Christina Tarnopolsky

Social Sciences (Political Theory)

Associate Professor

Contact No.: +65 6601-3381

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Associate Professor Tarnopolsky received her BA with joint honours in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1994. Thereafter, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky obtained her MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 1996 and 2002 respectively. While at the University of Chicago, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky was awarded the APSA Leo Strauss Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Political Philosophy in 2004.

Prior to joining Yale-NUS, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky’s main area of research was ancient Greek political philosophy and contemporary democratic theory, with a specific focus on the role of emotions in politics. Throughout her career, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky has taught various courses in the history of political philosophy, all of which were focused solely on the Western canon. Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky’s desire to join Yale-NUS was motivated by a desire to learn and do research in comparative political theory and to teach a truly global curriculum. Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky’s experience in researching, designing, and teaching the Philosophy and Political Thought Course and the Modern Social Thought Course has helped her to refine these originally inchoate desires. Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky has begun to develop a research project that will compare Plato’s theories of ethical cultivation, exemplarity, and mimetic pedagogy with the theories of the ancient Confucian philosophers, Kongzi, Mengzi, and Xunzi.

Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky’s current research examines Plato’s engagement with the Athenian genres of satyr-play, tragedy, history, comedy and medicine. She is also working on a manuscript that examines the relationship between Plato’s aesthetic theories and his psychological theories. Finally, Assoc Prof Tarnopolsky is working on an article comparing Plato’s theories of exemplarity and musical education with those of Kongzi and Xunzi.


Prudes, Perverts and Tyrants: Plato’s Gorgias and the Politics of Shame. Princeton University Press, 2010.


“Melancholia and Mania on the Campaign Trail 2016,” In Theory and Event, 20(1), January 2017.

“Thumos and Rationality in Plato’s Republic,” In Global Discourse, Vol. 5, Issue 1, January 2015: 2-16.

“The Event of Genre: Reading Plato’s Republic through the Lens of Satyr-Play.” In Theory and Event 17, March 2014.

“Plato’s Politics of Distributing and Disrupting the Sensible.” In Theory and Event 13(4), January 2011.

“The Pedagogies of Shame.” In Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture 31, Fall 2008.

“The Bipolar Longings of Thumos: A Feminist Rereading of Plato’s Republic.” In Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy, 11 no. 2, Fall 2007.

“Platonic Reflections on the Aesthetic Dimensions of Deliberative Democracy.” In Political Theory, 35 no. 3, Spring (June) 2007: 288-312.

“Reply to Green.” (Critical Response), In Political Theory, Spring (April) 2005: 273-279.

“Prudes, Perverts and Tyrants: Plato and the Contemporary Politics of Shame and Civility.” In Political Theory, Summer 32 no. 4, (August) 2004: 468-494.


“Recognizing Our Misrecognitions: Plato and the Contemporary Politics of Recognition.” In Anagnorisis: The Mode of Knowledge: Classical Recognition Before and After Aristotle. Ed. Teresa Russo, University of Alberta Press, 2013.

“Mimesis, Persuasion and Manipulation in Plato’s Republic.” In Manipulating Democracy: Democratic Theory, Political Psychology, and Mass Media. Ed. John Parrish and Wayne S. LeCheminant, Routledge Press, August 2010.

“Plato on Shame and Frank Speech in Democratic Athens.” In Bringing the Passions Back In: The Emotions in Political Philosophy, Ed. Rebecca Kingston and Leonard Ferry, University of British Columbia Press, 2008.

Common Curriculum: Philosophy and Political Thought 2, Modern Social Thought
Electives: Ancient Greek Political Philosophy, Emotions and Politics