Nina Valiquette Moreau

Lecturer, Social Sciences
University of Chicago

Nina Valiquette Moreau received her Ph.D. in Political Science from McGill University in 2013, where she was also a fellow of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies. Nina’s research interests lie in the history of political thought, with a particular focus on ancient Greek political thought and its reception by later thinkers. Thematically, her work is concerned with investigating the relationship between the aesthetic and juridical dimensions of political order, and in particular, how these dimensions are manifested in citizens and are constitutive of political judgment. Her dissertation, which she is currently revising into a book manuscript, argues that a close reading of Plato’s dialogues alongside the legal speeches of the forensic orators, on the one hand, and the poems of the epic poets, on the other, reveals a preoccupation with music, aesthetic inspiration and beauty, as predicates for legal or civil judgment; Plato’s aesthetic and juridical concerns provide for a reworking of classic understandings of participatory citizenship. The dissertation has laid the foundation for her second book project, in which Nina argues that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s musical and political works and their interrelationship were heavily influenced by his reception of Plato. Nina intends to show that reading Rousseau’s political works through his engagement with Plato and music provides for a new understanding of the general will as a juridical-aesthetic object whose relation to the social contract is conceived of on pre-deliberative grounds.