Dr Ross Carroll
B.A. (University College Dublin), M.S.C (London School of Economics), PhD (Northwestern University)
My teaching and research are primarily in the history of early modern political thought with a particular focus on the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Edmund Burke, David Hume, and the third earl of Shaftesbury. Thematically my work mainly deals with issues surrounding the passions, fanaticism, religious toleration, and censorship. My current book project is titled Uncivil Mirth: The Politics of Ridicule from Shaftesbury to Paine.
Current office hours Thursdays 11-12 and Fridays 11-12.
My office is Amory B215
My research interests lie in the history of early modern political thought and of the eighteenth century north Atlantic world in particular. At the moment my work centres on a range of interconnected concepts that were crucial to that era and to the modern world we inhabit today including toleration, ridicule, and censorship.
My current publication projects include the following:
- A book manuscript on ridicule in eighteenth century British political thought. Its title is Uncivil Mirth: the Politics of Ridicule from Shaftesbury to Paine.
- "Why must Paris Crumble?: Commerce and the City in Wollstonecraft's Political Thought." An article on Mary Wollstonecraft's political economy and in particular her analysis of commercial capitals, trade, and war profiteering.
- An article entitled “Locke’s Pupils” which examines Locke’s educational project against the background of his role as tutor to the Shaftesburys and adviser on educational matters to the Clarkes and other gentry families.
- "An Imperfect Passion: Contempt in Seventeenth-Century Political Thought": this article reconstructs seventeenth century philosophical debates surrounding contempt, a passion deemed fatal to political authority and to civil peace. The article is under consideration for a special issue of History of European Ideas devoted to the history of moral concepts.
- “‘I’m More Political Than Alexis Himself:’ Mary Mottley, Madame de Tocqueville”: this article examines the underappreciated set of roles that Mary Mottley played in the life and work of her husband, the political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville.
My early education was in Ireland. I completed a BA in politics and philosophy at University College Dublin before leaving for England to complete a Msc in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Following a period working in Brussels I travelled to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship and received a doctorate in political science from Northwestern University in 2013 for a dissertation on the politics of enthusiasm in Shaftesbury, Hume, and Burke. From 2009 to 2012 I served as Assistant Editor of Political Theory: an International Journal of Political Philosophy. Before arriving at Exeter in the autumn of 2015 I spent two years as Visiting Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.