People / Alumni

Sophie Major

Sophie Major is an interdisciplinary PhD candidate, studying and researching across the disciplines of political theory, environmental politics, and Indigenous studies. Their dissertation examines the marginalization of Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge in political theory discourses and asks if and how political theorists ought to engage with Indigenous political thought. Incorporating original ethnographic work with First Nations peoples in British Columbia, Canada, their dissertation introduces a number of case studies, illustrating the strengths of an ethnographic, historicist, genealogical, and interpretive approach to the study of Indigenous political theory. Sophie’s other research interests include de-colonial theory, climate change politics and policy, and the history of political thought.

Sophie’s MA thesis investigated the proliferation of resilience ideas in UK policies and political discourse, and evaluated the philosophical assumptions underpinning the concept of “path dependency” in political studies. Sophie completed her B.A.S. at Quest University Canada, where their thesis assessed the role of First Nations’ activism in determining forestry management outcomes. In their professional experience working for Laurence Berkeley National Lab and non-profits, Sophie spearheaded projects in community relations, climate change education, and science communication with government.

At UC Berkeley, Sophie has enjoyed working as a Graduate Student Instructor, teaching courses on global environmental politics, contemporary and modern political theory, social theory, and political economics.