In conversation with LSR Visiting Faculty Fellow Inés Valdez

Sunday, Apr 22, 2018

Inés Valdez is an assistant professor of political science at Ohio State University. Her work examines the problem of racial, gender, and religious difference in political theory, with a particular focus on the theorization of migration and cosmopolitanism. 

As an LSR Visiting Faculty Fellow at the UCHV, Valdez is working on finishing her book manuscript, “Toward a Transnational Cosmopolitanism,” which brings in W. E. B. Du Bois’ post-World War I thinking into conversation with the predominantly neo-Kantian literature on cosmopolitanism. The book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

For her LSR seminar, Valdez covered a chapter of her book manuscript, in which she develops the notion of transnational consciousness. “I reconstruct how W. E. B. Du Bois saw that an identification with the U.S. polity was not very conducive to emancipatory consciousness and suggested instead that black Americans should join forces with anti-colonial subjects struggling for emancipation,” Valdez said. “This form of identity is racial, to the extent that it brings together people who have been oppressed on behalf of their race, but also political, to the extent that it is open to include subjects of multiple races whose experiences of oppression share a transnational origin.”

Valdez has also been moving forward her work on the political theory of migration, a piece on humanitarianism and violence, and on the political theory of the police, which she is working on with co-authors Amna Akbar and Mat Coleman.

Valdez has found that her work intersects with that of many Princeton faculty and other visiting fellows, including Lori Gruen’s work on race and violence, Anna Stilz and Chuck Beitz on cosmopolitanism, Des Jagmohan’s work on “all things Du Bois and race,” and Jessica Eaglin’s work on race and criminal justice.

“I've been lucky to find great interlocutors at Princeton, with whom I am able to have dynamic intellectual exchange,” Valdez said. “I have also enjoyed the friendliness of the UCHV community, including the fantastic UCHV staff, and the many beautiful and bright spaces to write in the libraries.”

Another thing Valdez has enjoyed about her time in Princeton? “The awesome croissants from Chez Alice.”