In my review final spring of Glenn Ellmers’ The Soul of Politics, I included this passage in regards to the Leo Strauss Dissertation Award that the American Political Science Affiliation (APSA) offers out every year:
One final stark instance of [Harry Jaffa’s] vindication within the controversies which might be on the root of the rancor related together with his identify is his assault, within the mid-Seventies, on the American Political Science Affiliation’s institution of the Leo Strauss Dissertation Award. Jaffa argued that the award would come to signify the other of the whole lot Strauss stood for: “Works of real brilliance and distinction will seldom if ever have an opportunity, as a result of they may antagonize by their uncompromising superiority.”
This appeared a trivial quarrel to most everybody within the wider Straussian neighborhood. Joseph Cropsey thought Jaffa was overreacting, with “absolute conviction that what all people else understands to be insignificant is the germ of common calamity,” and the episode was taken to be one more instance of what Harvey Mansfield known as Jaffa’s “extra of preventing spirit.” But APSA’s 2020 winner of the Leo Strauss Dissertation Award was Elena Gambino of Rutgers College, who “works on the intersections of feminist, queer, and important race theories.” Title of the dissertation: “Presence in Our Personal Land:’ Second Wave Feminism and the Lesbian Physique Politic.”
Seems the APSA was simply warming up. Right here is this year’s winner of the Leo Strauss Dissertation Award:
Siddhant Issar is an Assistant Professor of Political Concept on the College of Louisville. His analysis and instructing pursuits lie in trendy and modern political principle, significantly Black, Indigenous, and anti-colonial thought, the Black Lives Matter motion, and the politics of race, class, and empire. In his scholarship, Issar delves into the entanglement between capitalist political economic system and racial/colonial domination, in addition to the theoretical insights social actions generate towards such interlinked domination. He’s at the moment engaged on a ebook manuscript, titled Theorizing Racial Capitalism within the Period of Black Lives Matter. . .
Siddhant Isser’s “Considering with Black Lives Matter: In the direction of a Crucial Concept of Racial Capitalism” is an excellent argument for shifting past analyses of latest oppression that suppose by means of just one vital lens (i.e. “anti-racist” or “anti-capitalist” or “anti-colonial”). Taking his start line from the Black Lives Matter motion, which depends on an expansive understanding of racial capitalism (as essentially entwined with settler colonialism), Isser exhibits the significance of a sturdy principle of racial capitalism for political principle by means of engagement with a variety of thinkers (e.g. Marx, Cedric Robinson, David Harvey, Wendy Brown, Jodi Melamed). Isser’s dissertation shines particularly in its incisive critique of main thinkers of neoliberalism for his or her failures to sufficiently analyze the significance of race, and its good evaluation of “racial/colonial primitive accumulation.” Isser’s dissertation is most essential, although, as a result of it offers political theorists one thing they really want: a principle of racial capitalism that they’ll use and put to work in analyzing modern oppression.
Yeah, this actually appears just like the form of evaluation Strauss would have revered. (Sarc.)
Two potential responses: First, a petition to abolish the award. Second, on condition that “mainstream” political science despises Strauss and his devoted college students, possibly we must always begin a guerilla marketing campaign to model anybody who receives the Strauss Award as unacceptable to rent by any “mainstream” political science division. That could be a more practical method of killing the award, or deterring leftists from accepting it.