Romand Coles is a scholar-activist who works at the intersections of continental and critical philosophy, radical democratic theory, and various modes of political organizing and activism. Some of the central themes in his published work include: receptive generosity, dialogical ethics, and radical democracy; religion, secularism and pluralization; ecological thought and transformative action in the face of planetary catastrophe; social movements, protest, and broad-based political organizing; democratic educational transformation for commonwealth; action research and pedagogy; aesthetics and politics; and critical cosmopolitanism from below. Before coming to the Institute for Social Justice, he served as the McAllister Endowed Chair and Director of the Program for Community, Culture, and Environment at Northern Arizona University, where he co-led a prominent initiative for educational transformation around grassroots democracy and sustainability. During the two decades prior to that, he taught political theory and engaged in radical democratic political organizing at Duke University.
His books include Visionary Pragmatism: Radical Ecological Democracy (forthcoming, Duke University Press, 2015); Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations between a Radical Democrat and a Christian, with Stanley Hauerwas (Wipf and Stock, 2007); Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2005); Rethinking Generosity: Critical Theory and the Politics of Caritas (Cornell University Press, 1997); and Self/Power/Other: Political Theory and Dialogical Ethics (Cornell University Press, 1992). He is the co-editor (with Mark Reinhardt and George Shulman) of Radical Future Pasts: Untimely Political Theory (University of Kentucky Press, 2015).
He is currently working on three books, tentatively titled Democratic and Ecological Pedagogy, Action Research, and Institutional Change in Higher Education (with Blasé Scarnati), Poetics and the Musicality of Radical Democracy (with Lia Haro) and Of Line Drawing and Web Weaving: Politics of Transformation.