosophy (42:4).  In it, consider how college and university professors and students can create philosophy learning experiences for high school students without conceding to the logic of neoliberalism. I published a chapter on a similar topic in Intentional Disruption: Expanding Access to Philosophy (ed. Stephen Kekoa Miller, Vernon Press, 2012). I also co-authored an article with a student who took part in the community-engaged course. In “Combatting Epistemic Violence Against Young People” (Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 40, no. 2), we investigate how young people are subject to epistemic oppression in testimony, focusing on Parkland activists, Dream Defenders and Black Lives Matter, and climate activists. We argue that Philosophy for Children (P4C) can help remedy this epistemic oppression. Finally, my colleague David W. Concepción and I published an article on specifications grading in Teaching Philosophy.