I have been teaching at Berkeley since 1997. Before coming to Berkeley, I taught at Princeton University (1985-96) and UC, Irvine (1996-97). For the English department, I teach courses on seventeenth-century English literature and the history of literary theory. For Comparative Literature, I teach courses on the continental Renaissance and literary theory, including The History and Theory of Mimesis, and Tragedy and Trauerspiel. I have a longstanding interest in the history of philosophy and in political theory, and have published widely on Machiavelli and Hobbes. My current project is a book entitled The Future of Illusion, which explores the role of early modern texts in the construction of modernity. This work focuses on how twentieth-century thinkers such as Strauss, Schmitt, Cassirer, Kantorowicz, Benjamin, Freud, and Arendt have read and interpreted the work of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Shakespeare, and Spinoza. An edited collection of essays, entitled Politics and the Passions, 1500-1850, appeared from Princeton University Press in 2006.
Wayward Contracts: The Crisis of Political Obligation in England, 1640-1674, Princeton, 2004.
Machiavellian Rhetoric from the Counter-Reformation to Milton, Princeton, 1994
Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism, Cornell, 1985
Machiavelli and the Discourse of Literature, ed. with Albert Ascoli, Cornell, 1993
Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern Europe, ed. with Lorna Huston, Yale, 2001
"Hamlet or Hecuba: Carl Schmitt's Decision," Representations 83 (2003): 67-96
"The Passions and the Interests in Early Modern Europe: The Case of Il Pastor Fido," in Reading the Early Modern Passions, ed. Gail Kern Paster, Katharine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson, U of Pennsylvania Press, 2003
"Reinventing Romance, or the Surprising Effects of Sympathy," in Renaissance Quarterly 55 (2002):625-61
"Early Modern Rights Talk," in Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 13 (2001): 391-411
"Hobbes, Romance, and the Contract of Mimesis," in Political Theory 29 (2001): 4-29
"'The Duty to Love': Passion and Obligation in Early Modern Political Theory," Representations 68 (1999): 26-49