Jason Frank

Associate Professor

Cornell University

Jason Frank is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government. His primary field is political theory and his research and teaching interests include democratic theory, American political thought, politics and literature, political culture, and the philosophy of political inquiry. Jason received his MA and Ph.D. in political science from the Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before coming to Cornell, Jason taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Duke University, and Northwestern. He has also held research fellowships at UCLA’s Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, Duke’s Franklin Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jason works on historically situated approaches to democratic theory, with an emphasis on early American political thought and culture. His book Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America (Duke University Press, 2010) explores the legal and political dilemmas engendered by the American Revolution’s enthronement of “the people” as the sovereign ground of public authority. Selections have been translated into Spanish and published in the Revista Argentina de Ciencia Politica. Jason is also the co-editor of Vocations of Political Theory (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) and of a double issue of the journal Diacritics 37:2-3 (“Taking Exception to the State of Exception”). His articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Political Theory, Modern Intellectual History, Theory & Event, Public Culture, Constellations, Perspectives on Politics, and The Review of Politics. His work has also appeared in numerous anthologies, most recently in The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Radical Future Pasts (University Press of Kentucky, 2014).

Jason has recently published a new book entitled Publius and Political Imagination (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), and edited A Political Companion to Herman Melville (University Press of Kentucky, 2013). His current project examines the aesthetic dimensions of democratic authority and is provisionally titled The Democratic Sublime: Political Theory and Aesthetics in the Age of Revolution. This summer Jason will teach a seminar in Cornell’s Adult University titled “Chasing the Whale: Melville’s Politics,” and next spring he will be a scholar in residence at Cornell’s Wolpe Center in Washington, DC.