Photo of Sophie Marcotte Chénard

Sophie Marcotte Chénard

modern and contemporary political philosophy; 18th to 20th-century German thought; philosophy of history; French democratic theory; Machiavelli and late humanism; interpretive approaches to the history of political thought

Degrees:BA, MA (U Ottawa); Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2577

on leave January 2020 – November 6, 2020

Sophie Marcotte Chenard’s primary research and teaching interests lie in modern and contemporary political philosophy, 19th and 20th-century German thought, philosophy of history, French democratic theory, contemporary theories of political judgment as well as interpretive approaches to the study of political ideas. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa, before completing her PhD in Political Philosophy at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris in 2016. She was also a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago (2013) and recently completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Political Theory at the University of Toronto. She is currently working on her forthcoming book on the crisis of historicism and the problem of political judgment in the writings of Raymond Aron and Leo Strauss. Her current research investigates the idea of a “practical past” by looking at the uses of historical approaches in contemporary political philosophy. She is particularly interested in the contribution of conceptual history, with an emphasis on the work of German historian and philosopher Reinhart Koselleck. She has published articles and chapters on continental political philosophy (Leo Strauss, Raymond Aron, Karl Löwith, Reinhart Koselleck), contemporary interpretations of Machiavelli (Claude Lefort, Quentin Skinner), theory of history (Collingwood, White) as well as interpretive approaches to the history of political thought.

Selected Publications

What Can We Learn from Political History? Leo Strauss and Raymond Aron, Readers of Thucydides”, The Review of Politics, Vol. 80, No. 1 (2018), 57-86.

Is Collingwood a Historicist? Remarks on Leo Strauss’s Critique of Collingwood’s Philosophy of History”, Journal of the Philosophy of History, Vol. 11, No. 3 (2017), 324-341.

A Practical Past Beyond the Historical Past?”, Book Forum, Journal of History of Ideas Blog, April 2017.

Qu’est-ce qu’une oeuvre de pensée? Réflexions sur l’art de lire lefortien”(What is a ‘Work of Thought’? Remarks on Claude Lefort’s Art of Reading), Politique & Sociétés, Vol. 34, No. 1 (2015), 149-171.

Le contextualisme de Quentin Skinner à l’épreuve du cas Machiavel” (Quentin Skinner’s Contextualism and the Machiavelli Case), Methodos. Savoirs et textes, No. 13 “ Pratiques de l’interprétation”, (2013), 2-23.