M.A., Ph.D. Northwestern University
B.A. California State University
Courses I Teach:
- Democratic Transitions
- Film and Politics
- France and Empire
- Introduction to Comparative Politics
- State Violence and Justice
- The Politics of Multiethnic Societies
My Saint Michael's:
Staying focused on the ethics of political action keeps me grounded in events, and working with students helps me evaluate my research, assess my writing, and share my interests in a critical way with students as they develop their own sense of ethics and knowledge. Before starting doctoral studies, I was a staff director in the California State Senate working with communities affected by HIV/AIDS, which drove my interest in marginalization, social movements, and the state. At Saint Michael's, I have worked with faculty, staff, and students to mark World AIDS Day and the anniversary of the war in Iraq.
I am interested in politics at the intersection of global social movements and the nation-state. This includes activism addressing issues of identity, like race, gender, and sexuality, questions of marginalization and citizenship, and processes of community building and participation, such as those evident in responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and more recently in the new politics of food. These concerns touch on theories of democratic practice, postcolonial politics, economic and political reform, and political accountability. As well, they are specifically linked to the ethical nature of politics, and the role of culture, myths, and stories in social action. I am active in both the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association where I have organized panels of scholarly research and roundtables on topics important to the profession. I have served as Program Chair and am currently President of the Organized Section on Sexuality and Politics at APSA. I also speak frequently in the community and on campuses about the politics of food, in particular, the emerging food system in Hardwick, Vermont, where I am co-owner of Claire's Restaurant and Bar.
My research is contemporary and historical, so I work as a participant-observer during field work with activist organizations and spend significant amounts of time in archives examining documents and historical records
I have published my research on French politics, globalization, and HIV/AIDS in French Politics, Culture & Society in Spring 2009, and recently in Perspectives on Politics and New Political Science. My work also is included in The Global Politics of AIDS (co-edited by Patricia Siplon) and in a book about the ethical and political aspects of field research, called Engaged Observer. I am currently working on two collections. One is called Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change in the New Politics of Food (co-edited with Jeffrey Ayres and two Canadian scholars), which is under contract at University of Toronto Press. The other, co-edited with a colleague at SUNY-Albany, is called Homophobia Goes Global: States, Movements, and the Diffusion of Oppression, which the University of Illinois Press is scheduled to publish. My own manuscript is called Children of the Revolution: AIDS, Sexuality, and Citizenship in French Politics.
My Road to Saint Michael's:
Though I was the first person in my family to complete college, I always knew I wanted to teach, even while working in politics and policy. But I never expected to follow in the foot-steps of my father, Alex, who was born and raised in San Francisco but spent his life trying to live like a farmer, growing bushels of produce and raising chickens, eventually even building his own water storage system. However, I craved urban life, and moved to the City, lived in Chicago while attending graduate school, and conducted research in Paris. Now, however, I lives in Hardwick, a small town in Vermont's isolated Northeast Kingdom, where I helped launch Claire's Restaurant and Bar, a community-supported establishment that gathers produce and artisan products from farms and businesses within 15 miles.
It’s part of a larger effort in Hardwick, Vermont, to reinforce the local rural economy and bring a sense of sovereignty and control over what we eat.