Sid Simpson is Perry-Williams Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy and Political Science at the College of Wooster, a position facilitated by the Consortium for Faculty Diversity. He received his Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Notre Dame (2019) and his B.A. from the Honors College at the University of Houston (2014). He works primarily on late modern and contemporary political thought, continental philosophy, and critical theory.

Sid’s current book manuscript, The Subject Against Itself: Genealogy and the Transformation of the Political, recasts the intimate relationship between subjectivation and politics. The usual narrative is that a deconstructive genealogy of the subject (as in, for example, Foucault’s work) ultimately yields a politics of critical resistance: the refusal of modern structures of power and domination without a particular vision of the future. However, a politics of resistance hasn’t always been the sole recourse of the genealogical subject. Sid looks to the writings of Rousseau, Nietzsche, the Frankfurt School, and Foucault in order to argue that their varying accounts of the role of the political, from the decided optimism of the social contract to the eugenic dangers of bio-politics, transform in relation to their redefinitions of the genealogical subject turned against itself. Going beyond contemporary political theory that emphasizes how the political impinges upon and shapes the subject, this book critically examines the continually metamorphosing co-constitutive relationship between the subject and the political.

Sid’s shorter current and future projects include papers on Rousseau’s institutional practice of freedom, Marcuse’s conception of repressive desublimation in the context of neoliberalism, the centrality of punishment to subjectivity in Nietzsche and Foucault, and revolutionary subjectivity in Fanon.

 Sid’s original research has appeared or is forthcoming in the scholarly journals Constellations, International Relations, and Philosophy & Literature. He has also written book reviews for Review of Politics and Thesis Eleven.

You can contact him at ssimpson@wooster.edu.

PhD Year
Thematic Interests

My work primarily engages late modern and contemporary political thought, continental philosophy and critical theory. My research interests include critiques of socialization, post-foundationalism, theories of subjectivity, and cultural critique, as well as the thought of Nietzsche, Rousseau, Foucault and the Frankfurt School.