Popular Culture and Philosophy

A blog for contributors and editors by Series Editor, George A. Reisch

Hamilton and Philosophy, Call for Abstracts

Posted on | April 25, 2016

Hamilton and Philosophy, CFA

Co-edited by Aaron Rabinowitz and Robert Arp


Hamilton: An American Musical is a cultural phenomenon that is promoting interest in revolutionary history and race in America. The show is poised to sweep the Tony Awards and will soon have productions opening nationwide and internationally. Hamilton and Philosophy will be a book in Open Court Publishing Company’s Popular Culture and Philosophy series: http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm.

– Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: aarondrabi@gmail.com

– Abstracts due: June 1st, 2016, but you can send them in sooner

– Notification of accepted abstracts: July 1st, 2016

– First draft of papers due: September 1st, 2016

– 3,000 to 3,500-word philosophy papers are written in a conversational style for a lay audience.  Papers must frequently refer to ideas, arguments, characters, events, and circumstances in Hamilton: An American Musical or the show’s production or historical source material.

Any relevant topic considered, but here are some possibilities to prompt your thinking:


– “In New York you can be a new man” Existentialism and the American Dream

– “I wrote my way out of hell” Bootstrapping and the hero’s journey

– “What’s a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see” Legacy or happy experiences, which is the good life?

– “I’m never satisfied” Is unhappiness necessary for success?

– “Wait for it” In defense of patience, skepticism, pragmatism, etc.

– Burr’s calming yin and Hamilton’s raging yang

– “Laughing at my sister cuz she wants to form a harem” The ethics of open relationships, polyamory, and infidelity

– “How lucky we are to be alive right now” Angelica and living in the moment

– “That would be enough” Eliza and East/West philosophies of acceptance (stoicism, Taoism, Buddhism etc.)

Philosophy of History

– Should historical fiction be accurate?

– “A civics lesson from a slaver” Are we still ignoring the true history of slavery in America?

– The problem of “founder chic”

– Does history still belong to white men?

– “I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot” Ego and the individual in history

Political Philosophy and Social Issues

– What produces more progress, fighting or writing?

– “The unrest in France will lead to anarchy” The ethics of revolution and nation building

– “Where do we draw the line” interventionism vs isolationism

– Hamilton’s federalism and Hobbes’s strong man theory of government

– “Heed not the rabble” The dangers of majority rule

– “The room where it happens” Consequentialism in politics

– Should a society ban dueling or is that paternalistic?

– Is the federal bank a good thing or a bad thing?

– Is Hamilton really feminist? Chauvinist? Both?

– “Rise up” The intersectionality of social progress

– The omission of Hamilton’s alleged homosexuality


– “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story” The reliability of historical narratives

– Can fictionalizations teach us about truth?

– How do we know the right thing to do?

Philosophy of Theater

– “Your Obedient Servant” Representation of people of color and minorities in Hamilton

– Is race specific casting moral?

– Issues of non-traditional casting

– Does the cost of tickets exclude audiences?

– “What Comes Next” The future of representing minorities on Broadway


– The “contradictions of independence” and whether a man “can ever be truly free”

– How the inevitability of death shapes our lives

– Destiny, purpose, and freedom in historic times

– “Death doesn’t discriminate” Does the universe care about us?

Peanut Butter and Phonetics

 Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: aarondrabi@gmail.com

Thanks for your consideration.

Aaron Rabinowitz



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