Daniel Nichanian


Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences

Lecturer in Political Science

University of Chicago

Daniel Nichanian is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences Division and a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Chicago.

His research and teaching interests lie in democratic theory, contemporary political theory, critical theory, and American political thought and history. At the University of Chicago, he teaches a year-long course introducing undergraduate students to the history of political thought, as well as seminars in American political thought and in contemporary democratic theory.

Daniel is currently revising a book manuscript, Seizing a Seat at the Table: Participatory Politics in the Face of Disqualification, that examines how people act to participate in the business of government in contexts where they are not recognized as having the requisite qualifications so. It reconstructs the misunderstood logic of sociopolitical movements—like those of 1870s American suffragists or 1980s AIDS activists—that persist in contributing their views to domains marked by technical expertise, such as constitutional interpretation and scientific decision-making. His work combines interpretive and conceptual work with studies of specific historical contexts, especially ones pertaining to race, gender, and educational disparity in the United States. He is currently conducting new research on constitutional theory, on the relationship between truth and government, and on antislavery political thought in antebellum America.

Daniel completed his PhD in political theory in the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago in 2016. He holds a B.A. in political science and in philosophy from Yale University (summa cum laude, 2008) and a Master in political sociology and philosophy from Université Paris VII-Diderot (2010). His work has been published in Philosophy & Rhetoric and in Syndicate Theology. He has also written for The New York TimesThe Atlantic, DemocracyFiveThirtyEight, Daily Kos Elections, and Vox. From 2014 to 2016, he was the recipient of the Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship. You can also find him on Academia (here) and on Twitter (here).