While I am primarily trained in political and social theory, focusing on modern and contemporary European politics and political thought, my teaching experience and educational background attest to my ability to teach a wider range of subjects in political science. Courses I plan to develop in the future include “The Modern State in Theoretical and Historical Perspective,” “Global Governance,” and “A Conceptual History of Democracy.” I am also prepared to teach subjects relating to multiculturalism, religion and politics, nationalism, democratization, international politics, and immigration. My teaching experience covers a broad range of topics as well as classroom environments. These include, among others, both men’s and women’s prisons, the studios of American Ballet Theatre in New York, and Columbia’s graduate School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
For a list of course titles and institutions, see my CV.
On this page, you will find longer course descriptions and links to syllabi for a small sample of courses. (Teaching evaluations available upon request)
Selected Course Descriptions:
Social Studies Major Seminar: Arendt and her Critics (Bard Prison Initiative, BPI)
Co-taught with Professor Jeffrey Jurgens, required seminar course for majors, Fall 2015
Course goals include the further development of analytical skills, such as critical reading, writing organization, revision, and research techniques, which are crucial for senior project work. We focus, initially, on Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism as well as early and more contemporary criticisms of her work. The purpose is to engage these theoretical constructs on two levels: 1) as research models, 2) as self-reflective discussions of social science method. Much of the course is devoted to student writing and advising students as they begin researching and writing their senior projects.
First Year Seminar (Bard Annandale)
Co-taught with College President Leon Botstein, Spring 2015
This is the required common course that forms the foundation of Bard’s liberal arts educational model. The goal is to incite students to think and read critically and exchange their discoveries in a collective forum as they challenge their basic assumptions. Texts include works by Rousseau, Nietzsche, Freud, Mary Shelley, and Ralph Ellison, among several others.
Dostoevsky and the Emergence of Modern Society (BPI)
First Year Seminar, thematic, Spring 2015
Placing it in intellectual historical context, we will use Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov in order to explore philosophical themes, including the meaning of free will, determinism, and responsibility. The novel will also serve as a point of entry into the study of social theory as it begins to emerge in an attempt to understand a newly self-conscious and self-reflective modern society.
Primary texts: Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov
Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment”
Jeremy Bentham, The Panopticon Writings, selections
Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, selections
Secondary sources on Henri Saint-Simon
Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy (BPI)
Seminar, Fall 2013, Spring 2014; Writing intensive seminar Fall 2014, Fall 2015
In this seminar, we explore the political origins of economic thinking in order to uncover the values that are implicit in economic discourse. I believe this sort of political/economic theory crossover course performs an important civic and intellectual function, as it facilitates ethical thinking about contemporary issues while forcing students to deconstruct commonplace ideas about current affairs using a historically contextualized point of view.
Emergence and Persistence of Bureaucratic Thinking: Critical and Historical Perspectives (BPI)
Writing intensive seminar on the history of European social thought, Fall 2014
We followed the nineteenth and twentieth century evolution of the concept of bureaucracy, including critiques and proposed alternative forms of governance.
Conceptual Foundations of International Politics (Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, SIPA)
Conceived and taught by Professor Stephen Sestanovich, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011
This is the core course for the Master of International Affairs degree program at SIPA. It is organized as a lecture series accompanied by two-hour weekly “recitation sections” that function as seminars with ten to twenty students. As a teaching fellow, I taught three of these seminars each semester.