I teach courses in Political Science and on Waterloo’s Arts First program. While Arts First’s focus on composition and communication might appear to differ from the aims of a course in Political Science, I treat my teaching as continuous, with the principles of critical thinking and clear composition running throughout.
The content of all my courses falls within the confines of political theory, broadly construed. Please find brief descriptions of my UW courses below.
ARTS 130: Denial and the future of climate change
In this course, we study some strategies that will help us to take a thoughtful, critical, and charitable approach to learning about the social world. To do so, we focus on climate change and the many forms of denial associated with it.
Arts 140: The future of climate change
In this course, we study some strategies that will help us to conceptualize possible futures. We focus on climate change and especially on the Anthropocene, as the novel relationships between humans and their surroundings will produce new political and social arrangements.
PSCI225: Classics in political thought
What is justice? Why should I obey the state? What do I owe my fellow citizen? What is the good life?
In this course, we will discuss a range of classical answers to these (and similar) questions, beginning with Plato and finishing with St. Augustine. The texts discussed contain some of the earliest articulations of ideas that have become commonsensical features of Western political thought. This course will help students understand where there political views come from, as well as improve the quality of their thoughts about politics.
While this course is about historical ideas, it is not a history course, but a course in normative political theory. We will take ideas as they come to us and scrutinize them to the best of our ability, treating them as substantive political and philosophical claims rather than as historical artefacts.
PSCI390: Climate change justice
The argument of this course is that the relationship between humans and their physical context requires, to put it mildly, reconsideration and renewal. In this course, we will discuss some of the component parts of that relationship, subjecting them to normative scrutiny.
PSCI490: Ethics in war
Recent revisionist approaches to just war theory as spurred an explosion of theoretical work on the subject. In this seminar course, we discuss a proposed principles for governing resort to, conduct in, and exit from war, focusing on a close read of papers representing the breadth of the field.