Research

To what and to whom do we consider ourselves responsible? To our neighbor down the street? To a shared planet? How do we draw the lines of our obligations and binds — by kin, race, nation? What happens in those moments when we are called to respond differently, to others across the boundaries we had drawn and in ways more imaginative than our habitual modes? These questions of roots and routes, bonds and breaks, guide my research. 

My dissertation, “Re-describing an Ethics of Responsibility with Édouard Glissant,” argues that Glissant presents a vocabulary for ethics in a globalized present. Situated in dialogue with 20th-century Continental philosophy, it takes Emmanuel Levinas as a foil; whereas Levinas presents an impossible responsibility to a single Other, I read Glissant to provide concepts for a feasible responsibility to, and in solidarity with, others. To say this another way: in a context of coloniality, the ethical turn requires the decolonial turn — ethics requires politics. My work is thus situated between moral and political philosophy. 

In regard to figures and traditions, I read and comment on Édouard Glissant, William James, Simone Weil, Enrique Dussel, and John Dewey. In this way, I am in conversation with American (including Latin American), Caribbean, and Continental philosophy. 

More specifically, to maintain expertise, I try to write one essay per year in my area of specialization (ethics) and at least one essay per year in my areas of concentration and on figures of interest. A list of my publications, present and forthcoming, can be found here.

Finally, I’m working on a few collaborative research projects, including studies of Weil’s key concepts with Lissa McCullough, of Weil’s political philosophy with Helen M. Kinsella, of human rights (especially in Brazil) with Marcia Mikulak, and of “precarity” with Eric Aldieri and Pascale Devette.