Current Offerings

Spring 2021


Philosophy and Pop Culture

PHIL 5050 | Dr. Robin James | Wednesdays 5:30-8:15PM (100% online, including some synchronous learning)

This class is the meeting point of philosophy and media studies, pop music studies, visual culture studies, food studies, material culture studies, and other disciplines that study pop culture’s various dimensions. Though Western philosophers often like to establish philosophy’s elite status by defining it against vernacular practices, in this course we will study pop culture objects, practices, and discourses as modes of doing philosophy. Taking our cue from theorists such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Alexander G. Weheliye, and Denise Ferreira da Silva, we will treat traditional philosophical text and pop cultural texts as varieties of theoretical media that can be mixed, combined, and refracted through one another. We’ll consider the philosophical question of what pop culture even is and how the category intersects with other systems of social value, and other philosophical questions as they are worked through in screen media, music, sports, fashion, etc. Students will have the opportunity to solidify their grounding in the non-philosophy discipline that studies their primary area of pop culture interest, such as one of those fields listed in the first sentence.

Indigenous Feminisms

PHIL 5050 | Dr. Elisabeth Paquette | Wednesdays 2:30-5:15PM (100% online, including some synchronous learning)

The course focuses on Indigenous feminist writings that both aim toward a constructive project of maintaining and respecting Indigenous ways of life, and that seek to address the detrimental consequences of U.S. and Canadian settler colonialism. We begin with a theoretical analysis of key concepts such as settler colonialism, Indigeneity, gender, and institutional racism. Using these key concepts, we then examine present-day colonial formations located through state-sponsored child and family welfare services, patterns of incarceration, high rates of sexual violence, and the displacement of Indigenous peoples from their traditional lands. Lastly, we examine state-based efforts to address the needs of Indigenous communities, and collective strategies of resistance practiced by Indigenous women.

Major Figure: Nietzsche

PHIL 5050 | Dr. Michael Kelly | (100% online, asynchronous learning)

Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th-century German philosopher (1844-1900), is known for his genealogical method (tracing the origins of concepts, beliefs) and controversial ideas about morality (art, etc.). How are his method and ideas interconnected in the development of his philosophy? And are they relevant today? After focusing on original texts, we'll examine some contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche.

Theories of Resistance

PHIL 6050 | Dr. Elisabeth Paquette | Mondays 5:30-8:15PM (100% online, including some synchronous learning)

Taking as its starting point the conception of “being human” developed in the work of decolonial theorist Sylvia Wynter, we examine the relation between dominant conceptions of the political subject-human and structures of knowledge production, as well as the impact such conceptions have in the contemporary context. Doing so provides a framework for theorizing the tools necessary for resisting dominant and oppressive structures that operate through a process of dehumanization. We will also consider the ways in which cartography and archives broadly construed operate either as perpetuating dominant structures, or as creating resistant terrains in the works of Katherine McKittrick, C. Riley Snorton, and Tiffany Lethabo King respectively. The course culminates in the development of a collective and nuanced account of Wynter's conception of ceremony, as the foundation for liberation in the 21st century. 

Latina/x Feminist Philosophy

PHIL 6050 | Dr. Andrea Pitts | Thursdays 5:30-8:15PM (100% online, including some synchronous learning)

U.S.-based Latina/x feminist writers have explored diverse political, epistemological, ethical, historiographical, and aesthetic themes, including topics within interdisciplinary areas such as Indigenous studies, disability studies, decolonial theory, queer theory, trans studies, healthcare justice, and Marxist critique. This course traces historical and recent work by Latina/x feminists, beginning with writings by women activists of the 1970s in the Chicano Rights Movement and the Young Lords. We will also read selections from new works by authors such as Francisco J. Galarte, Johanna Fernández, Linda Martín Alcoff, and two recent edited collections on Chicana feminist activism and Latina/x and Latin American feminist philosophy.


Ethical Theory

PHIL 6110 | Dr. Eddy Souffrant | Tuesdays 2:30-5:15PM (100% online, including some synchronous learning)

The course will combine a survey component with the study of One to Three contemporary figures in moral philosophy.  The survey part will provide an account of the historical development in the field and the contemporary figures will extend our understanding of deontology, consequentialism and/or the ethics of care.