Professor of Politics
Lexington, VA and Washington and Lee University are home, settling here in 1994. Not before an unsettling start, however. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, of Colombian parents, a sister from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, having lived in Guyana, Surinam, Colombia, Jamaica, Barbados, England, Brazil, Bolivia and shorter residences throughout Latin American and Europe I arrived in the United States in the late 1970s. After two less than stellar years as a civil engineering major, I quit school for monastic life. Three years later I returned to complete an undergraduate degree in political philosophy and fell in love with the practice. Better still, I fell in love with my wife, at the time a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Together we set out on a Chicago adventure, I to start my graduate degree at the University of Chicago and she to complete her undergraduate degree in biology. Degrees and some experience in hand, we accepted a one year fellowship at Haverford College in Philadelphia. Then to Washington and Lee and have not looked back since.
My graduate schooling is in the Great Books of the Western Canon, philosophic and literary. Courses blend classic philosophical, literary texts, contemporary novels, films, and popular music. I teach them contemplatively. All offer introductions to Contemplative Studies. None of which is incompatible with the use of social media. Students learn contemplative disciplines and how to harness and use technology well (http://contemplativepoliticalphilosophy.com/). Politics 265 and 266 Winter 2013 inaugurated the first ever George and Bob Talks (#georgeandbobtalks).
During the lunch hour (MWF Fall and Winter, TTh Spr) find me teaching group cycling or spin (an introduction to mindfulness). My duties as Faculty Mentor for the Men's Soccer Team are among the many that I enjoy as a community member. In two decades at Washington and Lee University, I've served on over two dozen committees including the President's Advisory Committee, taught Spring Term courses abroad, held academic residences at University College, Oxford, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Edinburgh and lectured at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City. My son and daughter were born in Lexington, VA, he attends Rockbridge High School and she Lylburn Downing Middle School. Andrea and I celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary in 2011.
Ph.D., The University of Chicago (1994)
M.A., The University of Chicago (1988)
B.A., The University of California, Santa Barbara (1986)
Classical Political Philosophy (Politics 265) Winter '13
Modern Political Philosophy (Politics 266) Winter '13
A Course About Nothing (Politics 297) Spring '13
Getting Jobs (Politics 396) Fall '12
Introduction to Political Philosophy (Politics 111) Fall '12