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Doctoral StudentPolitical Theory
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Brendan is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, with a primary focus in political theory, public law, and women’s studies. He is currently a graduate fellow at the Institute for Humanities at the University of Michigan. His major research interests include democratic theory, constitutional law and politics, American political thought and practice, political rhetoric, and the relationship between religion and politics. Uniting all these interests is a concern with how diverse cultural and institutional resources are mobilized by actors in order to make political claims and challenge (or sustain) existing arrangements of power. In his dissertation, he reconfigures the theoretical puzzle of religion’s place in democratic politics by turning to religion’s poetic capacities. Religion, by this framing, involves not just a set of knowledge or justificatory doctrines but also rhetorical and performative resources that enable active contestation and constitute a historically significant genre of claims making in American politics. This account is developed through close analyses of a series of historical case studies.
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