George Ciccariello-Maher, PhD

Assistant Professor, History & Politics

George Ciccariello-Maher

Office: 3025 MacAlister
Phone: 215.895.1017

Curriculum Vitae: Download


  • BA, Government and Economics, St. Lawrence University, 2001
  • BA, Hons./MA Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge University, 2003
  • MA, Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2004
  • PhD, Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2010


I am very excited to have joined the Drexel community, after having taught political theory at U.C. Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas. Everywhere that I have lived, from Caracas to Oakland, has impacted my approach to teaching, research, and how I understand the world more generally, and I expect Drexel and Philadelphia to do the same.

My research and teaching center on what could be called the “decolonial turn” in political thought, the moment of epistemic and political interrogation that emerges in response to colonialism and global social inequality. My research is two-pronged and interlocking: my book manuscript, We Created Him, is a theoretically-rich “people’s history” of contemporary Venezuela which locates the origins of current political dynamics in the long-term history of Venezuelan social movements, demonstrating that Hugo Chávez is not the cause, but rather the result, of a broader and more fundamental transformative process.

On the other hand, I research and teach “comparative political theory” which poses a direct conversation and even conflict between standard, canonical, and largely European texts and those texts emerging from colonized spaces as direct critique of both traditional views and even the very existence of the canon itself. My focus is primarily on Latin American political theory and political theory of the African Diaspora (including within the United States) and the theoretical implications of hip-hop. This comparative approach, which reveals the violence, epistemic and real, that lies behind purportedly objective theoretical structures, is also one that encourages students to leave behind the realm of pure theory and enter instead into rich conversation with the empirical and everyday world.

This dedication to real-world politics means that I frequently contribute journalistic writing to such publications as Counterpunch, MRZine, and Venezuela Analysis, ZNet, and Alternet among others, and I have appeared regularly in media outlets ranging from community radio to NPR, from Al-Jazeera to The New York Times (see, for example, this recent interview in a large Brazilian newspaper). My dedication to taking non-Western theory seriously leads me to take seriously my task as a translator, and I have translated or am in the process of translating books by Enrique Dussel, Immanuel Wallerstein, Maurizio Lazzarato, Santiago Castro-Gómez, and Stefan Gandler.