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College of Humanities & Sciences

School of World Studies

Aspen Brinton, Ph.D.

Aspen Brinton [View Image]

Assistant Professor of International Studies

Office - 14 N. Laurel St.


Aspen Brinton is a political theorist. Her research interests include democratic theory, dissident movements, East-Central Europe, phenomenology, and the intellectual history of civil society and free speech. Her most recent book, Philosophy and Dissidence in Cold War Europe (2016), examines the philosophical legacy of Eastern European dissidents during the Cold War. This book is part of a larger project to develop philosophical and theoretical tools to examine the discourses of dissident movements and civic associations more generally, in particular looking for ways to engage continental philosophy and phenomenology to expand the boundaries of political theory.

Brinton's current book project examines how the thought of Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka might be relevant for understanding dissidence more broadly. Before coming to VCU, she taught in the philosophy department and International Studies program at Boston College, and before that she taught at the University of Pennsylvania in the honors program for the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to Penn, she spent four years teaching political philosophy, liberal arts, and political science courses at Northwestern University and Georgetown University on their campuses in Doha, Qatar. Please see her personal website for more information


Ph.D., Georgetown University 2007
M.A., Georgetown University, 2003
B.A., Amherst College, 1999

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