Political Theory Placement Candidates
Matthew Hartman is a postdoctoral associate in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame specializing in German and American Political Thought. He earned his PhD in July of 2018 with the dissertation “Strauss and Gadamer: Political Philosophy, Hermeneutics, and Historicism.”
He joined the department in 2013 after earning his MA and BA in Political Science at the University of Chicago in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
Matthew’s dissertation is an investigation of Leo Strauss and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s responses to the crisis of historicism in 20th Century political thought. By considering how historicism—the denial of the possibility of properly interpreting other eras on their own terms—corrodes the preconditions of understanding beyond our particular contexts, he attempts to restore political discourse with resources from Strauss’s concept of return and Gadamer’s concept of hermeneutics.
In addition to his dissertation, Matthew has written on Mary Wollstonecraft’s concept of marriage, Abraham Lincoln’s statesmanship, Alexis de Tocqueville’s understanding of centralization, and Nietzsche as a resource for political resistance.
In Spring 2019, Matthew will be teaching “Communist and Fascist Political Thought.”
Colleen Mitchell is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Theory and Constitutional Studies with a graduate minor in Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is working on completing her dissertation: "The Political Lessons of the Eternal City: Augustine and Machiavelli on Rome." In her dissertation, Colleen examines how Augustine and Machiavelli address the question of how one should approach politics in an imperfect world. She specifically explores how the two thinkers differ on the issues of the perpetuation of the state, the relationship between religion and politics, and the use of deception in political life.
Colleen has worked as an editorial intern for the “Review of Politics” and has two forthcoming publications related to her dissertation. More generally, Colleen studies the history of political thought, particularly ancient and early modern. She also works on feminist political thought, politics and literature, and constitutional interpretation. Colleen graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Loyola University Maryland. Currently, she is teaching an undergraduate course entitled “Machiavelli: Teacher of Evil?” at the University of Notre Dame.
Sid Simpson is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory and international relations. His work primarily engages late modern and contemporary political thought, continental philosophy and
critical theory. His research interests include critiques of socialization, post-foundationalism, theories of subjectivity, and cultural critique, as well as the thought of Nietzsche, Rousseau,
Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. Sid graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston’s Honors College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science.
In his time at Notre Dame, he has presented original research internationally, served as president of the Political Science Graduate Organization, and in 2016 received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award” from the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journals International Relations and Constellations.