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Ferguson, Michaele L.

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Michaele L. Ferguson is Associate Professor of Political Science and a President’s Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of Sharing Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-editor with Lori J. Marso of W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender (Duke University Press, 2007), and co-editor with Andrew Valls of Iris Marion Young: Gender, Justice, and the Politics of Difference (Routledge, 2022). She has written numerous articles on feminist and democratic theory, including most recently “Dead Dogma and the Limits of Feminist Political Imagination: Thinking #Metoo as Consciousness-Raising,' in Theory & Event (2022), and with Alisa Kessel the satirical “Correspondence in re: Brotherhood is Powerful,” in Political Theory (2023). She is currently finishing a book on feminist political theory, Bandita: Iris Marion Young and the Politics of Writing, Reading, and Citation, and developing a role-playing game on the Paris Commune. She is the Director of the Center for Critical Thought at CU Boulder, a Consulting Editor for Contemporary Political Theory, and the Special Envoy for the Reacting Consortium.


  • political theory, democratic theory, feminist theory, postfoundationalist theory, the politics of rhetoric, neoliberalism, contemporary U.S. politics, multiculturalism, feminist politics, women's rights, sexuality, queer theory, critical theory, race theory, meditation and politics


selected publications


courses taught

  • FYSM 1000 - First Year Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Provide first year students with an immersive experience in an interdisciplinary topic that addresses current issues including social, technical and global topics. Taught by faculty from across campus, the course provides students with an opportunity to interact in small classes, have project based learning experiences and gain valuable communication skills. Seminar style classes focused on discussion and projects.
  • FYSM 1200 - First Year Seminar Global Experience
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Offers a first year seminar experience with an international education component. This course consists of a first year seminar taught during the semester, plus a mandatory 1-week trip abroad. Seminar topics and international destinations vary for different sections of this course and not all topics are offered every semester. Additional fees may be required for participation in ths course. Please consult the First Year Seminar Program and International Education for information on topics, destinations, requirements, schedules, fees and other details.
  • PSCI 2004 - Survey of Western Political Thought
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022
    Studies main political philosophies and political issues of Western culture, from antiquity to 20th century.
  • PSCI 3174 - Sex, Power, and Politics: U.S. Perspectives
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2020
    Explores how norms of sex, gender, race and sexuality find expression in institutions and policies in ways that legitimize only certain individuals as political actors, certain identities as politically relevant, and certain relationships as important. Critically examines how norms may be exposed, resisted, and changed by studying the politics of the women's, gay liberation, and men's movements in the U.S. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 2004 or WGST 2000 or LGBT 2000. Same as WGST 3174.
  • PSCI 3184 - Race, Power, and Politics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Examines the fraught relationship between democracy and racial inequality in the US expressed in the founding contradiction between the Declaration of Independence and the recognition of slavery in the US Constitution. Explores these issues through study of the abolition movement, the Jim Crow era, Civil Rights and Black Power movements, immigrant activism, the American Indian movement, and Black Lives Matter. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 2004.
  • PSCI 3274 - Capitalism and its Critics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Examines competing theoretical approaches to questions related to origins, development, and purposes of modern government in the United States; particular attention paid to impact of transformations in the underlying structure of the capitalist economy. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 1101 or PSCI 2004. Formerly PSCI 3171.
  • PSCI 4028 - Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Summer 2022 / Summer 2023
    Offers subjects not covered by existing courses. Offered when the department approves a special topic. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours for different topics.
  • PSCI 4714 - Liberalism and Its Critics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2022
    Examines contemporary arguments for and against liberalism. Focuses on the analysis, evaluation, and understanding of the philosophical contributions to this debate. Gives special attention to the concepts of justice, freedom, equality, and individualism. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 2004.
  • PSCI 7004 - Seminar: Political Theory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Allows for intensive research in and presentation of selected topics. Introduces students to the broad context within which political ideas arise. Deals with classical and modern thought. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours for different topics.
  • PSCI 7024 - Seminar: Selected Political Theories
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Familiarizes students with selected political philosophies or theories in classical or modern political thought. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours for different topics.
  • PSCI 7114 - Survey of Historical and Contemporary Political Theory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Examines major texts of Western political thought from the ancients through the 21st century. Introduces students to major schools of contemporary political theory, while situating these in their larger political context. Professionalizes students through presentations and research projects. Texts vary each semester. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Recommended requisite: some previous coursework in political theory or philosophy.
  • PSCI 7124 - Contemporary Democratic Theory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2023
    Surveys major schools of contemporary democratic theory and introduces students to current scholarly debates about democracy and democratic politics. Professionalizes students through class presentations and research projects. Specific controversies and texts vary each semester. Recommended requisite: some previous coursework in political theory or philosophy.


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