Specialization: Political Theory
Morton Schoolman's teaching and research fields are modern political and social theory including American political thought. Recently he has completed a new book entitled A Democratic Enlightenment: Reconciliation, the Visual Image, and Possible Politics, in which he proposes that the ubiquity of the visual image of reconciliation in film constitutes a new form of enlightenment within and beyond the Eurocentric context wherever there are subaltern populations. Such a democratic enlightenment revolving around a visual aesthetic is heir to an earlier European Enlightenment whose educational media revolved around the word, and 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. A Democratic Enlightenment is based on readings of Voltaire and Diderot, Schiller, Whitman, Adorno, Bergson, Deleuze, and the work of contemporary political and literary theorists. Parts of this new work have been published in the Journal for Cultural Research, Polity, and The Whitman Companion. Other publications include a coedited book with David Campbell, The New Pluralism, published by Duke University Press; Reason and Horror: Critical Theory, Democracy, and Aesthetic Individuality, published by Routledge Press, and the Imaginary Witness: The Critical Theory of Herbert Marcuse, published by Free Press. He also has published articles on Marxism and Critical Theory, individualism, liberalism and neoliberalism, politics and aesthetics. He is the coeditor of Modernity and Political Thought, a Rowman & Littlefield series in contemporary political theory studying major figures in the history of political thought from the standpoint of their contributions to our understanding of modernity. MPT has published nineteen volumes to date, the most recent by Steven Johnston on Lincoln. Professor Schoolman has been the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the President's Undergraduate Leadership Award.