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Faculty Fellow

Lisa Wedeen

Mary R. Morton Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the College; Co-director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory; Associate Faculty in Anthropology University of Chicago


Lisa Wedeen is the author of three books: Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (1999; with a new preface, 2015); Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen (2008); and Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (2019). Among her articles are “Conceptualizing ‘Culture’: Possibilities for Political Science” (2002); “Concepts and Commitments in the Study of Democracy” (2004); “Ethnography as an Interpretive Enterprise” (2009); “Reflections on Ethnographic Work in Political Science” (2010); “Ideology and Humor in Dark Times: Notes from Syria” (2013); and “Scientific Knowledge, Liberalism, and Empire: American Political Science in the Modern Middle East” (2016). She is the recipient of the David Collier Mid-Career Achievement Award and an NSF fellowship. For Authoritarian Apprehensions, she received the American Political Science Association’s Charles Taylor Book Award, the APSA’s inaugural Middle East and North Africa Politics Section’s best book award, the IPSA award for Concept Analysis in Political Science (2021), and the Gordon J. Laing Award. She is currently completing a coedited volume titled Conspiracy/Theory and beginning work on a coedited Oxford University Handbook tentatively titled Reimagining Cosmopolitanism (Oxford University Press) and a monograph on violence and temporality.

Featured Project

Reimagining Cosmopolitanism

2022 – 2025


Working Group on Political Theology

Working Group on Political Theology

These scholars sought to define and refine a coherent agenda for a long-term, trans-disciplinary research project on theology’s influence on political ideas and institutions.

Scholarly literature suggests two reasons for the recent re-emergence of political theology across the social sciences and humanities, challenging what many thought was an outdated modality of inquiry. The first is a growing concern that the practical and theoretical subordination of politics to...