Robert Meister

TitleProfessor of Social Sciences and Political Thought
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentSocial Sciences Division,
Institute for Humanities Research,
History of Consciousness Department
AffiliationsPolitics Department
OfficeKresge, Rm 228
Office HoursT 2-4pm
Campus Mail StopMerrill Faculty Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
picture of Robert Meister

Research Interests

Political and moral philosophy, law and social theory, Marxian theory, institutional analysis, anti-discrimination law

Selected Publications

"Forgiving and Forgetting: Lincoln and the Politics of National Recovery." In Human Rights in Political Transitions, C. Hesse and R. C. Post (eds.). New York: Zone Press, 1999.

"Beyond Satisfaction-Desire, Consumption, and the Future of Socialism," Topoi, 15, 2, September 1996.

"Sojourners and Survivors-Two Logics of Constitutional Protection," Studies in American Poltitical Development, 9, 2, Fall 1995.

"Is Moderation a Virtue?" In Virtue, Love, and Form, T. Irwin and M. Nussbaum (eds.), Apeiron, 26, 3-4, 1993.

Political Identity: Thinking Through Marx. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1991.

"The Logic and Legacy of Dred Scott: Marshall, Taney, and the Sublimation of Republican Thought," Studies in American Political Development, 3, 1989.

"Vigilante Action Against Pornography: The Symbolic Destruction of Symbols," Social Text, 12, Fall 1985.

"Discrimination Law Through the Looking Glass,"Wisconsin Law Review, no. 4, 1985.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1973

My political thought concerns the moral relations between the beneficiaries of social and political injustice and its victims. My current book project, a critique of the late-twentieth century discourse of human rights, weaves together topics ranging from the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Dante’s Purgatorio, from Reconstruction era American legal thought to the Nuremberg Trials, and from post-genocide Rwandan politics to psychoanalytic accounts of trauma. His previous publications have engaged Marxist analysis, the politics of recognition, political theology, US (and comparative) constitutional law, and legal theory.