Since August 2013, I've had the privilege to serve as an assistant professor in the Ithaca College (IC) politics department. I am a First-Generation college student, and hold a dual Ph.D. degree in political science and Historical studies from The New School for Social Research, an M.S. in General Administration from Central Michigan University, and B.A. in Political Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham Park/Madison, N.J. I have studied British politics, history and literature abroad at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England (FDU), and democratic and constitutional theory at the Trans-regional Center for Democratic Studies (New School). I have been active in working class politics, and labor organizing/collective bargaining since the early 1990s, which also inform my intellectual, research and teaching work.
My teaching and scholarly interests include studies in American political development; U.S. Quakers, race and citizenship; interpretive policy analysis (IPA); black American politics and political thought; Latino politics in the U.S. & border studies; interpretive & qualitative methodology/methods, and public leadership/leadership studies (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oafbLDV6X8).
I teach courses at various levels: 100 (lectures), 300 (seminars) and 400 (seminars & tutorials), including -- Introduction to U.S. Politics; the Politics of U.S. Citizenship; Social and Racial Justice Politics: Quakers in America; Black American Politics and Political Thought; and Faith & Race in U.S. Political Life. I am currently designing two separate 300 level seminars for AY2018 & AY2019, respectively: one on Black Gay Quaker Activist Bayard Rustin, and another on Puerto Rican Revolutionary Leader Pedro Albizu Campos.
My first book project Quakers, Race and Empire: Political Ecumenism and U.S. Insular Policy in the Early Twentieth Century provides an historical political analysis of Quaker interventions into U.S. insular policy discourses -- through the work of the Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indian and Other Dependent Peoples (LMC) -- over the governance of acquired territories, and struggles for self-determination, and citizenship by inherited nonwhite peoples in Puerto Rico and the Philippines from 1898 to 1917. Related to this book project is a recent publication "Quaker Political Interventions, and US Puerto Rico Policy Development, 1900 - 1917" The Journal of Race and Policy, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015), pp. 36 - 54. Also, see related lecture in Quaker Times -- http://sco.lt/52Ljc1
One of my shorter-term projects titled "Bridge Narratives and Spatial Citizenship at the US-Mexico Border" focuses on the everyday ‘lived experiences’ of border peoples who study and/or work around the 'international bridges' connecting Brownsville, Texas (USA) and Matamoros, Tamaulipas (Mexico). I show that border peoples (within fluid borderlands) often construct, and reconstruct 'spatial citizenship' within and through the negotiation of bridge technological/urban spaces in order to maintain a semblance of civic community despite -- and often in light of -- the real and/or perceived violence at the southern US border.
I am also working on several research studies on black gay Quaker labor and civil rights thinker & activist Bayard Rustin. In February 2016, I gave a talk on Rustin at Illinois State University: http://illinoisstate.edu/president/speaker-series/spring_2016/Figueroa.php as part of their Black History Month celebration. Please listen to my National Public Radio (Normal, Illinois) conversation on Rustin and his Quakerism here: http://wglt.org/post/gay-civil-rights-leader-grounded-quaker-upbringing#stream/0
Some of my academic/intellectual work has appeared in various venues: Journal of Public Affairs Education, Journal of Race and Policy, Political Science Quarterly and with the University of Virginia Press, among others.
Last, please read my contemporary political commentary here: https://www.ithaca.edu/intercom/article.php?story=20161028204543988#.WHUg7H21Xd5
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