Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Student Workshop Series

EACH YEAR, THE GRADUATE FELLOWS OF THE ANDREA MITCHELL CENTER invite graduate students from universities throughout the region to present their work-in-progress to a critical but supportive audience.  The topics are not linked to an annual theme, but each session includes two papers that are thematically linked.  Sessions in the past have been devoted to issues of democracy, constitutionalism, and citizenship, including surveillance, technocracy, migration, race, social rights, empire building, party politics, education, the carceral state, and many more.  Faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the public are encouraged to read the papers and attend the workshops to participate in lively academic discussions.  Graduate workshops convene once a month, usually on a Wednesday at lunchtime.  Food is provided.


GRAD WORKSHOP - Democracy and Citizenship

Wed. February 14 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
College Hall, Room 209 (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public / Lunch provided

Lillian Frost (George Washington University, Political Science)
Unequal Citizens: State Resistance to Removing Discrimination toward Women from Nationality Laws (PDF)

Will Levine (University of Chicago, Political Science)
Heinrich Heine and The Young Hegelians on Popular Agency, Social Transformation, and “The Beautiful Error of an Ideal Future” (PDF)

IN HER PAPER, LILLIAN FROST points out that existing theories about policy formation incorrectly predict resistance to removing discrimination toward women (DTW) in nationality laws. This gap is critical because DTW in nationality laws often results in serious human rights violations and suffering for individuals, including statelessness, lack of access to public services, and child marriage. What accounts for DTW in nationality laws? Why do states resist reforming these policies? How is DTW in nationality laws different from women’s issues where progress has been made? To make sense of state decisions to resist removing DTW from nationality laws, she adapts the concept of “securitization,” in which authoritative figures successfully cast an issue as an existential threat calling for extraordinary measures beyond the routines and norms of everyday politics. She argues that when state representatives securitize women’s nationality reform, then international and domestic actors alike will fail to secure reform.

IN A CHAPTER FROM HIS DISSERTATION on radical Kantians, WILL LEVINE is less concerned with analyzing the uptake of specific ideas in Kant than it is with analyzing an analogy that a number of thinkers draw between the impact of the French Revolution on France and the impact of Kant’s philosophy on Germany. Specifically, he examines the claim by the so-called “Young Hegelians” that Kant’s revolution in thought must go into practice, and how this claim illuminates their accounts of the connection between political ideals and political practices. He focuses especially on how the poet, journalist, and critic Heinrich Heine takes up this idea in his criticism – and on the relationship of Heine’s work with that of the early Marx. While much of the work that this particular chapter does is historical, he foregrounds the stakes for democratic theory more generally. 

GRAD WORKSHOP - Colonialism and Settlement

Wed. March 14 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
College Hall, Room 209 (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public / Lunch provided

Tina Irvine (University of Pennsylvania, History)
“‘The Mountain Problem Solved in One Generation’: Alice Lloyd’s Eugenic Settlement Program and the Cultivation of Citizenship in the Mountains, 1917-1962”

Dalaina Heiberg (University of Chicago, Political Science)
World-Building in Settler Colonial Contexts: The Doukhobors’ Settlement on Indigenous Land and Collective Future Politics"

GRAD WORKSHOP - The Politics of Jurisprudence

Wed. April 11 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
College Hall, Room 209 (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public / Lunch provided

Rajgopal Saikumar (New York University, English)
“Jurisdictional Thinking in Kashmir-Literature: Tying up the Three L’s- Law, Land and

Samuel Garrett Zeitlin (UC-Berkeley, Political Science)
“Tyranny and the Jurisprudence of Value: Carl Schmitt’s Tyranny of Values (1960/1967/1979)”

GRAD WORKSHOP - Legacies of Violent Orders

Wed. May 2 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
College Hall, Room 209 (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public / Lunch provided

Shom Mazumder (Harvard University, Government)
“The Slave Order in American Political Development: Evidence from the New Deal Era”

Nick Millman (University of Pennsylvania, English)
“Fitful Transitions: Memory Museums and Transitional Justice in Peru”