Mary A. Shiraef

Political Theory


Mary A. Shiraef is a graduate student in political theory and comparative politics. Her current ​work examines how group identities are constructed from history and how the content of these collective memories shape groups’ participation in politics. She is completing ongoing field research in Greece, exploring both its internal and external crises. 

​Mary has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews where she wrote on the structure of Platonic dialogue and Aristotle’s concept of phronesis as resources for thinking about modern democracy and cross-cultural politics. Following the completion of her B.A. in Political Science from Emory University, she taught History, Politics and Literature to Indian high school students near Bangalore at the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, a school designed to lift children born into the Dalits caste out of poverty. The school was recently featured in the Netflix docuseries called Daughters of Destiny.

Mary has studied Ancient Greek, and she can converse in Modern Greek, as well as communicate in Thai. She has published a minor piece called “Tocqueville and Education as a Public Good” (2014) and another on the neo-fascist political party in Greece called Golden Dawn(2013). She recently presented a paper at the conference for International Political Theory in St Andrews, Scotland called “Locating Freedom with Habermas in the ‘Schmittiness’ of Trump’s Politics”. 

She is a Dean's Fellow and a Nanovic Fellow and has been an R&A Ransome Scholar. She was recently nominated for the 2018 "GSU Outstanding Teaching Award" and received Honorable Mention.

Mary is designing a comparative political theory project under the supervision of Fred Dallmayr on the concepts of “continuity” and “discontinuity” within political conflicts, with modern Greece as a case study.

When she is not reading about politics and philosophy, she is playing rec volleyball at Notre Dame, raising money for She’s the First, or thinking about updating one of her travel-study blogs (here’s one on Europeone on India and one on studying dangerous ideas).

Return to Graduate Student Directory
Return to Political Science Graduate Program
Return to Political Science Department