Zachary Goldsmith

Zachary Goldsmith

Graduate Student


B.A., Political Science, University of Michigan
M.A., Political Science, Indiana University

About Zachary Goldsmith

Zach's main interests lie in political and social theory. More specifically, he is interested in left-wing political theory and intellectual history from Marx onward, critical theory, cosmopolitanism, and democratic theory. In addition, Zach is interested in politics in the extremes—when politics and political thinking turn dark, to violence, cruelty, and barbarity. To borrow a phrase from Zeev Sternhell, Zach believes that such perversions are “neither right nor left” but extreme, that they occur at the extremes of all political thinking.

In his dissertation, Zach tries to formulate a new, concise, and comprehensive conceptualization of “fanaticism.” He attempts to explore the major contours of this unique political, social, and religious phenomenon and uncover its essential features, which, he maintains, transcend space and time. Finally, this concept is explored within the writings of a select group of influential political thinkers.

Zach graduated from the University of Michigan (political science, 2011) with high distinction and was thereafter a Fulbright Fellow in the Republic of Armenia (2011-2012). He earned a M.A. in political science from Indiana University in 2016. Outside of academia, Zach is interested in (vintage) watches and is a great fan of music, from classical, and especially German Lieder, to Leonard Cohen.