Aziz Rana's research and teaching center on American constitutional law and political development, with a particular focus on how shifting notions of race, citizenship, and empire have shaped legal and political identity since the founding.
His book, The Two Faces of American Freedom (2010) (paperback, 2014), was published by Harvard University Press and situates the American experience within the global history of colonialism, examining the intertwined relationship in American constitutional practice between internal accounts of freedom and external projects of power and expansion. His current book manuscript explores the modern rise of constitutional veneration in the twentieth century -- especially against the backdrop of growing American global authority -- and how veneration has influenced the boundaries of popular politics.
He has written essays and op-eds for such venues as The New York Times, The Nation, Salon.com, CNN.com, Jacobin, and N+1. He has recently published articles and chapter contributions (or has them forthcoming) with Yale University Press, California Law Review, and Texas Law Review among others.
Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, he was an Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fellow in Law at Yale. He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He also earned a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard, where his dissertation was awarded the university's Charles Sumner Prize.