Alisa Kessel

Alisa Kessel

Associate Professor
Politics and Government

BA, Political Science, Arizona State University, 1998
MA, Political Science, Arizona State University, 2000
PhD, Political Science, Duke University, 2006



Professor Kessel teaches these courses in political theory: 

PG 104:  Introduction to Political Theory
PG 340:  Democracy and the Ancient Greeks
PG 341:  Liberalism and Its Critics
PG 342:  Contemporary Democratic Theory
PG 345:  Politics of Community Engagement
PG 346:  Race in the American Political Imagination
PG 347:  Comparative Political Ideologies
PG 349:  Political Theories of Education

These courses aim to encourage students to think critically about political power and freedom and to reflect on the conditions of powerlessness and oppression that persist within their political communities.   At the University of Puget Sound, the course offerings in political theory also include “Theories of International Relations” and “American Political Thought,” taught by Professor Weinberger and “Feminist Philosophy” and “Philosophy of Law,” taught by Professor Tubert.  Together, these courses cover a wide range of Western political thought, but Professor Kessel is always open to suggestions from students about other courses they would like to see offered.  


Professor Kessel’s work in political theory reflects her interest in questions about political membership, power, and agency in democratic communities.  She has published work on democratic education in Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy and in Educational Philosophy and Theory.  Her current project has taken her in a new direction.  She is working on a critical account on the concept of consent, particularly in the context of rape and other forms sexual violence.  


Professor Kessel regularly attends the annual conferences of the American Political Science Association, the Western Political Science Association, and the Association for Political Theory.