Torrey Schanks

Torrey Shanks, PhD

Assistant Professor
Specialization: Political Theory
Department of Political Science

320 Milne Hall | 518-442-3794

Office Hours | Personal Webpage

About Professor Shanks

Torrey Shanks conducts research and teaches in the areas of political theory, gender and politics, and language and politics. Within political theory, her interests include early modern political thought, feminist theory, rhetoric, and democratic theory. She has recently completed a book entitled Authority Figures: Rhetoric and Experience in John Locke's Political Thought, forthcoming in 2014 from Penn State University Press as well as projects on toleration and membership, materialism, and critical contract theory. She is developing a new project on the linguistic contract in postcolonial context (with an emphasis on India).

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of political thought (ancient and modern) and contemporary feminist and democratic theory. Before coming to the University at Albany in 2008, Shanks completed her PhD in Political Science at Northwestern University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia. She is also affiliated with the Department of Women’s Studies.

Selected Publications


  • Authority Figures: Rhetoric and Experience in John Locke's Political Thought (Penn State University Press, forthcoming 2014)


  • "Toleration and Democratic Membership: John Locke and Michel de Montaigne on Monsters," Political Theory (forthcoming)
  • Feminine Figures and the ‘Fatherhood’: Rhetoric and Reason in Locke’s First Treatise of Government” Political Theory, 39, 1 (February 2011): 31-57.
  • “Consent,” Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Basil Wiley, forthcoming 2012
  • “Democratic Matter,” Review of Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Theory & Event 14.2 (2011)
  • “Feminism’s Family Resemblances,” (Review essay) Political Theory 32, 1 (February 2004): 109-115.