Dr. Paul Downes is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto and an elected member of the university’s Academic Board. He specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature and in the relationship between literature and political philosophy. He has served as chief negotiator for the University of Toronto Faculty Association and is currently working with Divestment and Beyond, a group of students, faculty and staff pushing for a more progressive response to the climate crisis at the University of Toronto. He is the author of two books published by Cambridge University Press (Democracy, Revolution and Monarchism in Early American Literature and Hobbes, Sovereignty and Early American Literature). His most recent published work explores aspects of political and ecological thought in Herman Melville’s fiction.