About Professor Schoolman
Morton Schoolman's teaching and research fields are modern political and social theory. The main project on which he currently is working is a new book entitled Democratic Enlightenment: Political Education through the Visual Image, in which he proposes that the “visual image” and its universalization in modern democratic societies constitute a new form of enlightenment – a democratic enlightenment through aesthetic means. Democratic enlightenment compels us to reassess the long-standing claims of political and social theorists that mass culture represents a decline of the normative aspirations for democracy formulated during the Enlightenment of modern times. The book is based on readings of Whitman, Adorno, Bergson, and Deleuze. Parts of this new work have been published in the Journal for Cultural Research and Polity. Professor Schoolman is also developing two additional projects he will focus on after the completion of Democratic Enlightenment. In an essay entitled “Imitation and Individuality,” he is developing a debate between Tocqueville, Emerson, Whitman, and Melville on the role of imitation in the construction of individuality, and how the debate may be resolved through the contributions of contemporary neuroscience. Finally, he is beginning work on a book entitled Receptivity: A Modern Democratic Virtue, which is a collection of essays on Kant, Tocqueville, Emerson, Whitman, Mill, Adorno, Rawls, and others in which he argues that the virtue of “receptivity” to difference is among the most important lessons taught by a democratic society to its citizens. Each essay fleshes out important dimensions of the concept, leading to a synthetic construction of what the new democratic virtue of receptivity ought to entail. Recently, Professor Schoolman’s coedited book with David Campbell, The New Pluralism, was published by Duke University Press (2008). He authors the lead essay, "A Pluralist Mind." In 2001 his Reason and Horror: Critical Theory, Democracy, and Aesthetic Individuality was published by Routledge Press. Other publications include The Imaginary Witness: The Critical Theory of Herbert Marcuse (Free Press), and articles on Marxism and Critical theory, individualism, liberalism and neoliberalism, politics and aesthetics. He is the editor of Modernity and Political Thought, a Rowman & Littlefield series in contemporary political theory that studies major figures in the history of political thought from the standpoint of their contributions to our understanding of modernity. MPT has published fourteen volumes to date, with nearly a dozen volumes under contract and in progress. In 2008-09 MPT published books on Carl Schmitt by Kam Shapiro and Thomas Aquinas by Shadia Drury. Professor Schoolman has been the recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the President's Undergraduate Leadership Award.