My research focuses on the themes of education, childhood, authority, and the family in contemporary and historical political thought. Children are born incapable of full citizenship, and so require both a justification for their subordination to adults and an education that will prepare them for citizenship. These requirements are especially difficult for liberal democracies, for whom the exercise of authority is fundamentally at odds with the natural liberty and equality of citizens on which the state is grounded. My work aims to recover the ways that earlier writers have addressed the problem of childhood in political thought, education, literature, and the law.
I am the associate director of the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy and Assistant Professor of Politics (General Faculty) at the University of Virginia. I received my PhD in political science from Harvard in 2016, and my BA in history from the University of Chicago in 2007.