Desmond Jagmohan

796 Barrows Hall
Desmond Jagmohan's picture


Research Interests: 
History of Political Thought
American Political Thought
African American Political Thought
Race and American Political Development
Ph.D., Government, Cornell University
M.A., Government, Cornell University
B.A., Philosophy and History, Northeastern Illinois University
Personal Statement: 

Desmond Jagmohan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in the history of American and African American political thought, American intellectual history, and the history of political thought. His research concerns political and moral agency under conditions of extreme oppression. He is completing his first book, Dark Virtues: Booker T. Washington’s Tragic Realism (under contract with Princeton University Press), which draws on several years of archival research to recover Washington as a virtue theorist of the oppressed. His second book will read Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative as a work of moral and political theory that grounds the wrong of slavery in property rights in another person. He has articles on Ida B. Wells, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, and Harriet Jacobs forthcoming or under review. His work has been published in Perspectives on Politics, Politics, Groups, and Identities, and Contemporary Political Theory.

Professor Jagmohan is the winner of the APSA Best Dissertation Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section (2015) and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University (2018). Prior to arriving at Berkeley, he was Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University, where he delivered the 2018 Constitution Day Lecture and was awarded the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Preceptorship in the University Center for Human Values. He holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.



  • “Booker T. Washington and the Politics of Deception.” In African American Political Thought: A Collected History, Eds. Melvin Rogers and Jack Turner (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming).
  • “Race and the Social Contract: Charles Mills on the Consensual Foundations of White Supremacy,” Politics, Groups, and Identities, Vol. 3, No. 3 (September 2015): 488–503.
  • “In His Own Day: Awareness of Wilson’s Duplicity” in Reflections Symposium on “The Controversy over Woodrow Wilson’s Legacy: A Discussion,” Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 14, No. 3 (September 2016): 762–63.