HISC Student Spotlight #2

October 22, 2019


What’s your name, current standing and research focus?

Philip Conklin, first year. My research focus is, broadly, history and resistance. 

How did you hear about Histcon and what made you apply and decide to attend?

I saw the name of the program while researching graduate schools, and was immediately taken by it. When I decided to apply to PhD programs I had been out of school for seven years, and I had a hard time fitting my interests into a specific discipline. Histcon allows the kind of cross-disciplinary, project-focused work that I'm drawn to, and an amazing group of faculty.

Do you have any upcoming events or publications?

Yes! A book I wrote with my friend Mark Jay called A People's History of Detroit was just published by Duke University Press. It is a 100-year history of the city from a Marxist perspective.978-1-4780-0834-7_pr.jpg

What are you working on now?

My research on Detroit got me interested in the base-superstructure formulation in Marxist theory, and I'm currently looking at the interplay between consciousness and material reality. My tentative project right now is an exploration of the relationship between non-materialist epistemologies (e.g., mysticism) and political resistance. The big question driving my research is, what is the capacity and scope of human agency against apparently suprapersonal structural forces? 

When you’re not hard at work in the HISC program, how do you like to spend your time?

I like to dote on my house plants, cook, and watch movies with my wife and our rabbit.

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