The State of the University Professor: Nolan Bennett

Hello out there, everyone! I’m Prof. Nolan Bennett, and I’m old enough to remember when blogging was the most advanced form of digital communication. I’m fresh from my first Nordic skiing competition up in the Northwoods (inspired and easily outpaced by our own Prof. Paulson-Smith) and ready to see whether President Biden sticks the landing in tonight’s address.

Here at UW-Green Bay I’m an assistant professor in Democracy and Justice Studies and the Department of Political Science. I’m a political theorist by training, specializing in American political thought, literature, and criminal justice. I research and write on why so many people in the United States confront democratic dilemmas by offering their own life stories through autobiography, slave narrative, prison writing and more. I teach broadly in American political thought, constitutional law, literature, prisons and punishment, on college campuses and in correctional facilities. If you’re curious, you can learn a bit more about me on my website.

Looking ahead to tonight’s State of the Union, I like others am most curious as to how Biden addresses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: but he also has a lot of work to do on presenting an uneven set of domestic successes throughout his early presidency amid his flagging approval ratings. I figure his historical nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court will feature prominently. Given my own research and political interests, I’m most hopeful that Biden addresses or announces new moves toward criminal justice reform.

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