Elizabeth K. Markovits

Associate Professor of Politics; Director of First-Year Seminars; Director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative
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 theJournal of Political Philosophy and the online journal POROI (Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry). She has also worked on problems of participatory parity for women in the contemporary United States and how public policy reform, especially reforms affecting the social organization of carework, can lead to more radical change in gender equality; this work, co-authored with Prof. Susan Bickford (UNC at Chapel Hill) appeared in Perspectives on Politics in 2013.

Markovits is currently working on a book exploring the difficulties of intergenerational justice through a study of Greek tragedy and comedy. Her essay on intergenerational dynamics in Aeschylus’sOresteia 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 in 2012.

At Mount Holyoke, Markovits directs the First Year Seminar program, in addition to her work in the Department of Politics. She teaches a variety of courses, ranging from upper level seminars on such topics as rhetoric and justice to introductory feminist theory to ancient Greek thought to first year seminars. She 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 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.

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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