Elizabeth K. Markovits

Associate Professor of Politics

Specialization
ancient and contemporary political thought, with special interests in Plato, ancient tragedy, rhetoric, feminism, citizenship, and democratic theory

Elizabeth Markovits's research interests range from ancient Greek political thought to contemporary feminist and democratic theory. She is the author of The Politics of Sincerity: Frank Speech, Plato, and Democratic Judgment (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008). The book explores the dangers that invocations of sincerity hold for contemporary democracy through an examination of Plato's Socratic dialogues. Her work on rhetoric and politics has also appeared in the Journal of Political Philosophy and the online journal POROI (Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry).

Markovits is currently working on a book length project exploring the difficulties of intergenerational justice through a study of Greek tragedy and comedy. Her essay on intergenerational dynamics in Aeschylus’s Oresteia trilogy was published in the American Political Science Review in 2010. She has also published an essay on old age, flattery, and its relation to frank speech in Aristophanes’ Knights in Polis: The Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought (2012).

At Mount Holyoke, Markovits teaches a variety of courses, including a first year seminar, "Foundations of Political Theory." Students in the class focus on a fundamental political question—what is the relationship between truth & politics?—through an engagement with a variety of texts from the history of political thought. Markovits also received a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities in 2010 to develop a new first year seminar, “What is Family?” Her advanced seminar on Politics & Rhetoric is part of the College’s new Nexus Curriculum to Career program and includes an extended classroom simulation in which students work alongside professional campaign consultants to develop and implement a campaign media strategy. She also teaches Invitation to Feminist Theory and Ancient & Medieval Political Thought.

Markovits was the Executive Co-Director for the interdisciplinary Association for Political Theory (2007-2010) and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Perspectives on Politics.

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