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New Faculty: Dr. Noga Rotem

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on August 26, 2020 - 11:17am
Noga Rotem

We are very happy to welcome a brilliant new scholar to our department this fall. Noga Rotem studied for her PhD in the Department of Political Science in Brown University, and earned her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ben-Gurion University in Israel, both summa cum laude. She has been a teaching fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women and was the recipient of a graduate fellowship from the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University.

Noga’s research and teaching focus on contemporary democratic and feminist theory, history of political thought, and affect theory. Her first book project, “(Post) Paranoid Democratic Theory: Paranoia and Repair from Arendt to Hobbes,” draws on canonical political thinkers such as Hannah Arendt (with Sigmund Freud), Richard Hofstadter, and Thomas Hobbes, to provide a new insight into the politics of paranoia.

Public and academic responses to the seeming ‘return of the paranoid style’ in American politics understandably strive to dispel fantasy and eradicate paranoia. Rotem’s project risks a different approach. Instead of dismissing paranoid fantasy as delusional or misinformed, the project seeks to understand the political need for the fantasy. She argues that if we focus only on overcoming paranoia, we may miss out on the desire for politics, and for a world that such paranoid fantasies express, even if in a strange and dangerous way.  Her article— “World-Craving: Rahel Varnhagen, Daniel Paul Schreber, and the Strange Promise of Paranoia,” appeared in Political Theory in 2019.