Dr. Lorna Bracewell

Assistant Professor

Office: WRNH 2246   |    Phone: (308) 865-8724   |    Email: bracewellln@unk.edu

Dr. Lorna Bracewell


B.A., Flagler College
Ph.D., University of Florida
Hometown: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Joined UNK Faculty: 2016

Political Theory

The study of political theory focuses on how government should work. It combines the rigorous study of history, philosophy, and the social sciences to examine how different political systems have worked in the past and make judgments about the advantages and limitations of those systems. Some of the important questions driving this field include:

  • What does it mean to have a democratic system of government, and are democracies better than alternative forms of government?
  • What rights do we have as humans, and what recourse are we justified in taking when governments fail to protect our rights?
  • What is the relationship between economics and political systems? Does capitalism lead to more freedom or does is lead to greater inequality?
  • What are the obligations of citizens to each other and to their governments?
  • Does the success of a system of government depend on the particular religious, cultural, and political history of an area?
  • Should some political communities have the right to make choices that are offensive to others (ex: denying particular groups the right to participate in government)?

On working with undergraduate students:
“My basic goal as a teacher is to help students become more rigorous, critical, and reflective thinkers about political life and ideas. Regardless of their values, ideological commitments, party affiliations, or chosen professions, I believe this capacity will make them more active and concerned global citizens, not to mention better readers, clearer writers, and more effective communicators. I attempt to nurture this capacity in a variety of ways. First and foremost, I make it clear to my students right from the start that I do not have all the answers and that, moreover, I do not view them as tabulae rasae passively awaiting my imprint. Rather, my classes purposely present students with a wide variety of theoretical and political perspectives, all of which I attempt to convey passionately. By confronting students with serious viewpoints that frequently clash with one another, I hope to cultivate in my students what I take be an essential political as well as intellectual virtue: the capacity to accept that decent, smart, and well-intentioned people often disagree with us and that our opponents are not necessarily our enemies.”

Favorite quasi-political quote:
" …Freedom is a large word, implying a deal more than people have ever yet been able to recognize.” – Victoria Woodhull


Recent publications

Research Interests

  • Feminist political thought (historical and contemporary)
  • The sex wars
  • The sexual politics of liberalism
  • Antipornography feminism
  • Sex radical feminism