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 (starting with my own lived experiences), 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/a politics in the U.S. & border studies; interpretive & qualitative methodology/methods; U.S. intellectual History; and public leadership (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oafbLDV6X8).
My most recent publication is on the US Supreme Court and its educative role within a deliberative democratic system: http://www.annalesonline.uni.lodz.pl/archiwum/2018/2018_4_figueroa_59_88.pdf
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: one on Black Gay Quaker Political Activist Bayard Rustin, and another on Puerto Rican Revolutionary Leader Pedro Albizu Campos.
Please read my scholarship of teaching here:
My first book project Quakers, Race and Empire: Political Ecumenism and U.S. Insular Policy in the Early Twentieth Century shows how and why progressive era Quakers intervened in U.S. insular policy discourses over the organizing and governance of acquired territories (Puerto Rico and the Philippines), and the struggles for self-determination, and citizenship within the context of an expanding American empire 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
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 an invited talk on Rustin at Illinois State as a University Speaker, and as part of their Black History Month celebration. Please listen to my National Public Radio (Normal, Illinois) conversation on Rustin and his Quakerism here: https://www.ithaca.edu/news/releases/in-npr-interview,-ithaca-college-professor-highlights-contributions-of-lesser-known-civil-rights-leader-41415/
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.
Please read my political commentary here:
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Videos about Puerto Rico: https://waragainstallpuertoricans.com/videos/