For his latest interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books blog, Andy Fitch turned to Bryn Mawr Assistant Professor of Political Science Joel Alden Schlosser.
From the blog intro:
What could the social interventions of a present-day Socratic practice look like? How might a contemporary Socratic gadfly spark galvanizing public inquiry, rather than adopting the self-satisfied posture of the smug professor or the cranky social-media creep? When I want to ask such questions, I pose them to Joel Alden Schlosser.
The lengthy, thought-provoking discussion between the two focuses on Schlosser’s book What Would Socrates Do? Self-Examination, Civic Engagement, and the Politics of Philosophy.
At Bryn Mawr, Schlosser teaches courses in the history of political thought, democratic theory, power and politics, and contemporary political theory. In all of his courses he seeks to integrate questions from contemporary politics with the history of political thought: Greek tragedy and the Hollywood Western; Hegel and contemporary identity politics; international relations and Herodotus. He has taught Susan Sontag after Aristophanes's Lysistrata, Charles Mills in the midst of Rousseau and Kant, and Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture alongside Judith Butler and Sophocles.
Just as Schlosser seeks to engage present questions with historically-sensitive work from the history of political thought with his research, he also strives to use his teaching to introduce students to alternative perspectives and vocabularies from this history in order to broaden and deepen how they consider the present.