Lisa Wedeen


Lisa Wedeen is the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and the Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. She is also Associate Faculty in Anthropology and a co-editor of the University of Chicago Book Series, “Studies in Practices of Meaning.” Her publications include two books: Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (1999; with a new preface, 2015) and Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power and Performance in Yemen (2008). Among her articles are the following: “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. Her third book, Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria, is currently under review at the University of Chicago Press. Based on extensive fieldwork, the book is situated at the intersection of political theory, comparative politics, and cultural anthropology. In addition, she is co-editing Conspiracy/Theory (with the anthropologist Joseph Masco, in preparation) and continues to teach in and organize the interpretive social science modules at the Institute for Qualitative Multi-Methods Research in Syracuse. She intends to begin work on a fourth book on violence and representation in the fall, and to complete a book of essays on interpretive social science.

Statement of Views:
I believe in the importance of fostering conditions leading to expanded and enhanced forms of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the discipline. If elected, I shall work tirelessly to cultivate appreciation for important contributions to scholarship that can be routinely overlooked or under-recognized. As a team player who believes in presumptive generosity and mutual respect, I hope to have the opportunity to engage with colleagues over how to improve the discipline.