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RODRIGO CHACÓN

Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard University

William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, 3rd floor, Cambridge, MA 02138

chacon@fas.harvard.edu, +1 (781) 690-4636



POSITIONS
Harvard University

Lecturer on Social Studies, Committee on Degrees in Social Studies Fall 2010 -


Boston College

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science Fall 2009 – Spring 2010



Technische Universität Dresden

Guest Lecturer, Institute of Political Science Summer 2007


Eugene Lange College

Teaching Fellow Fall 2004/2005



EDUCATION

The New School for Social Research

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science 2010

Dissertation: German Sokrates: Heidegger, Arendt, Strauss

Committee: James E. Miller (Chair), Richard J. Bernstein,

Andreas Kalyvas, David Plotke
MA in Political Science 2002

Fields: Political Theory, Comparative Politics


ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México)

BA in International Relations 2000


McGill University

Study abroad program, Political Science Department Fall 1997



PUBLICATIONS

Peer-reviewed publications

“Totalitarismo,” in Carlos Pereda (ed.), Diccionario de Filosofía Política (Mexico City:

Siglo XXI), forthcoming

“On a Forgotten Kind of Grounding: Strauss, Jacobi, and the Phenomenological Critique of Modern Rationalism,” The Review of Politics, 76 (2014), 589-618


“Arendt’s Denktagebuch, 1950-1973: An Unwritten Ethics for the Human Condition?,” History of European Ideas, Vol. 39, No. 4 (2013), 561-582
“Reading Strauss From the Start: On the Heideggerian Origins of ‘Political Philosophy’,” European Journal of Political Theory (2010: 3), 287-307
Book chapter

“Hannah Arendt in Weimar: Beyond the Theological-Political Predicament?,” in L.V. Kaplan and R.J. Koshar (eds.), The Weimar Moment: Liberalism, Political Theology, and Law (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012), 73-109


Invited articles in peer-reviewed publications

“Strauss and Husserl,” Idealistic Studies, Vol. 44, Nos. 2-3 (2014), 281-296


Book reviews

Review of Grant N. Havers, Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique and Laurence Lampert, The Enduring Importance of Leo Strauss, Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 13/No. 1, March 2015, 190-192


Review of Lars Rensmann and Samir Gandesha (eds.), Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations, Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 11/No. 3, September 2013, 935-936
Other publications

“Por Qué Filosofía Política? El Pensamiento Neo-Socrático de Hannah Arendt y

Leo Strauss,” Al Margen, No. 21, special issue dedicated to Hannah Arendt, Bogotá, Colombia, April, 2007, 234-250

WORK IN PROGRESS

Book manuscript

The Young Strauss: Political Philosophy in the Wake of Heidegger, 1921-1936
This book provides the first in-depth account of the genesis of Strauss’s political philosophy during the Weimar era. Drawing on recently published sources—notably, Heidegger’s lectures on Aristotle which Strauss attended—I argue that Strauss’s return to classical political philosophy was paradoxically made possible by Heidegger’s radical critique of that tradition. Heidegger’s revolutionary contribution to social and political thought was the recovery of a level of questioning prior to traditional oppositions between mind and world, nature and morality, theory and practice, physics and metaphysics. From that “classical” perspective, attributed to “Socrates” by his early students, Heidegger and Strauss provide competing accounts of the sources of normativity; the grounds of science; and the relation between reason and its (theological) Other.

ACADEMIC DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS

National Researcher, Level I, CONACyT, Mexico, 2015-2018 (distinction awarded to

Mexican scholars who have made significant contributions to their fields, as well as to the formation of students. National Researchers are selected through peer review)


Harvard University Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Derek Bok Center for Teaching

and Learning and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, Harvard University, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014 (awarded every semester to Lecturers or Preceptors who achieve an overall rating of 4.5 or above on a 5-point scale student evaluation system)


The Stanley Hoffmann Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Committee on Degrees in

Social Studies, Harvard University, 2012 (awarded annually by the Committee to one Lecturer; the nomination process involves students and faculty)


Thomas Hoopes Prize for Excellence in Advising a Senior Thesis, Harvard College, 2012

(awarded annually by the College to advisors of theses that won the Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly research)


Leo Strauss Award for the Best Dissertation in the Field of Political Philosophy,

Nominee, New School for Social Research, 2011
Jack Miller Center For Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, Summer

Fellow, University of Virginia, 2011


Jack Miller-Veritas Fund Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Boston College, 2009-2010
Frieda Wunderlich Memorial Award for an Outstanding Dissertation by an

International Student, New School for Social Research, 2010
Outstanding MA Student Award, New School for Social Research, 2002 (awarded

annually to the top student in the MA graduating class)


Dean’s Fellowship, Eugene Lang College, 2004-2005
Fulbright Scholarship. Fulbright-García Robles Grant from the US-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, 2000-2003
Ford Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, John D. and Catharine T.

MacArthur Foundation Scholarship, 2000-2002

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Social Studies 10a: Introduction to Social Studies (Harvard College, Fall 2010-2015)

An introduction to the classic texts of social theory of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, focusing on the rise of democratic, capitalist societies, and the concomitant development of modern moral, political, and economic ideas. Authors examined include Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Smith, Tocqueville, Mill, and Marx. (Co-taught with other members of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies.)


Social Studies 10b: Introduction to Social Studies (Harvard College, Spring 2011-15)

Continues Social Studies 10a through the twentieth century. Authors include Nietzsche, Weber, Durkheim, Hayek, Polanyi, Freud, Beauvoir, Fanon, Arendt, Foucault, and Habermas. (Co-taught with other members of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies.)


Social Studies 98ng: Heidegger, Phenomenology, and Social Thought (Harvard College,

Fall 2011-2014)


Social Studies 99: Senior Thesis Writer’s Seminar (Harvard College, Spring 2012,

Fall/Spring 2012-14)


Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (Boston College, graduate reading group; Fall

2009)
Liberalism and its Critics (Boston College, Spring 2010)


Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss: Philosophy and Politics (Technische Universität-

Dresden, Summer 2007)
Ancient and Modern Political Theory: The Dialogue Between History and Theory

(Eugene Lang College, New York, Fall 2005)
Introduction to Political Theory: Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary (Eugene Lang

College, New York, Fall 2004)



CONFERENCE PAPERS AND INVITED LECTURES

“Soberanía y Derechos Humanos: Conflicto o Sinergia,” ITAM, Mexico City, Departamento de Estudios Internacionales, April 13, 2015


“On a Forgotten Kind of Grounding: Strauss, Jacobi, and the Phenomenological Critique of Modern Rationalism,” Boston College, Department of Political Science, March 11, 2015
“Heidegger’s Socratic Moment? ‘Political Philosophy’ in Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy, 1924,” Social Studies Workshop, Harvard University, November 4, 2014
“On Overcoming Religion by Understanding it Radically: Strauss’s Critique of Spinoza as a Response to Heidegger,” Northeastern Political Science Association annual meeting, November 15-17, 2012
“Expanding the Space of Reasons? Strauss, Jacobi, and the Sources of Normativity,” American Political Science Association annual meeting, August 31, 2012
“Political Philosophy in Arendt’s Denktagebuch,” American Political Science Association annual meeting, September 2-5, 2010
“The Socratic Turn: Its Twentieth Century Significance,” The Program for the Study of the Western Heritage at Boston College (Political Science), Boston College, April 6, 2010
“‘Political Philosophy’ in Heidegger’s 1924 Course, Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy,” The Program for the Study of the Western Heritage at Boston College (Political Science), Boston College, October 8, 2009
“When and Why did Leo Strauss Become a Straussian? And did he Change his Mind?,” American Political Science Association annual meeting, August 31-September 2, 2007
“Por Qué Filosofía Política? El Pensamiento Neo-Socrático de Hannah Arendt y

Leo Strauss,” Seminario de Investigación Política, ITAM, Mexico City, March 26, 2007


“Politics and Metaphysics in Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss,” New Perspectives on Leo Strauss from America and Europe, New School for Social Research, November 17-18, 2005
“Mouffe’s Democratic Paradox: From the Politics of Knowledge to the Knowledge of the Political,” Annual Political Science Student Conference, New School for Social Research, Spring, 2003

UNIVERSITY SERVICE

Board of Academic Advisors, Harvard College, 2010 -


Coordinator of the Janey Program for Latin American Studies, The New School for Social Research, 2008
Research Assistant, Professor Courtney Jung, The New School for Social Research, 2003-2004, 2006-2007
Research Assistant, Professor James E. Miller, The New School for Social Research, 2005
Search Committee for Political Theory, The New School for Social Research, 2003

PEER REVIEWS
Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory

Diánoia: Revista de Filosofía

MIT Press



CONFERENCE ORGANIZED

Co-organizer of the international conference New Perspectives on Leo Strauss from America and Europe, The New School for Social Research, New York, November 17-18, 2005



LANGUAGES

Spanish (native)

English (fluent)

German (fluent)



French (reading knowledge)

Portuguese (reading knowledge)

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