Mary (Molly) Scudder joins Purdue as Assistant Professor of Political Science, specializing in political theory. Her general research interests include democratic theory, deliberation, affect and democracy, and art and politics.
Dr. Scudder’s research is theoretically rich and problem driven, focused primarily on finding new answers to the problem of political exclusion in democracy. She is currently working on a book manuscript which examines the disposition required of citizens engaging in political talk with one another. The book calls into question the value of empathy in sustaining the kind of listening required to achieve meaningful debate among citizens. Beyond Empathy: Toward Inclusion Through Listening in Democratic Deliberation remedies gaps in both democratic theory and practice by examining how citizens might become open and receptive listeners when encountering the perspectives and demands of others. An article articulating Dr. Scudder’s critique of empathy is forthcoming in the journal Polity. Dr. Scudder teaches courses on the history of political thought and democratic theory. She especially enjoys introducing students to the study of political theory!
Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, Dr. Scudder was an Assistant Professor at Texas Christian University. She received her PhD from the University of Virginia and was previously a doctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.