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School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Meet our Faculty!

Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs PortraitsClaudia Leeb

Associate Professor of Political Theory

Office: Johnson Tower 808
Phone: 335-8701
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website

Ph.D. in Political Theory and Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, New York
Ph.D. in Psychology and Philosophy of Science, University of Vienna, Austria
M.A. in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, The New School for Social Research
B.S./M.S. in Psychology, The University of Vienna

Claudia Leeb is originally from Austria and works at the intersection of early Frankfurt school critical theory, feminist political theory, and psychoanalytic theory to address questions of power and socio-political change in contemporary societies. She is best known for bringing together German critical theory (in particular Marx and Adorno) and psychoanalytic thought (in particular Freud and Lacan), and contemporary Continental thinkers to critically analyze structures of power, political subjectivity, and more recently, the far right.

She is the author of four books: The Politics of Repressed Guilt (2018, Edinburgh University Press); Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism (2017, Oxford University Press), for which she has received the 2018 ASCINA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) book award for research excellence; Working-Class Women in Elite Academia (2004, Peter Lang); and Die Zerstörung des Mythos von der Friedfertigen Frau (1998, Peter Lang). She currently working on a new book project titled: Analyzing the Far Right: A Psychoanalytic and Feminist Critical Theory Perspective.

She has recently published and forthcoming articles in several journals, including Political Theory, Perspectives of Politics, Theory & Event, Contemporary Political Theory, Constellations, Social Philosophy Today, The Good Society, Critical Horizons, Open Cultural Studies, Philosophy & Social Criticism, The Berlin Journal of Critical Theory, and Radical Philosophy Review. She has also contributed several book chapters to anthologies on Frankfurt school critical theory with a chapter forthcoming in How to Critique Authoritarian Populism, and recent chapters in Reading Adorno and The Democratic Arts of Mourning.

Prior to coming to Washington State University in 2012, she taught at Roanoke College and Dartmouth College, and held post-doc positions at Harvard University and the University of Chicago. Her research has been supported with several distinguished grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship and an APART (Austrian Program for Advanced Research and Technology) Fellowship. In 2019 she received the WSU Arts and Humanities Fellowship, which supports her new book project Analyzing the Far Right. She lectures around the world.  In 2020 she has been invited to give public lectures at Yale University in the United States and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.  In 2019 she gave public lectures at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia in Canada; at the Central European University in Hungary; and at Penn State University and Columbia University in the United States.

In Washington State University’s Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs School, Professor Leeb teaches both politics and philosophy courses, and offers undergraduate courses on the development of Marxist thought, feminism and philosophy, contemporary political theory, and classical political thought. She offers graduate courses that introduce graduate students to the core fields in political theory and philosophy, and supervises doctoral candidates in political theory and philosophy.



  • Claudia Leeb, The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence (March 2018) Edinburgh University Press. Review Symposia in Critical Horizons (forthcoming). Reviewed in: Philosophy in Review (forthcoming); Logos (forthcoming), and Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History (forthcoming).
  • Claudia Leeb, Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism: Toward a New Theory of the Political Subject (May 2017) Oxford University Press. Review Symposia in Political Theory (vol. 47, no. 4, August 2019), 559-580. Critical Dialogue in Perspectives on Politics (vol. 16, no. 1, March 18 2018), 168-172. Reviewed in: Gender and Politics (vol. 14, no. 3, September 2018), 14-16); Hypatia (Reviews Online, 2018); Choice (vol. 55, no. 9, May 2018).
  • Claudia Leeb, Working-Class Women in Elite Academia: A Philosophical Inquiry (2004) Peter Lang Publisher, Philosophy and Politics Series; Reviewed in: Labor History (2005); Feminism & Psychology (2006); and Feminist Collections (2007). Reviewed in: Labor History (vol. 46, no. 4, 2005), 531-563; Feminist Collections (vol. 28, no. 2, Winter 2007), 1-5; Feminism & Psychology (vol. 16, no. 4, November 2006), 485-512.
  • Claudia Leeb, Die Zerstörung des Mythos von der Friedfertigen Frau: Der Einfluss von Sozialen Gruppenkontexten auf das Direkte Aggressionsverhalten von Frauen [The Destruction of the Peaceful Woman Myth: The Impact of Social Group Contexts on the Direct Aggression Behavior of Women] (1998) Peter Lang Verlag.


  • Claudia Leeb, “The Hysteric Rebels: Rethinking Socio-Political Transformation with Foucault and Lacan”, Theory and Event (forthcoming).
  • Claudia Leeb, “Towards a Politics of Feelings of Guilt: A Response to McIvor and Rensmann,” Review Symposia on Claudia Leeb’s The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence,Critical Horizons (forthcoming).
  • Claudia Leeb, “Austria’s Repressed Guilt in Theory and Practice”, invited contribution to a (mastering the past)”, Free Ebrei, special edition “Holocaust and Vergangenheitsbewältigung (mastering the past”) (forthcoming).
  • Claudia Leeb, “Theorizing Feminist Political Subjectivity: A Reply to Caputi and Naranch”; A Critical Feminist Exchange: Symposium on Claudia Leeb, Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism: Toward a New Theory of the Political Subject, Political Theory (vol. 47, no. 4, August 2019), 559-580.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Mystified Consciousness: Rethinking the Rise of the Far Right with Marx and Lacan”, Open Cultural Studies, special edition “Marx, Semiotics and Political Praxis” (vol 2, no. 1, October 2018), 236-248.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Rethinking Embodied Reflective Judgment with Adorno and Arendt”, Constellations (vol. 25, no. 3, September 2018), 446-458.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Rebelling Against Suffering in Capitalism”, Contemporary Political Theory, (lead article, vol. 17, no. 3, August 2018), 263-282.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Mass Hypnoses: The Rise of the Far Right from an Adornian and Freudian Perspective”, Berlin Journal of Critical Theory (vol. 2, no. 3, July 2018), 59-82.
  • Claudia Leeb, “The Contemporary Frankfurt School’s Eurocentrism Unveiled: The Contribution of Amy Allen”; Liberating Critical Theory: Eurocentrism, Normativity, and Capitalism: Symposium on Amy Allen’s The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Published online: March 2018), 1 – 8.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Critical Dialogue: The Misinterpellated Subject by James Martel,” Perspectives on Politics (vol. 16, no. 1, February 2018), 170-172.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Critical Dialogue: Response to James Martel’s review of Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism: Toward a New Theory of the Political Subject”,   Perspectives on Politics (vol. 16, no. 1, February 2018), 169-170.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Radical Political Change: A Feminist Perspective,” Radical Philosophy Review (vol.17, no.1, 2014), 227-250.
  • Claudia Leeb, “The Im-Possibilities of the Feminist Subject,” Social Philosophy Today (vol. 25, 2009), 47-60.
  • Claudia Leeb, “The Politics of Misrecognition: A Feminist Critique,” The Good Society (vol. 18, no.1, September 2009), 70-75.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Toward a Theoretical Outline of the Subject: The Centrality of Adorno and Lacan for Feminist Political Theorizing,” Political Theory (vol. 36, no. 3, June 2008), 351-376.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Desires and Fears: Women, Class and Adorno,” Theory & Event (vol. 11, no. 1, February 2008).
  • Claudia Leeb, “Marx and the Gendered Structure of Capitalism,” Philosophy & Social Criticism (vol. 33, no. 7, November 2007), 833-859.


  • Claudia Leeb, “Adorno and Freud meet Kazuo Ishiguro: The Rise of the Far Right from a Psychoanalytic and Critical Theory Perspective”, in Jeremiah Morelock (ed.) How to Critique Authoritarian Populism: Methodologies of the Frankfurt School (Leiden: Brill Press, forthcoming).
  • Claudia Leeb, “Laughing at the Other: Toward an Understanding of the Alt-Right with Adorno” in Amirhosein Khandizaji (ed.) Reading Adorno: The Endless Road (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2019), 75-100.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Mourning Denied: The Tabooed Subject,” in David McIvor and Alexander Hirsch (eds.) The Democratic Arts of Mourning: Political Theory and Loss (New York: Lexington Press, 2019), 65-82.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Radical or Neoliberal Political Imaginary? Nancy Fraser Revisited,” in Werner Bonefeld, Beverley Best, and Chris O’Kane (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory (New York: Sage Publisher, 2018), 550-563.
  • Claudia Leeb, “A Festival for Frustrated Egos: The Rise of Trump from an Early Frankfurt School Critical Theory Perspective”, in Trump and Political Philosophy: Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism and Civic Virtue, Angel Jaramillo and Sable Marc (eds.) (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 297-314.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Female Resistance or the Politics of Death? Rethinking Antigone,” in Gabriel Ricci (ed.) The Persistence of Critical Theory, (Culture & Civilization, Vol. 8, Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2017), 223-240.
  • Claudia Leeb, “Contesting Hierarchical Oppositions: The Dialectics of Adorno and Lacan,” in Alfred J. Drake (ed.) New Essays on the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), 168-192.