Meet the Professor: Caleb Miller Caleb Miller joined the Washington and Lee University Politics Department as a visiting assistant professor in fall 2021.
“The strong commitment to teaching alongside an intellectually-engaged student body [is what attracted me to Washington and Lee University].”
Caleb Miller, visiting assistant professor of politics, joined the Politics Department this fall. Prior to this position, he was a visiting democracy fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Trained as a political theorist, Miller’s research interests lie at the intersection of democratic theory and political realism, particularly studies of democratic elitism. His work has appeared in “Constellations,” “Hobbes Studies,” and the “Journal of Political Science Education.” His first book, “Living Under Post-Democracy: Citizenship in Fleetingly Democratic Times,” was published by Routledge Press in March 2020.
Keep reading as Miller answers questions related to his passion for politics and what he likes to do in his spare time.
1. What first attracted you to Washington and Lee University?
The strong commitment to teaching alongside an intellectually engaged student body.
2. What are you teaching?
This fall, I’m teaching Democratic Theory and Its Critics and Introduction to Political Philosophy.
3. Where do your research interests lie? What inspired you to research these subjects?
I’m interested in democratic theory, particularly theories of democratic elitism or “realist democracy” that enable us to better understand the role of electoral politics and money when thinking about values like popular sovereignty and political equality. As someone who espouses democratic values, I think it’s essential to think more critically about the degree to which citizens are able to realize those values and, if they’re unable, what sort of system stands in democracy’s place.
4. Aside from teaching, what’s something that you’re passionate about? What do you do for fun?
I love music and talking about music; mostly contemporary indie rock, but really a little bit of everything, with a lot of focus this summer on dub (not dubstep…), surf and horror film scores.
5. What is your favorite movie or book? Why?
Most recently, my favorite book has been Tatyana Tolstaya’s “The Slynx,” an imaginative, postmodern take on Orwellian themes, but I’m also a sucker for Knausgård and Ferrante. And the best movie I’ve seen lately is “Promising Young Woman,” which should be required viewing.
6. As a student, what was the best piece of advice you were given?
Something worth doing well is also worth doing poorly.
7. Share a fun fact about yourself.
In college, I was a radio DJ for (what used to be) the biggest alternative rock station in Southern New England.
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