Sarah Coomey is a double major in Political Science and French & Francophone Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her interests include aesthetics, literary theory, continental philosophy, and modern political thought. She enjoys traveling, European film, and music. In her spare time, she can be found reading about interior and architectural design.
Alexander is a Political Science major at Amherst College. His is interested in the connections between political theory, political rhetoric, and the modern electoral system. In his spare time, he enjoys programming, field organizing, and playing chess.
Jacob Frankel is a Sociology major at Amherst College. He is interested in how culture is reproduced and spreads, alternatives to capitalism, and coercive aspects of our socialization, among other things. In his free time he enjoys surfing, cooking, and backpacking.
Jason Greenfield is a Political Science major at Amherst College. He is interested in studying the dangers of intentionally ambiguous language and speech acts, the descent of democracy into anarchy, and the function of political satirists as modern philosophers. He enjoys reading and telling stories and performing improv comedy.
Maylin Hernandez is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Florida International University Honors College and wrote her undergraduate thesis analyzing the way in which current modes of patriarchy, in terms of gender roles, are internalized and perpetuated through presentations of androgyny in major literary works. Her research interests include critical theory, gender studies, cultural studies, and feminism.
Nekhoe Hogan is a Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought major at Amherst College. He is interested in legal philosophy, the death penalty, and how to get rid of capitalism. He likes reading jazz-era fiction, painting, and watching adult cartoons like Rick and Morty.
Siddhant Issar is a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests can be broadly categorized under social and political theory. Sid is particularly interested in understanding the production and reproduction of oppression, spanning the micro-individual level, the macro-structural level, and most importantly, at the messy intersection between these two conceptual levels. Drawing on Critical Theory along with decolonial and postcolonial methodologies, Sid explores how “liberalism” is an insufficient and problematic framework of analysis in relation to mitigating and comprehending the multi-faceted modalities of oppression, and thus, is engaged in researching alternative political approaches to address these issues.
Benjamin Nolan is a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is interested in probing the political dimensions of the rapidly changing landscape of sophisticated sensory, communication, automation and control technologies being integrated into our systems of material and social reproduction (those technologies described, for instance, by The Cloud, The Internet of Things and The Smart Grid). Ben is interested in what we can learn about power dynamics from how these technologies have been integrated and what impact they’ve had and could have on democratic social and political agency (in particular, how complexity has been exploited to legitimate technocratic agendas and promote democratic critical passivity). Ultimately, Ben is interested in exploring how we might understand emancipatory politics in recognition of this technological landscape and in light of the escalating anthropogenic planetary-ecological crisis.
David W. Pritchard
David W. Pritchard is a PhD candidate in English at UMass Amherst. His research explores the inter-imbrication of revolutionary poetics and capital accumulation in the 20th century. Specific coordinates of his work include North American avant-gardes; uneven geographical development and the landscapes of imperialism and settler colonialism; the problem of political commitment and the desire called Utopia; and questions of periodization and the subsumption of labor under capital. David is also a poet, whose recent work can be found in The Brasilia Review and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
Madeline Ruoff is an English major at Amherst College. She is interested in understanding how current social structures influence behavior and is very worried about capitalism. She likes radical feminism, fiction writing, figure painting, and sad folk music.
Bryant William Sculos, PhD
Bryant William Sculos, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow at The Amherst Program in Critical Theory, adjunct professor at Florida International University, contributing writer at The Hampton Institute, and Politics of Culture section editor for Class, Race and Corporate Power. His primary research interests lay at the intersections of Critical Theory, the political economy and social psychology of capitalism and postcapitalism, and global ethics. His recent work has been published with Constellations, New Political Science, Class, Race and Corporate Power, Public Seminar, New Politics, and in the edited volumes The Political Economy of Robots (Palgrave, 2017) and Marcuse in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming, Routledge, December 2017). His current work includes applications of the critical theories of Erich Fromm to contemporary ethico-political issues, such as: tolerance, universal basic income, and ecological viability.
Siraj Ahmed Sindhu
Siraj Ahmed Sindhu is a double major in English and Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought (LJST). He is interested in secularism and multiculturalism, legal realism and naturalism, and literary theory. He likes to write poetry and fiction, and hopes to do agriculture as a form of radical socialist praxis.
Before coming to UMass Amherst, I earned my BA in Philosophy and Political Science and then my MA in Political Science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
My main interests lie in the History of Political Thought as well as Contemporary Social and Political Theory. I am consistently preoccupied with questions about ‘authenticity,’ but recently I have been thinking more explicitly about its political manifestations. In what instances is rhetoric about ‘authenticity’ deployed, and to what effect? In what ways do calls for authenticity manifest in nationalist political movements?
How do such calls for authenticity play upon affect or emotion? In what ways do individuals rely upon collective history and memory to make sense of what their authentic self might be? How can political actors take advantage of this by constructing the authentic as lost? These questions have culminated in asking about rhetorical calls for authenticity in the context of the U.S., in asking what that ‘authenticity’ entails in America, and in asking how it serves as a basis for what appears to be a recent rise in white nationalism.
Stefan Yong is a Black Studies major at Amherst College. His academic interests include colonial and postcolonial studies, critical race theory, contemporary continental philosophy, political theology, and critical finance studies. He also dances hip hop and watches vulgar auteurist cinema.
David Zhang is a Political Science major at Amherst College. He is interested in exploring how aesthetics, broadly understood as the concept of beauty, affects our understanding and the functioning of politics — for example, political legitimacy, revolutions, and the concept of vision. He likes traveling, cooking, and photography. He also collects postcards. A native of China, he really appreciate the nature here in western MA.