Sean Kim Butorac is a Ph.D. candidate and predoctoral instructor in Political Science, and a Graduate Fellow for the Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race (WISIR) at the University of Washington. He currently serves as Director of the Pol S / JSIS / LSJ Writing Center. He specializes in race and ethnic politics, American political development, African American political thought, public law, and democratic theory. His most recent project, "Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, and the Politics of Love" is now available in Political Research Quarterly.
During the 2019-20 academic year, Sean will finish his dissertation with the support of a fellowship from the Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies. His dissertation project, States of Insurrection: Race, Resistance, and the Laws of Slavery, 1690-1876, shows how resistance to slavery altered the making of law and race, yielding racialized ideas and institutions which have survived the abolition of slavery. Bridging American political development, sociolegal studies, and critical race theory, the project offers an account of state and constitutional development and race-making which highlights the agency that freed and enslaved black people have asserted and the reactionary foundations of punitive law.
Sean teaches a range of teaches courses in Political Theory, Race and Ethnic Politics, Public Law, and American Politics. Past and upcoming courses include:
- Introduction to American Politics: Citizenship & Exclusion
- Introduction to Political Theory: Freedom & Domination
- Concepts of Power in Western Political Thought
- Politics of American Criminal Justice: Race and the Carceral State
- African American Political Thought: The Lost Promise of American Democracy