SHIFT Assistant Professor of Applied Ethics
George’s teaching and research are problem-centric, focusing on issues of peace and justice, and drawing on various fields: ethics, social-political philosophy, critical race theory, decolonial theory, global/international studies, and conflict resolution. He has taught a range of courses related to this work; his publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critical Philosophy of Race, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Radical Philosophy Review. He is currently working on a book that addresses issues of race, reconciliation, and solidarity among Middle Eastern Americans.
In this class, we will explore the fields of ethics and politics from the starting point of a primordial tension: the experience of being both an individual and a member of a collective social-political environment. This starting point places our exploration in stark contrast to classical approaches to normative thought, which focus on the consequences of individual actions, universal rules, and individual habits. Instead, we will discuss value and meaning in terms of interpersonal relations, the various ways our relations become conflicted, and how we can work on our relations in order to transform ourselves as well as our circumstances. In this exploration it will become clear that acting ethically is far more complicated than commonly assumed, but also an absolutely necessary practice for the proper functioning of a democratic society. The general goal of this class is to have a clear understanding of key theories and texts in ethics and social-political philosophy, but also a clearer sense of what one must do to act ethically in every day encounters.
This is a course in decolonial and political theory that will explore the historical legacy of colonialism and the ongoing conflict between the so-called east/west. Through a range of texts, we will analyze and critique the major theoretical and cultural origins of various contemporary social-political phenomena that are connected to the east/west conflict, including war on terror, the rise of ISIS, and the militarization of everyday life throughout the world. Through these texts, students will be prepared to discuss a wide range of foundational issues in decolonial and political theory: Colonialism/coloniality, orientalism, discourse theory, liberation philosophy, the subbaltern, hybridity, difference, ambiguity, interstitiallity, race and racialization, and many more.
In this course we will explore communal modes of life through a theoretical and practical lens. We will engage several communitarian theorists and we will also study some of the recent pragmatic work that has been done to reclaim common space, common practices, and community as such.
Hampshire and Five College students will often take on positions of leadership in companies and organizations, on campus and beyond, usually with little practice or training. People often think of leadership as individualistic and autocratic, requiring outgoing personality. But there are many styles of leadership, and effective leadership is usually collaborative. In this class students will learn and practice ethical and non-hierarchical leadership strategies. Students will explore their own values around leadership, and tap into their own personal leadership qualities. We will work on what makes high-functioning teams and partnerships, and how to identify and work with stakeholders, leadership in community context. We will practice principled, as opposed to confrontational, negotiation skills. The class will study ethics and responsibilities of leadership. The class will provide both theory and practical application.