2014-2015 SPECTRA Editors:

Sascha Engel (Editor) is a doctoral candidate (ABD) studying political and social thought in the ASPECT program. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the university of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) and an M.A. in Political Theory from the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany). He has presented papers on International Political Economy and perspectives in political theory inspired by Continental Philosophy at the annual conferences of the International Studies Association and the Western Political Science Association, as well as conferences on Critical Theory in London and Frankfurt. His current main research focus is the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. Sascha teaches political theory and moral philosophy as a graduate instructor at Virginia Tech.

Jordan Laney (Co-Editor-elect) is a second year Ph.D. student in the ASPECT program at Virginia Tech. Before beginning the ASPECT program in 2013, she earned an M.A. in Appalachian Studies with a concentration in Appalachian Roots Music and Influences from Appalachian State University (2013), and a B.F.A in Creative Writing from Goddard College (2010). She has presented papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for the Global American South, the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association, and Appalachian Studies Association’s conferences. Her current research interests include: feminist and political theories, postmodern poetry, music and social movements, new media, and transnational space.

Anthony Szczurek (Co-Editor-elect) is a second year Ph.D. student in the ASPECT program at Virginia Tech. He received a combined B.A./M.A. in Psychology and International Affairs from the New School. His interests include democratic theory, international political theory, and comparative political thought.

Christian Matheis (Editor-Emeritus) is a doctoral candidate (ABD) at Virginia Tech conducting research in moral and political philosophy in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT). He holds a B.S. in psychology and an M.A. in applied ethics with graduate minors in ethnic studies and sociology, both from Oregon State University. Among his research interests he includes feminist philosophies, philosophies of race, anarchism, border epistemologies, and Latin American philosophies of liberation. In his dissertation he theorizes “liberatory solidarity as relational,” differentiating it from conventional notions of identity and interest germane to moral and political philosophy by placing primary emphasis on a particular foundational notion of relation. His professional history includes work as a community organizer, human relations facilitator, university faculty, and consultant. Christian teaches in both the departments of philosophy and political science at Virginia Tech, as well as for the department of philosophy at Radford University.

Claudio D’Amato (Layout and Design Editor) is a doctoral student of philosophy and political science in the ASPECT program. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and English writing from Wartburg College and a M.A. in philosophy from Virginia Tech. His research focuses primarily on global and multicultural ethics, epistemologies of ignorance, and communitarian theories of justice. Despite being European, he works almost exclusively within the analytic tradition of philosophy, with some input from contemporary American critical theory. He designed and co-edited six issues of a literary magazine in college and has authored hundreds of posters, flyers, and brochures, including some for the VT Department of Philosophy conferences and colloquia.

Ryan E. Artrip (Copy Editor) is a doctoral candidate in the ASPECT program. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Virginia Tech. His research interests are in political and cultural theory, international relations theory, and media studies. Artrip is currently engaged in research on viral media and the history of Western representational thought.

Taulby Edmondson (Copy Editor) is a doctoral student studying social and political thought in Virginia Tech’s ASPECT program. He holds B.A.s in History and Sociology from Emory & Henry College and an M.A. in History from Appalachian State University. His research interests include historical memory, political culture, popular culture, and media studies with a specific interest in the perpetuation and usage of racialized and gendered historical myths in contemporary American politics and culture. Taulby teaches modern American history as a graduate instructor at Virginia Tech.

Nina Vest Salmon (Copy Editor) is a doctoral student in ASPECT. She holds an A.B. in Sociology and Communication from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a M.Ed. in English Education from Lynchburg College. Prior to coming to ASPECT, much of her scholarly work focused on Anne Spencer, a Harlem Renaissance poet who lived most of her life in Lynchburg. Spencer, along with broad questions about race, oppression, and power, led her to ASPECT. Nina teaches English at Lynchburg College and is assistant director of Senior Symposium and the Lynchburg College Symposium Readings program.

Julie Walters Steele (Copy Editor) is a part time PhD student in the ASPECT program, and serves full-time as the Director of the Reynolds Homestead, a Virginia Tech Commonwealth Campus Center. She earned a BA and MA in English Literature from Clemson University and has worked in Higher Education administration at Clemson University, Western Carolina University and Virginia Tech. Her current research interests include social and cultural theories related to slavery in the Appalachian mountain region.

François Debrix – Professor, Political Science; Director of ASPECT, Virginia Tech
Timothy W. Luke – University Distinguished Professor and Chair, Political Science, Virginia Tech
Janell Watson – Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Virginia Tech


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