Matthew Spencer Whitt

Matthew Spencer Whitt

Lecturing Fellow of Thompson Writing Program

External Address: 
Campus Box 90025, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0025


My research examines the formal and informal boundaries of democracy, especially the ways that democracies shape ideals of ‘good' citizenship by excluding, differentiating, or criminalizing ‘bad' citizens and ‘aliens’. My work contributes to debates on criminal justice reform, immigration, the philosophy of punishment, and democratic theory. 

Representative publications include:

  • "Felon Disenfranchisement and Democratic Legitimacy." Social Theory & Practice. 2017.
  • "Other People’s Problems: Student Distancing, Epistemic Responsibility, and Injustice." Studies in Philosophy & Education. 2016.
  • "Democracy’s Sovereign Enclosures: Territory and the All-Affected Principle." Constellations. 2014.
  • "Review of Joseph Carens, The Ethics of Immigration." Ethics & Global Politics. 2014.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University 2010

Whitt, M. S. “Sovereignty, community, and the incarceration of immigrants.” Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration, 2015, pp. 174–92.

Whitt, M. S., and J. Medina. “Epistemic Activism and the Politics of Credibility: Testimonial Injustice in a North Carolina Jail.” Making the Case: Feminist and Critical Race Theorists Investigate Case Studies, translated by H. Grasswick and N. McHugh.

Whitt, M. S. “Other People’s Problems: Student Distancing, Epistemic Responsibility, and Injustice.” Studies in Philosophy and Education, vol. 35, no. 5, Sept. 2016, pp. 427–44. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s11217-015-9484-1. Full Text

Whitt, Matt. “Democracy's Sovereign Enclosures: Territory and the All-affected Principle.” Constellations, vol. 21, no. 4, Wiley, Dec. 2014, pp. 560–74. Crossref, doi:10.1111/1467-8675.12122. Full Text

Whitt, Matt S. “The Ethics of Immigration.” Ethics & Global Politics, vol. 7, no. 3, Informa UK Limited, Jan. 2014, pp. 137–41. Crossref, doi:10.3402/egp.v7.24942. Full Text

Whitt, Matt S. “The Problem of Poverty and the Limits of Freedom in Hegel’s Theory of the Ethical State.” Political Theory, vol. 41, no. 2, SAGE Publications, Apr. 2013, pp. 257–84. Crossref, doi:10.1177/0090591712470626. Full Text

Whitt, Matt S. “Felon Disenfranchisement and Democratic Legitimacy.” Social Theory and Practice, vol. 43, no. 2, Philosophy Documentation Center, pp. 283–311. Crossref, doi:10.5840/soctheorpract20172145. Full Text