Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Graduate Humanities

Department or Program Chair

Laura Stivers, PhD

First Reader

Christian Dean, PhD

Second Reader

Mairi Pileggi, PhD


What does participatory democracy look like? This essay finds an answer in the indigenous art form of the United States—jazz. Political engagement in America must learn from the jazz aesthetic which realizes the communal projects of individuals in concert. After a brief survey of the biological, historical, and cultural formations that construct our political environment this essay advances equaliberty as the foundational concept for the Jazzocrat, the new political subject for tomorrow’s participatory democracy.