Samantha studied Russian and Slavic Studies and Philosophy at New York University before beginning her PhD. at the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature (formerly the Humanities Center) at the Johns Hopkins University.
Samantha's research examines the philosophical foundations of and antecedents to the "Conservative Revolution" that took place during the years of Weimar Republic. Her work attempts to understand this contested movement in the larger context of modern German Philosophy. The project focuses on central problematics of the period: the critique of liberal democracy, sources of social cohesion, political legitimation, and the nature of "values" and their relation to violence. She traces the elaboration of these concepts in key texts by major thinkers of the period, including Ludwig Klages, Carl Schmitt, Ernst Kantorowicz, Ernst Jünger, and Hans Freyer. Her research situates this discourse in the broader philosophical context of nineteenth and early twentieth-century debates in Value Philosophy. The project also pursues the ambivalent relationship between conservative intellectuals of the period and radical Left philosophical currents, in particular the Frankfurt school, whose mutual engagement and vacillating interest and antipathy to each other’s work provides vital insight on the intellectual reception of the Weimar crisis.