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Amy Allen Named Head of Philosophy at Penn State

The Department of Philosophy at Penn State is delighted to announce that Amy Allen will join its faculty as Head in July 2015.
Amy Allen Named Head of Philosophy at Penn State

Professor Amy Allen

The Department of Philosophy at Penn State is delighted to announce that Amy Allen will join its faculty as Head in July 2015.

Prof. Allen is currently finishing a book entitled The End of Progress:  De-colonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory, which will be published later this year by Columbia University Press.  Her next book will explore the relationship between critical theory and psychoanalysis, focusing on the fate of the death drive in contemporary critical theory.  These two book projects are connected under the broad heading of an analysis of the relationship between power and reason in the critical theory tradition.

She is also working on several co-edited projects:  a special issue of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy with selected papers from the 2014 SPEP conference (with Brian Schroeder of the Rochester Institute of Technology); a special issue of the journal Continental Philosophy Review on the historical a priori in Husserl and Foucault (with Smaranda Aldea of Dartmouth); an edited volume on the relationship between critical theory and psychoanalysis (with Brian O’Connor of University College Dublin); and a special section for the journal Constellations on the relationship between psychoanalysis and critical theory, drawing on work by theorists and intellectual historians (with Federico Finchelstein of the New School).

In addition to these scholarly projects, she will continue her work as the editor of the Columbia University Press series New Directions in Critical Theory and as Co-Editor in Chief of the journal Constellations:  An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory

Prof. Allen was chair of the Department of Philosophy at Dartmouth College from 2006-2012 and is currently chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Dartmouth.

Mendieta Joins Penn State Philosophy Faculty

Professor Eduardo Mendieta will join the Philosophy Faculty at Penn State in July 2015.
Mendieta Joins Penn State Philosophy Faculty

Eduardo Mendieta

The Department of Philosophy at Penn State is happy to announce that Professor Eduardo Mendieta will join our faculty this summer.

Prof. Mendieta recently finished a monograph titled The Philosophical Animal: On Zoopoetics and Interspecies Cosmopolitanism, which is forthcoming with SUNY Press. He is already at work on what he considers to be a prequel titled, Philosophy’s War: Nomos, Polemos, Topos. Most immediately, however, he is editing his essays on the critical philosophy of race and will gather them under the title of Technologies of the Racist Self.

He is also editing a couple of anthologies on the history of Latin American philosophy and its most recent developments.

Once these books are complete, he plans to pursue two other projects. One has to do with Latin American cities, which takes up work on megaurbanization, megaslums, and the Anthropocene he has undertaken over the last couple of years. He has picked some six or seven Latin American cities to exemplify what he call the Latin American Urban Genius.

The second project, which is tentatively titled Philosophy’s Workshop, has to do with what he has called philosophy’s paralipomena. The aim is to study, profile, and unearth the many ways in which philosophy is produced, crafted, thought, written, communicated, and confessed: letters, dialogues, voice, diaries/autobiographies, lectures, and the philosopher’s body (female, male, racialized, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, disabled, ugly, etc). The aim is to develop a genealogy of the production of philosophy that is attentive to its material spaces of production. His guiding philosophical idea is that philosophy takes place in and through bodies that are always located in institutional spaces, which affect its imaginary.

Kathryn Gines wins CHI Fellowship

Prof. Kathryn Gines has been awarded a fellowship from the Center for Humanities Information for her project "Collegium of Black Women Philosophers in a Digital Age"

Prof. Kathryn Gines has been awarded a fellowship from the Center for Humanities Information for her project "Collegium of Black Women Philosophers in a Digital Age".  Prof. Gines is founding Director of the Collegium for Black Women Philosophers and plans to use the fellowship to enhance the digital resources available for the Collegium's activities. Prof. Gines notes that "as the founding director of the CBWP I am committed to recruiting and retaining Black women into philosophy, archiving our significant contributions to the field, and making this ever-expanding archive available to the widest possible audience."  The project supported by the CHI Fellowshiphas three main components: 1) an enhanced interactive Collegium of Black Women Philosophers website; 2) collaboration with online encyclopedias of philosophy to feature scholarly entries on Black women philosophers; and 3) collaboration with online comprehensive bibliographies and electronic journal collections to feature the publications of Black women philosophers.  The Fellowship will help Dr. Gines use reduced teaching obligations to pursue these laudable goals.

Burroughs has Article Published

Michael Burroughs, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Assistant Director of the Rock Ethics institute had his article "Hannah Arendt, 'Reflections on Little Rock,' and White Ignorance" accepted for publication in Critical Philosophy of Race (Volume 3, Issue 1). 


In this article, Burroughs argues that white ignorance constitutes a fundamental epistemic error in Hannah Arendt's political work, particularly in regard to her analysis of race and school desegregation in the American South and, further, in regard to her understanding of the history and political strivings of Africans and African Americans more generally.  Burroughs’s analysis—following Charles Mills' work on white ignorance—calls for increased theoretical work on epistemologies of ignorance, their function in Western political philosophy, and the effect of white ignorance on cognizers in American society.

Wretzel Wins Humboldt

Lecturer Joshua Wretzel was awarded a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship to spend six months studying in Heidelberg, Germany.   Dr. Wretzel will devote his time in Heidelberg to complete two chapters of his book manuscript, tentatively titled Hegel, Hermeneutics, and Inferentialism.  This project criticizes the way Hegel’s thought has been appropriated for use in contemporary debates about language and sociality.  Philosophers like Robert Brandom tend to think that finding Hegel’s relevance in these matters requires disentangling a salvageable philosophy of language from an outmoded systematic idealism.  I challenge, first, the hermeneutic presuppositions that license this form of “disentangling”; and second, the notion that Hegel’s systematic apparatus is some sort of fusty remnant of a bygone philosophical age.  In fact, as Wretzel argues, a reading of Hegel that takes seriously his systematic aspirations may place his thought in critical tension with Brandom’s inferentialist enterprise.