I received my PhD from MIT in Political Science in 2009. My field is Social Theory & Political Philosophy. My time at MIT, under the direction of Joshua Cohen, was pivotal in helping me develop analytic skills, which I put to use in order to do non-ideal theory - that aspect of normative thought that deals with cases of injustice in their particulars. MIT was pivotal for another reason - I came to realize that a great deal of what is considered "good" or "canon" political thought seemed very uninterested in actual political problems as they are. Early in my career I began to wonder how it is philosophers spoke of justice with such conviction while ignoring (in ignorance of?) the ways political subjects are oppressed, marginalized, treated unfairly, discriminated against, excluded, and so on. My work since has been a journey in becoming clear on the relationship between the world of ideas, which I think very much matters, and the world itself - that matters too since that is the thing we hope will change. The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice in Our Time, though born from my dissertation is not my-dissertation-made-into-a-book. It has been mostly re-written in an effort to capture, I hope, the intellectual realizations one comes to upon defending a dissertation and a certain degree of intellectual independence from the expectations and methods that process tends to impose. The Introduction can be found under "Papers & Chapters" - take a look and tell me what you think.
I am currently working on my second book, tentatively titled, From A Human Point of View: An Articulate Account of Racial Egalitarianism. In many ways, this book is a companion to the first. In it, I am concerned to revisit the substantive meaning of egalitarianism and argue that it's deeper meaning has been missing from contemporary political thought, despite the many pieces written on equality and egalitarianism. My strategy is to focus on the case of racial inequality and use its particulars to argue for a view of egalitarianism complementary to Bernard Williams' proposition that equality is about treating people equal qua personhood. Many take that proposition to be empty, but the case of race shows that there is a lot to be said for primarily treating people equally on account of our equal humanity. Because the claim is one difficult to make from a strictly analytic point of view, one of the manuscript's innovation will be to rely largely on 20th and 21st century black literature to flesh out the experience and existential impact of social inequality. The remainder of the manuscript will be concerned to think of three orbiting themes in relationship to the idea of equality and the lessons born by attending to black literature: the importance and role of the reactive attitudes in social inequality, the liberal idea of consensus and how it might contribute to marginalization in its common conceptual form, and last, the role blame plays in pre-empting society's ability to meet the demands of justice with respect to race. The book is projected to be written by mid-2014.