Department News & Congratulations
- Prof. Cynthia Willett joined with Tomás Saraceno’s collaborators for a conversation on the installation “Particular Matter(s): Arachnophobia to Arachnophilia” in Manhattan. Link to webinar here.
- Congratulations to these students who received Honors this year: Ashley Bruder, Sara DeLacey, Dessy-Liza Epie, Hannah Risman, Caroline Silva, Charita Sodagum, Noah Taylor, Lucas Wright, and Amelia Zhou.
- Prof. Jessica Wahman recently presented her paper on Theravada Buddhism and western conceptions of free will at the annual meeting of the Metaphysical Society of America (of which she is also Treasurer), held at Marquette University.
SPRING 2022 EVENTS
Welcome Aminah Hasan-Birdwell
The department is delighted to announce the arrival of Dr. Aminah Hasan-Birdwell, whose research reevaluates the history of philosophy, the history of political thought, and notions of race and gender in the early modern period. A significant amount of her present research attends to marginalized figures in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her chief research sheds light on previously unattended-to figures’ responses to the theoretical and ethical discussions on war (domestic and international) and on slavery’s conditions and justification. This enables her to discuss the intersections of slavery, war, race, and gender.
Philosophically, war and slavery are conditions that highlight struggles to define the nature of freedom, human agency, the function of law, and justice. She believes the task is not only to account for the ways philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have justified these conditions of human bondage but also to spotlight discourses that challenged them through metaphysical and moral arguments on human nature.
Currently she is finishing a book project that treats early modern women philosophers’ ethical and political responses to the Thirty Years’ War, the Fronde, and the English Civil War, as well as their challenges to dominant thinkers of the time. Her second project focuses on providing the conceptual grounds for slave narratives to be considered a philosophically significant genre.
1966 - 2022A memorial will be held Saturday, March 19th, 2022 at 3pm in the Cannon Chapel.
Michael Sullivan, our dear colleague and friend, died on January 31st, 2022 after a brief illness unrelated to CoVid. A gifted teacher and mentor to a generation of Emory students, his loss is grievous and heartbreaking. Michael came to Emory in 2000 after completing a PhD in philosophy at Vanderbilt and a JD at Yale. His research and teaching focused on issues in the philosophy of law, ranging from the justice of mandatory sentencing to the intricacies of constitutional theory, with a particular focus on judicial review and its potential, counter-majoritarian character. He approached these issues from the standpoint of Deweyean pragmatism, which he defended against critics in Legal Pragmatism (2007). But he also resisted what he took to be overly thin applications of pragmatism to the law, most prominently in “Can Pragmatism Be Radical?,” a piece co-authored with Daniel Solove, which appeared in the Yale Law Journal.
As a teacher, Michael loved teaching PHIL 115, Ethics, and PHIL 321, Philosophy of Law, which prepared a generation of Emory students for law school through its careful attention to case law in the context of legal theory. A demanding teacher with a fine nose for argument, students were drawn to the standards of excellence that he expected all of us to meet. Michael is survived by his partner, Le Wei, their son, John John Sullivan, his mother Margaret, his cousin Mary, and many other cousins as well as several loving friends. No funeral is expected but the department will host a memorial service. Please look to the Department’s web page for information about that event.