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Michael A. Weinstein

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Michael A. Weinstein

Michael A. Weinstein passed away on September 17, 2015 at his home in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is survived by his beloved wife Deena and his brother Scott. Michael was a professor of political science for 47 years at Purdue University, and had an important impact on scores of students as a political theorist interested in a variety of ways of connecting to and making sense of life in post-modernity.

Michael's classes were popular with undergraduates. He mostly took what the students said about the topic under discussion and reflected on it, giving it back to them reframed and interpreted as a sign or meme for understanding our contemporary society. A former graduate student, Justin Mueller, said of Michael "he possessed a magnetism and pedagogical skill in the classroom that could draw students in, undo their worlds, and then give them another version that was clearly alien, and yet somehow familiar and truer."

In addition to teaching political philosophy, Michael was a prolific photography critic and the frontman and lyricist for several years with the punk band Vortis. His projects in recent years were varied and eclectic, ranging from international political analysis of Somalia to philosophical commentary on NASCAR. He brought extraordinary enthusiasm and interest to whatever conversation he was having: his face would light up when he encountered a friend or colleague, and he turned the same engagement with ideas and reflectiveness that characterized his teaching to whatever topics you chanced to talk about with him. He was a bit of a pixie, with his impish smile and restless intellect, always looking for new stimuli and ideas.

There will be a memorial celebration of Michael's life from 4:00-6:00 pm on November 20, 2015, to be held in the Anniversary Drawing Room of the Purdue Memorial Union building on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette. All who would like to remember Michael are welcome to attend.

Published in the Journal & Courier on Nov. 19, 2015
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