Professor Nathan Widder

Educational background

BA Johns Hopkins University

MSc London School of Economics

PhD University of Essex

Personal profile

Nathan Widder joined the Department in September 2006, having previously taught at the University of Exeter and the London School of Economics. He has degrees from the Johns Hopkins University (U.S.A.), LSE, and the University of Essex. His teaching and research covers the history of Western political thought and philosophy, contemporary Continental philosophy, and feminist political theory. His work focuses on questions of difference, pluralism, power, identity, and knowledge, and he has drawn on ideas in contemporary thought in order to stage a re-engagement with both central and marginal figures in ancient, early Christian, and medieval philosophy. Dr. Widder has published articles in prominent journals, including AngelakiContinental Philosophy Review,Contemporary Political TheoryEuropean Journal of Political TheoryHistory of Political ThoughtParallaxPhilosophy TodayPolitical Theory, and Theory & Event. He has also produced three major studies,Genealogies of Difference (University of Illinois Press, 2002) and Reflections on Time and Politics (Penn State University Press, 2008), and Political Theory after Deleuze (Continuum Press, 2012).

Research interests

My two main areas of interest are in contemporary post-Nietzschean political theory and philosophy and the history of political and philosophical thought. I have sought to bring these two areas of interest together by focusing on philosophical questions of difference, power, knowledge, and time, in ways that can speak to contemporary concerns without losing sight of complex contributions from the past. I have tried to draw upon ideas in contemporary thought for the purpose of staging a re-engagement with both central and marginal figures in ancient, early Christian and medieval thought, a project that culminated with my first monograph, Genealogies of Difference (University of Illinois Press, 2002). More recently I have published book chapters and articles on Deleuze's concepts of univocity and sense, Foucault on power, contemporary theories of radical democracy, and conceptions of micropolitics developed through Nietzsche, Foucault, and Deleuze. My second monograph, Reflections on Time and Politics (Penn State University Press, 2008), develops an ontology of non-linear time in order to address issues of power, selfhood, meaning, and micropolitics, drawing on diverse thinkers in ancient philosophy, contemporary Continental thought, and psychoanalysis. My third monograph, Political Theory after Deleuze (Continuum Press, 2012), is a detailed study of Gilles Deleuze's ontology and its implications for politics and ethics, setting his work within what has become known as the 'ontological turn' in contemporary political theory.

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • PR1520: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Politics and International Relations (course co-leader)
  • PR2560: Modern Political Theory (course co-leader)
  • PR3540: Radical Political Theory (course leader)

Postgraduate:

  • PR5418: Contemporary Continental Political Theory (course leader)
  • PR5445: Identity, Power and Radical Political Theory (course leader)
  • PR5920: Foundations of Contemporary Political Theory (course co-leader)
  • PR5926: Biopolitics and Security (course leader)

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