Tessy Schlosser

Graduate Student


My research draws together political philosophy and poetry by considering the literary genres of philosophical writing and the philosophical aspects of poetic argumentation, and relating both to the dialogical relationships and social movements that animate them. My political-theoretical approach tends to be more descriptive than prescriptive and combines author, issue, and event-based inquiries and work. 

Thematically, I work with a wide range of sources, from ancient Greek and Latin texts and their receptions in the Iberian, French, and English early-modern worlds to continental philosophy and contemporary critical theory. My archives also include feminist, anti-colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial literatures with a concentrated interest in Latin America and the United States. 

Research Focus

Titled “Dreaming Power: The Body, the Kitchen, and the City as Utopian Topoi in the Political Thinking of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Mexico, 1651-1695),” my dissertation explores how colonial-imperial and patriarchal power feed into one another and yet are not perfectly synchronized. Reading Sor Juana historically, poetically, and conceptually, my dissertation introduces her political thinking to political theory and places her texts and context in conversation with contemporary feminist concerns. 

Across three core chapters organized around the sites of the body, the kitchen, and the city, my dissertation reconstructs a notion of situated imagination (phantasia), defined as wishful thinking that is neither strictly fixed in place nor outside of place. This way of conceiving political imagination, I argue, offers an understanding of the relationship between political actions and dreams of emancipation that is not solely defined through the times and places of an oppressive system’s emergence but also by the continual reenacting of the practices of domination that sustain it.