Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences Experts

Sharon Stanley

Department of Political Science
The University of Memphis
United States of America

Sharon Stanley


Dr. Stanley joined the department in 2006. She specializes in political theory and public law. Her broad research interests focus upon modern and contemporary political thought, with two separate emphases: the Enlightenment, its critics, and its contested legacy, and the politics of racial justice in the United States and throughout the Americas. Her first book, The French Enlightenment and the Emergence of Modern Cynicism (Cambridge University Press, 2012), traces the relationship between cynicism and enlightenment in eighteenth-century French thought. Her second book, An Impossible Dream? Racial Integration in the United States, is forthcoming in March 2017 with Oxford University Press and engages critically with conceptions of racial integration in contemporary political, philosophical, and legal discourse. She was awarded the Early Career Research Award in 2012, a Dunavant Professorship in 2014, and a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. She teaches classes in modern and contemporary political thought, American political thought, feminist political thought, race and politics in the United States, and constitutional law.

Research Interest

Modern and contemporary political thought; critical Enlightenment studies; critical race theory; African-American political thought


  • "Unraveling Natural Utopia: Diderot's Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville," Political Theory 37.2 (April 2009): 266-289.

  • "Hermits and Cynics in the Enlightenment: Rousseau and Rameau's Nephew," Eighteenth Century Thought 4 (July 2009): 311-345.

  • "Toward a Reconciliation of Integration and Racial Solidarity," Contemporary Political Theory 13.1 (February 2014): 46-63.

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