Recent Articles

“American Transcendentalism and the Twenty-First Century.” Utopian Studies 33 (2): 291-316.

“Thomas Carlyle’s Conception of Transcendentalism in Sartor Resartus and its Application to Theorizing Post-Liberalism.” Telos 199 (Summer 2022): 125-149.

“From Islamism to Transcendentalism,” Modern Diplomacy, 8 Nov. 2020.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic and the “Phoenix” of the Globalized Technological Capitalist System?,” Modern Diplomacy, 5 Jun. 2020.

“How Emerson and Thoreau’s Transcendentalism Could Inspire a Re-Awakening (and Consensus?) After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Resilience, 1 Jun. 2020.

A core focus that anchors my research is a normative application of the ideals sprung from American Transcendentalism as a 19th century Platonic intellectual and social movement. Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, and Henry David Thoreau forecasted the cataclysm of modernity that was increasingly being defined in the 19th century by the hegemony of commercialism, economic individualism, and dogmatic/incommensurable political doctrines. I have sought to apply Transcendentalism to nascent academic literature on post-liberalism (and now the recent COVID-19 pandemic) to construct Transcendentalism as itself a political doctrine that has been undeveloped and unrecognized. Though Transcendentalism re-emerged, albeit informally and unconsciously, in the context of the 1960s-1970s with the emergence of the counterculture/New Age, I argue that it offers a potential mainstream application in the 21st century political climate marked by a youth generation increasingly disillusioned with partisan politics, religious and political dogmatism, and the state of the economy.

Specifically, my dissertation, “American Transcendentalism Contra Contemporary Political Philosophy,” explores European Romanticism and American Transcendentalism as neglected political traditions to theorize social justice. Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus is considered a preeminent Romantic text and it serves as a foundation for my discussion of Romanticism vis-à-vis influential political theory of the 20th century by such philosophers as John Rawls, Alasdair MacIntyre, Jacques Ellul, and Sayyid Qutb. By doing such, I dialogue Romanticism with liberalism, Aristotelianism, criticism of technology, and Islamism to situate Carlyle’s Platonic theory of transcendentalism as a heretofore unrefined political doctrine. Moreover, I assert that Carlyle’s theory of transcendentalism has the capacity to resolve seemingly intractable political problems in the early 21st century such as ideological and partisan polarization, racism, economic inequality, economic exploitation, and international conflict among nation-states. Though Sartor Resartus inspired American Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and was a foundational text for American Transcendentalism as an intellectual movement, it did not inspire the development of a popular political ideology to compete alongside other prominent 20th century ideologies such as liberalism, communism, fascism, and Islamism. Carlyle himself theorized in Sartor Resartus that liberal democratic capitalism would come to full form after roughly two centuries (in the 21st century) and a new order would emerge phoenix-like due to the unsustainable nature of continuously growing complexity, inequality, and atomized individualism in the context of free market capitalism.

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