My work lies at the intersection of intellectual history and the history of capitalism. it focuses on the broad question of how an individual’s aptitudes or faculties—particularly one’s political competence and economically marketable skills—have been used to define and redefine the category of the human within the context of capitalist democracy. I am interested in the theories that American intellectuals have advanced since the Enlightenment about the width or narrowness of the distribution of talents or capacities across different races, genders, and social ranks, and in how these theories have split, unified, or stratified the concept of humanity.
My first book, The Common Man: Human Similarity and American Exceptionalism, 1776-1948, will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press as part of the Intellectual History of the Modern Age series (http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/series/IHM.html). You can read more about it at my personal website (https://andrew-seal.com/).
I received my PhD with honors in 2017 from Yale University and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College. I regularly blog at the Society for US Intellectual History (https://s-usih.org/author/andrew-seal/).