Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Asma Abbas

Professor Asma Abbas with joy

Associate Professor of Politics and Philosophy


Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Academic Program Affiliation(s)

Research and Teaching Interests

Histories of political thought and sensibility; aesthetics and poetics; political economy; affect and sentiment; nation, race, and religion; war and terror; feminist and postcolonial studies; capitalism and colonialism; left and right radicalisms; anticolonial movements and decolonization; philosophy and politics of education; US, South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Politics 100 Introduction to Politics
  • Politics 210/310 Seminar in Global Politics
  • Politics 221 Resists, Remember, Redeem, Remake: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Politics
  • Politics 226 (The Twilight of) American Idols: Haunts and Hauntings of US Political Thought
  • Politics 327 Marx After Marx
  • Politics 332 Capital and Colony: Histories, Formations, and Lifeworlds of Empires
  • Politics 333 Against Capital and Colony: Conjuring Life Despite/Without/After Empire
  • Social Sciences 230 Baldwin and Friends: Lovers with Questions, Native Sons without Country
  • Social Sciences 320 Junior Proseminar in Humanistic & Social Scientific Inquiry


PhD in Political Science, Pennsylvania State University
MA in Liberal Studies, New School for Social Research
MBA & BBA, Institute of Business Administration

Dr. Asma Abbas is a transdisciplinary political theorist interested in the history of forms of political existence. She was born and raised in Karachi, which still furnishes most of the affective abundances that drive her vocation. Situated at the intersection of politics, ethics, and aesthetics, her work addresses how these domains and their demands shape the tasks of knowledge and subject production in a global postcolonial context and inform struggles for peace and justice. Her scholarship and teaching evince a cultivated practice in decolonial and materialist politics and a commitment to de-provincialising marginalized ways of thinking, being, and knowing in order to channel their emancipatory and transformative potential. She has previously served as Division Head for Social Studies, Faculty Convener of the Simon’s Rock Study Group on Institutional Transition and Mission, and is the founding member and coordinator of the Proseminar in Humanistic and Social Scientific Inquiry. She attends conferences and workshops in political science, philosophy, and the interdisciplinary humanities. Her writing has been published in several edited volumes, and in journals such as Politics and Culture, Journal of Politics, Theory & Event, and Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Dr. Abbas has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2005.


  • A founding director of Hic Rosa, an art, education, and politics collective
  • Emily H. Fisher Faculty Fellow 2015-2017
  • Affiliate faculty at Union Institute and University’s Social Justice Ph.D. Program
  • Associate faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
  • Liberalism and Human Suffering: Materialist Reflections on Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics was published in 2010, and argued for radically rethinking the subjectivity of sufferers and the place of our ordinary experience of the world in struggles for justice
  • Another Love: A Politics of the Unrequited, is a book project nearing completion and is on marginality, love, and anticolonial politics
  • In the Ninth Circle of Hell: Betrayal, Translation, Politics is a new project that is an intervention into contemporary politics of austerity, neoliberalism, and fascism