Dr. Geoff West
The rise of the modern nation-state was predicated on the willingness of citizens to sacrifice their lives for the state. It also demanded loyalty and a commitment to carry out the state's will. But how have those demands intersected with the rise of liberalism, individualism, and the idea of human rights? Using literary texts, historical records, and philosophical debates on violence and human rights, this course aims to critically examine how torture has been envisioned both by the state and its critics through the lens of torture. Does service to the state preclude the rights of others to their bodies?
Geoffrey is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of California San Diego. He studies citizenship and service to the state in the late nineteenth century. He focuses on the relationship between gender, race, and subject status and how they relate to military service in a global imperial context. Geographically, his work is centered on the Northern Great Plains but connects with North, East, and South Africa, as well as Southeast Asia. He teaches in the Humanities Program at Revelle College at UCSD. The program combines a classical Western Liberal Arts focus on the Great Works with a five part writing sequence. Geoffrey has lived in San Diego since 2006 when he, his partner, and his dog moved from New York City to the West Coast. In his free time, he enjoys snow-free winters and frequent trips to Disneyland.