Natalie Bormann

Natalie Bormann joined the Political Science Department in 2007, after holding positions at Brown University, and the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh in the UK.   She is the author of National Missile Defence and the Politics of US identity – A poststructural critique (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008) and co-editor of Securing Outer Space (London: Routledge, 2009).  These and other writings explore the constitutive interplay of identity and the politics of security, in which she turns to the more interpretative modes of inquiry provided to us by critical social theory and poststructuralism.

Teaching 2013-2014

POLS 2328 Modern Political Thought
POLS 2338 Contemporary Political Thought
POLS 4701 Senior Capstone
POLS 7370 Europe and the EU

Dialogue of Civilizations
Dialogue of Civilizations to Germany and PolandHolocaust and Genocide Studies.  Summer II
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Natalie’s research interests are interdisciplinary and draw mostly from International Relations, Cultural Studies, and Social and Political Theory. Her current work explores the role of trauma and ethics in international politics, the relation between violence and memory, and questions of identity in formulating foreign and security policies.

Space        NMD


memory poster_for web

 Professor Bormann is participating in an edited book project Memory and Materiality (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming, 2014) in collaboration with the Memory Studies program at the New School in New York.  Her work for this project probes the materialization of memory through the trading stories of Nazi relics.



Critical Social Theory Research Cluster

Together with Carleton Gholz in Communication Studies, Professor Bormann is running the Critical Social Theory (CST) Research Cluster, for which she received a grant from the Humanities Center.  The CST Cluster wants to create and facilitate a vibrant intellectual culture in radical thinking and social critique – which can be thought of as covering interactions between the explanatory, the normative and the ideological dimensions of social and political thought.  We are in the process of creating a database of reading material for the NEU community, and as it relates to critical social theory; see here.  The Group meets once a month.

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Meetings 2013-2014

Join us for our discussion on Stephen Graham’s book Cities Under Siege
For reading material and information on meeting dates & times, contact

Meetings 2012-2013

April 19, 2013, 2-4pm, Humanities Center, Conference RoomPaul Bove book

Join us for a Symposium with Professor Paul Bove.  Bove will be talking about his latest book “A More Conservative Place – Intellectual Culture in the Bush Era”.

March 22, 2013, 5-7pm, Humanities Center Lounge

What concepts have gained theoretical stability and coherence that make it ‘worthy’ of critical concern today?  One such object of contemporary critical inquiry is…  We will discuss articles that call attention to the role of food in the production and maintenance of nation, community, and self.   Food is not only central to concerns about neoliberalism, climate change, individual and public health, but – once we scratch the surface of these arguments – it also conceals anxieties about biocapitalism, national sovereignty, and immigration. The readings can be found here

February 22, 2013, 5-7pm, Humanities Center Lounge

The role and impact of the British Miners’ Strike and a comparison between the cultural and political landscape of the 80s and today.  We are reading two articles in Capital & Class.  The readings and more details can be found here

January 25, 2013, 5-7pm, Humanities Center Lounge

Responses to the ‘postmodern turn’ in 1970s, A selection of articles in Boundaries 2,

December 11, 2012, 5-7pm, Humanities Center Lounge

Special Issue in New Left Review on France May 1968,

European Campus Weeks

With a grant from the Germany Embassy, Professor Bormann (together with Hans Eijmberts) is organizing a series of events related to EU/German-US relations.  The events feature essay contests, talks and workshops, and movie screenings.  For more information, follow us here.


  • Students travel to Germany and Poland on “Holocaust and Genocide Studies” Dialogue of Civilizations, Haverim Fall 2013
  • Prof. Bormann’s Contemporary Political Thought students speak out:   Students decide to incorporate the Boston Marathon events into their assignment on Judith Butler’s book Precarious Life, and get published with NU Political Review
  • Prof. Bormann’s Critical Social Theory Research Cluster is featured here
  • In Fall 2012, Professor Bormann collaborated with our PhD Candidate Johannes Eijmberts in a project called Think Transatlantic and with a grant from the German Embassy.  The project consisted of a series of campus-wide events and competitions, including a small symposium with the German Consul General on the current state of transatlantic relations.
  • You can also read about Professor Bormann at news at NEU here:

Three research clusters present symposia, building bridges over disciplinary boundaries

‘Students honored for transatlantic thinking’

‘3Qs: Scandal detracts from serious international business’

Natalie Bormann on North Korea’s nuclear testing and rhetoric’