Elizabeth K. Markovits

Associate Professor of Politics; Director of First-Year Seminars; Director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative
Specialization: 
ancient and contemporary political thought, with special interests in Plato, ancient tragedy, rhetoric, feminism, citizenship, and democratic theory

Prof. 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). 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. Her new book, Future Freedoms: Intergenerational Justice, Democratic Theory, and Ancient Greek Tragedy & Comedy, will be published by Routledge this Fall. 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 in 2012.

Prof. 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, PS, and the American Political Science Review. A 2014 winner of the Mount Holyoke College Teaching Award, she has been involved in a number of curricular initiatives across the College, including the First Year Seminar program, Senior Symposium, Women in Public Service, civic engagement, NEXUS, and Lynk. Within the Politics Department, 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.

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