After growing up in Dubuque, Iowa (USA), I went to Princeton
University, where Raymond Geuss, Rüdiger Bittner, and Michael
Smith were especially strong influences. After graduating, I went to
Frankfurt, Germany on a Fulbright to
philosophy of the social sciences with Axel Honneth and Jürgen
at the J.W.Goethe-Universitität
(Frankfurt). My work there focussed on the role of meaning and
in social action. After the year in Frankfurt, I spent the 1988-89
English and German at a high school in Wuhan,
P.R. China, under the auspices of Princeton-in-Asia.
My Ph.D. is from Northwestern University (December, 1996), where I studied primarily with Thomas McCarthy, John Deigh, Nancy Fraser, and Michael Williams. I spent my third year (1992-3) in Frankfurt again, as a DAAD Doctoral Research Fellow, working with Jürgen Habermas. During my fourth year (1993-4), I was a "Graduate Fellow" at the Center for the Humanities, Northwestern University.
In the fall of 1994, I began teaching at Washington University in St. Louis as a Visiting Instructor and then Visiting Assistant Professor. In July 1997, I started in a rather unusual position, a joint appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences (where I developed programs for sophomores and chaired the university committee on alcohol). In the spring of 2003, I accepted another joint position at Washington University: as Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Associate Director of the Program in Social Thought & Analysis, but a few weeks before I was to start the job, I was offered my current position at Utrecht University. I spent the fall of 2003 on several new initiatives for the Social Thought and Analysis program (which was closed down after I left), before beginning my current position in Utrecht in January 2004.