Matthew Cole

Affiliated Faculty - On Leave
Pronouns: (He/Him/His)
Matthew Cole
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Matthew Cole teaches with the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies.  His research and teaching interests are in social and political philosophy, intellectual history, literature, and environmental studies. He is especially interested in the historical and present imagination of the future, and the way those imaginings shape the terrain of political thought and action. He has written on topics such as Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, climate change fiction, technocracy, "smart democracy," and the Green New Deal.  His scholarship is published or forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly, Environmental Politics, The Review of Politics, and Contemporary Political Theory. He has also written for popular outlets like The Boston Review and The Orwell Foundation. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Fear the Future: Dystopia and Political Imagination in the Twentieth Century. He also teaches in the Writing Program at Harvard University, and has previously taught with the Department of Political Science and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, the Harvard Summer School, the Duke Talent Identification Program, and the Carleton Summer Writing Program. 


  • Department Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Since 2022
  • Office Hours
    • Thursdays, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, Walker Building 510C


B.A., Carleton College
Ph.D., Duke University

Areas of Expertise

  • Ethics
  • Liberal Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Writing


What's Wrong with Technocracy?

Boston Review

Review of Louis Menand's "The Free World"

The Orwell Foundation

The Desperate Radicalism of Orwell's 1984: Power, Socialism, and Utopia in Dystopian Times

Political Research Quarterly

At the Heart of Human Politics: Agency and Responsibility in the Contemporary Climate Novel

Environmental Politics

Dystopia, Apocalypse, and Other Things to Look Forward to: Reading for Radical Hope in the Fiction of Fear

Representations of Political Resistance and Emancipation in Science Fiction