Author Archives: Stephanie DeGooyer

About Stephanie DeGooyer

Assistant professor of English at Willamette University. She has published articles on eighteenth-century literature and philosophy. Her current book project, The Sorrows of Anybody: Radical Sympathy and Eighteenth-Century Fiction, investigates the relationship between the exaggerated mode of sentimentality and the politics of radical equality associated with Romanticism.


In 2007, the King of Bhutan “gave” democracy to his people. Using this story as a point of departure, this article interrogates the complicated humanitarian notion of democracy as a gift in thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, Claude Lefort, and Jacques Rancière. After bringing out the paradoxes in the King of Bhutan’s abdication, DeGooyer speculates to what degree a protest against the Bhutanese state might model a new formulation of democracy, one that cannot be reduced to a consensualist scheme of sovereign sacrifice. While DeGooyer concludes that we cannot fully abandon an economy of rights as “giving and taking,” a new discussion of the rhetorical structure of rights emerges. Continue reading →