PhD – The Graduate Center, CUNY, Philosophy, June 2020
Areas of Specialization: Social and Political Philosophy; Ethics
Areas of Competence: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; Philosophy of Race and Gender; Philosophy of Science
BA – Pomona College, Philosophy, May 2012
Project REAL - Trinity College Dublin, September 2020-present
REAL is a five-year research project headed by Adina Preda and funded by a European Research Council Consolidator grant. As a Research Fellow, I produce research that supports the project’s mission to reconcile theories of rights and egalitarian theories of distributive justice.
Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Moral Tyranny, under contract with Cambridge University Press.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
“Self-Ownership and the Duty to Assist.” (forthcoming) Journal of Applied Philosophy.
“Luck Egalitarianism Without Moral Tyranny.” (2022) Philosophical Studies 179(2): 469-93.
“Explanation, Justification, and Egalitarianism.” (2021) Synthese 199(3-4): 9699-9724.
“Does Initial Appropriation Create New Obligations?” (2020) The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17(2): 228-38.
“An Anarchist Interpretation of Marx’s ‘Ability to Needs’ Principle.” (2020) The Journal of Value Inquiry. 54(2): 325-43.
“Community as Socialist Value.” (2019) Public Affairs Quarterly 33(3): 215-42.
“Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Private Property.” (2021) in The Routledge Handbook of Anarchy and Anarchist Thought, edited by Gary Chartier and Chad Van Schoelandt, Routledge.
“Book Review of Gerald Lang’s Strokes of Luck: A Study in Moral and Political Philosophy,” Ethics, commissioned.
Honors and Awards
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2019–2020)
A one-year fellowship awarded to 67 fellows (out of over 1,000 applicants) to support them as they complete their dissertation.
Humane Studies Fellowship (declined)
A grant awarded to support scholarship on topics relating to classical liberalism and libertarianism. Declined because of a conflicting fellowship.
CUNY Dissertation Completion Fellowship (declined)
A one-year fellowship awarded to select graduate students to support them as they complete their dissertation. Declined because of a conflicting fellowship.
The Center for Ethics & Global Politics Graduate Fellowship (2018–2020)
Awarded to select graduate students who are able to represent the Center and who are doing notable work in political philosophy.
Adam Smith Fellowship (2018–2019)
A grant awarded to graduate students who participate in a program promoting engagement with classical liberal political economists.
Semi-Finalist, Center for Education and Ethics Essay Competition (2018)
Awarded to the 10 best essays (out of over 60 submitted) addressing an important issue in educational policy and/or practice.
Graduate Student Stipend (2018, 2016)
A small grant awarded to graduate students who have a presentation accepted at the American Philosophical Association’s Pacific Division Conference.
CUNY University Fellowship (2014)
Supplemental grant awarded to select incoming students who demonstrate special philosophical potential.
CUNY Graduate Center Fellowship (2014)
Five-year fellowship covering tuition, fees, and providing a bi-annual and monthly stipend.
W. T. Jones Prize in Philosophy (2012)
Recognizes a Pomona College graduating senior who exhibits special talent in the pursuit of philosophy.
Course Instructor - Brooklyn College, 2017–2018
Undergraduate course averaging 35 students per section. Fall 2017 (1 section), Spring 2018 (1 section).
Introduction to the Problems of Philosophy
Course Instructor - Brooklyn College, 2015–2017
Undergraduate course averaging 35 students per section. Fall 2015 (1 section), Spring 2016 (1 section), Fall 2016 (1 section), and Spring 2017 (1 section).
Critical Theories and Politics
Guest Lecturer - The Dalton School, 2017–2018
Led small group discussions on libertarian views of initial appropriation and anarchist strategies for social change.
Writing Across the Curriculum WAC Fellow - Brooklyn College, 2018-2019 Worked with faculty from various disciplines to help them integrate creative and research-supported writing assignments into their curricula.
(Due to receiving a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, I was prohibited from teaching in 2019-2020. I am also contractually prohibited from teaching by my current postdoctoral position).
“Self-Ownership and the Duty to Assist,” presented at the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Society Annual Meeting, 2022 and Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, 2022 (poster).
“You Own Yourself and Nothing Else,” presented at the Locke and Lockeanism Working Group Meeting, 2022; the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Society Annual Meeting, 2022; the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Conference, 2021; the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics (GISME) workshop, 2021; and the Trinity Centre for Justice and Values Works in Progress Workshop, 2021.
“When ‘Enough and As Good’ is Not Good Enough,” presented at the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Conference, 2021.
“Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Private Property,” presented at the Philosophy, Politics & Economics Society Annual Meeting, 2020. Presentations at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Conference and North American Society for Social Philosophy Annual Conference cancelled due to COVID-19.
“Justification, Explanation, and Egalitarianism,” presented at the Joint Trinity College Dublin/University College Cork Philosophy Colloquium, 2020 and MANCEPT Workshops, 2019.
“Initial Appropriation and Duty-Creation,” presented at the North American Society for Social Philosophy Annual Conference, 2019.
“Community as Socialist Value,” presented at the Philosophy, Politics & Economics Society Annual Meeting, 2019.
“Legitimacy, Consent, and Initial Appropriation,” presented at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Conference, 2018 and the North American Society for Social Philosophy Annual Conference, 2018.
“Rescuing the Community Principle,” presented at the North American Society for Social Philosophy Annual Conference, 2016.
“Rescuing Equality from the Demand for Justification,” presented at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Conference, 2016 (poster).
Mark Jensen, “Meta-obligations and the Disparate Power of Negative Objection and Positive Proposal: A Case Study in the Morality of Markets,” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, 2019. (Available here).
Dustin Crummett and Philip Swenson, “Gun Control, the Right to Self-Defense, and Reasonable Beneficence to All,” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, 2018. (Available here).
Reviewing – I have reviewed papers for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Economics and Philosophy, the European Journal of Political Theory, the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, the Journal of Social Philosophy, the Journal of Value Inquiry, and Philosophical Studies.
Peer Mentoring Program 2017-2019 – I mentored first-year PhD students to help them navigate graduate school and begin the process of professionalization.
Democratic Socialists of America Political Education Committee – I developed and implemented a variety of educational programming introducing DSA members and non-members to socialist political philosophy.
Public Facing Work
Give Them an Argument - “Season 3, Episode 40: Amazon Labor Victory + Community as a Socialist Value (ft. Jesse Spafford).” (Youtube channel interview)
The Ben Burgis Call-In Show - “Episode 40: Libertarian Property-Rights Arguments Fall Apart (ft. Jesse Spafford).” (call-in show interview)
Mutual Exchange Radio - “Jesse Spafford on the Libertarian Case Against Property Rights.” (podcast interview)
The New Inquiry – “Beyond Belief,” “Just the Facts,” “Dissatisfaction City,” “The Esoteric Whodunit,” “The Selfless Man.”
Racism Review – “White Supremacism as Meme: How Reddit is Breeding a New Generation of Violent Racism,” “Dark Arts: Stormfront, Lacan, and White Supremacy.”