Current Students | Philosophy | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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Current Students

In an effort to keep this page from becoming ungainly, the webmaster has decided to confine it to active students. There are several other students presently working outside the department on their dissertations. Anyone who is interested in knowing more about them and their endeavors, feel free to contact the Office Support Specialist.

Office hours can be viewed HERE.

David Antonini

B.A. - Political Science and Philosophy; Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA
M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

I am currently working on a dissertation which focuses on Hannah Arendt and the challenges that modernity poses to engaging in meaningful political experience. I aim to show how her thought can overcome such challenges and provide an idea of what meaningful political experience looks like. My other interests in include the history of political philosophy in general, with an eye towards understanding how the concept of "nature" each thinker works with informs their political thought. Additionally, I have an enduring interest in Kant, existential thinkers, and ethics.

John August III

B.A. - Drake University
M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Pragmatism, Philosophy of Science, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of History – especially Narrativism and how it might relate to Pragmatic theories of knowledge. I also enjoy reading existential and phenomenological projects as well as others included in the Continental tradition.

Andrew Barrette

B.A. - University of Wisconsin - Platteville
M.A. - Loyola Marymount University

Phenomenology and the German retrieval of the Ancients.

Jaclyn Berg

B.A. - University of North Dakota

My primary areas of focus are in social, political, and ethical philosophies, although I am also interested in feminist philosophy and environmental philosophy. I enjoy reading Nietzsche, Sartre, De Beauvoir, Foucault, and many others, but the authors I am most drawn to are Marx, Weil, and, more recently, Alain Badiou whose "Ethic of Truths" I am particularly attracted to. I am especially concerned with the effects of capitalism and consumer culture on concepts of ethics and human rights.

Philip Brewer

B.A. - University of West Georgia

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Central interests are in phenomenology and existentialism, particularly Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche.  I have as of late, however, become increasingly more interested in the history of metaphysics.

Kevin Cales

B.S. - Radford University

As of now, Kevin’s primary interests are phenomenology, hermeneutics, philosophy of religion, Gadamer, Plato, and those who are referred to as the Pre-Socratics. To be candid, Kevin is trying to find his way about the world, and has been for as long as he has been able. He may not have many convictions, but he is convinced that life leads one to philosophy. He shares Gadamer's conviction that, “… Philosophy is a human experience that remains the same and that characterizes the human being as such, and that there is no progress in it, but only participation” (Hans Georg Gadamer. 1986. The idea of the good in Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Paul Benjamin Cherlin

B.A. - University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

M.A. - Brandeis University-Waltham, MA

My dissertation is on the naturalistic metaphysics of John Dewey.

My specialty areas include Classical American philosophy (esp. Emerson, Peirce, James, and Dewey), 18th and 19th century German philosophy (esp. Kant, Schelling, Hegel, and Nietzsche), ethics, and social/political philosophy.

In addition to my specialty areas, I have enduring research and teaching interests in the history of political philosophy, Enlightenment thought, Romantic thought, contemporary pragmatism, intensive logic, the philosophy of science, and aesthetics.

Juan Alejandro Chindoy

Bachelor:  Philosophy and Letters, Universidad de Caldas, COLOMBIA

M.A.: Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Interests: I like moral and political philosophy discussions. Among my favorite writers are George Orwell, Oscar Wilde and Isaiah Berlin.

John Cohan

B.A. - Grand Valley State University

M.Phil - Fudan University

Alexander Corley

A.A. - Southwestern Illinois College

B.A. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Aaron Darrisaw

B.A. - Georgia Southern University

M.A. - Reformed Theological Seminary

My central area of research is in 20th century French thought; especially the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. I'm interested in developing a theory of political subjectivity, drawing upon the insights of these thinkers. 

I have additional research interests in Critical Theory (esp. Adorno) and Marxist theory.

David Denenny

B.A. - Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Matthew Donnelly

B.A. - University of Notre Dame

M.A. - Boston College

Johnathan Flowers

B.A., B.S. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

My primary areas of interest are Japanese Aesthetics as a mode of relating lived experience and affectivity as well as Japanese Buddhist doctrines of experience and ethics. I am further interested in Chinese Confucian traditions taken up in Japanese Neo-Confucianism particularly through Wang Yangming, Mencius, and Chu His. I also seek to place the work of John Dewey in conversation with East-Asian Aesthetics and concepts of lived experience to develop a fuller notion of the aesthetic that is not divorced from “ordinary experience.”

As of late, I have also become more interested in Phenomenology (through Merleau-Ponty) as a way of discussing race (specifically authenticity and identity politics), gender, sexuality, and neurodiversity. I am chiefly interested in the way societies and institutions are organized around some bodies as a “default” which results in the expulsion of other bodies from the social space.

Andrew Gillespie

B.A. - McKendree University - Lebanon, IL

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Areas of Specialization: Africana Philosophy, Philosophy of Economics, Social and Political Philosophy

Areas of Competence: Applied and Theoretical Ethics, Logic, Ancient Greek and Roman Culture and Philosophy, American Pragmatism, Critical Theory

David Gray

B.S. - Northern Illinois University

While Kant is where I always trace my thinking back to, I currently enjoy Husserlian phenomenology. Some topics I'm interested in include: time-consciousness, empathy (and social consciousness more broadly), ethics, phenomenology beyond Husserl, and the history of 19th century "continental" philosophy.

Ryan Grumberg

B.A. - James Madison University - Harrisonburg, VA

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Since having moved to SIU my interests have increasingly shifted to the relationship between Americanists and those in the early Continental tradition. Thinkers of note would include: Emerson, James, Royce, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Dewey, and Heidegger. Perhaps someday I'll understand Hegel, too. In a negative sense, I have ongoing affinities with anyone confronting physicalistic reductionisms broadly construed, e.g., those found in scientistic 'Philosophy's of Mind,' etc. In contradistinction to these, I think of myself as championing those waving the flags of: pluralism, emergentism, process, and the sort of naturalism that existed before folks thought neuroscience was a defining feature thereof.

Jay Hamman

B.A. - Hanover College - Hanover, Indiana
M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Bethany Henning

B.A. - North Central College

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Interests: Ethics, History of Philosophy, 20th Century (particularly post-war France), Feminism. I am particularly attracted to narratives of desire (psychoanalysis and phenomenology) that inform value creation, construction of identity/difference, and gender theories.

Emily Humbert

B.A. - Sacred Heart University

MAT - Sacred Heart University

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Interests: Feminist Philosophy, Race and Philosophy of Education.

Caleb Ingram

B.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale (English Literature & Philosophy)

Research Interests: Metaphilosophy, Indian, Chinese, Socratic/Platonic, Medieval, Counter Enlightenment, Moral Ontology and Epistemology, Philosophy of Religion, Charles Peirce, Josiah Royce, and philosophy’s potential use in the development of contemporary Weltanschauung- “world-views.” For my thesis I will be focusing primarily on Giambattista Vico, and his conceptions of poetry and imagination within the larger context of Renaissance and, particularly, Modern Philosophy.

Jared Kemling

B.A. - Bradley University

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

AOS: Process Philosophy, 19th and 20th Century Continental

AOC: American Pragmatism, Aesthetics

Other interests: American Philosophy, 19th and 20th Century European Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy of Culture, Moral Philosophy, Aesthetics, Process Philosophy

Eli Kramer

B.A. - Johnston Center for Integrative Studies of the University of Redlands with an emphasis in "Wandering Philosophy-an approach to learning."

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

My research interests spread across European and American Idealism, Process Philosophy, Early American Philosophy, Modern European Philosophy, Philosophy of Culture, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of History, and Philosophical Anthropology. I have a particular interest in the history and philosophy of higher intellectual institutions (such as universities, colleges, academies, and academic monasteries).

Kevin Krouse

B.A. - Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Cheongho Lee

B.A. - Seoul National University, Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
M.A. - Seoul National University, Seoul, SOUTH KOREA

Interests: C. S. Peirce in general, Josiah Royce's absolute pragmatism, C. I. Lewis's conceptual pragmatism, and synthesizing them into the middle not disqualifying their core implications especially with regard to temporality and a consistent source of normativity.

Donnie McMann

B.A. - University of California Riverside
M.A. - Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Jeffrey Morrisey

B.A. - University of King's College

M.A. - Institute for Christian Studies

German Idealism, Phenomenology, History of Philosophy.

Les Murray

B.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

My interests in Philosophy currently include Ancient Philosophy, the History of Philosophy (especially the History of the Philosophy of Science, Math, and Medicine), Philosophy of Science, Environmental Philosophy (especially Environmental Ethics), Philosophy of Economics (especially related to sustainability), Metaphysics, Asian Philosophy, and Pragmatism. I plan to practice philosophy, grow as a person, and exchange Philosophic ideas with other curious souls.

Philip Powe

B.A. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

M.A. - University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO

Larissa Rogoski

B.A. - PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

M.A. - PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Ebraheem Safabakhsh

B.A. - University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

M.A. - University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

M.A. - New School University, New York, NY

For someone who is fascinated with the process more than achieving the outcome, it is quite hard to determine in a definite way the area of his studies. I am even scared of being determinate in this regard due to the possible losing of the chance for being open to other sources of philosophical inspiration. Having said this, I must say that my philosophical upbringing has been in phenomenology, mainly Husserl’s and Heidegger’s, and secondly, Merleau-Ponty’s and Levinas’s. Delving into the French school of phenomenology began to turn my attention to the way French philosophers have integrated Hegel’s phenomenology into the Husserlian and Heideggerian modes of phenomenology. The project, therefore, arising from my studies in New School for Social Research is an attempt to get to the distinctive character of French phenomenology due to its neighboring with the then prevalent Hegelianism of figures like Kojѐve, Koyre, Wahl and Hyppolite. Finally, the last strike in my path since I started my studies at Southern Illinois University has been the encounter with almost neglected philosophy of Josiah Royce, a strike so unexpected and unprecedented that I should admit that his account of time is way more penetrative and insightful than that of Husserl’s or Heidegger’s.

Joseph Smith

B.A. - Kutztown University

M.A. - Union Theological Seminary

Jessica Soester

B.A. - Texas A & M University
M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Social and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, phenomenology, Classical American Pragmatism. My current research is on Marx's concept of "freedom," particularly focusing on the embodied and social dimension of freedom. Other research interests include the intersection of philosophy and geography (the production of space, the right to the city), education and pedagogy, participatory aspects of freedom, the capabilities approach.

Scott Sparrow

B.A. - Salisbury University - Salisbury, MD
M.A. - Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

My research focuses on German Idealism (especially Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit), the history of ethical thought, and contemporary work concerning trust. Of particular concern to me is the possibility of an ethics informed by Hegel's theory of recognition and the critiques it levels against other forms of ethical and moral philosophy. In line with that concern, I am about to embark on a dissertation entitled "Absolute Dependence and Trust: How the Self achieves Moral Status." Also of notable interest to me are Ancient Skepticism, Early Modern rationalist metaphysics, Social Contract theory, and theories of perception.

Amy Stewart

B.S. - Psychology, Kennesaw State University

M.A. - Gender/Cultural Studies, Simmons College

Amy Stewart is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy as well as an instructor for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she specializes in continental feminist philosophy, psychoanalysis, and philosophies of gender, race, and sexuality. Her dissertation project, which engages and integrates Lacanian and Kristevan psychoanalysis, explores the imaginative albeit unsettled embodiment of transgender liminality in order to cultivate a queer ethics of intimate revolt. Amy regularly teaches courses on gender and sexuality studies and has offered a special topics course on transgender histories, identities, and politics; she has also taught courses on queer studies, critical theory, and existential philosophy. As an active interdisciplinary scholar, Amy has organized academic conferences on feminism and philosophy, developed curriculum for gender studies programs and anti-racism civic engagement projects, indexed manuscripts on psychoanalysis and literature, and served on numerous committees advancing progressive LGBTQ campus policies. At Simmons College, where she completed her M.A. in Gender/Cultural Studies, she was appointed as the first Hazel Dick Leonard Research Fellow on Gender. Amy’s research has been presented at over 30 national and international conferences and her writings appear in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, as well as the volume New Forms of Revolt: Essays on Kristeva’s Intimate Politics.

Kevin Taylor

B.A. - Eastern Illinois University (Philosophy)

M.A. - Southern Illinois University (Philosophy)

M.A. - University of Illinois (East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Research Interests: East Asian Religions, Buddhism, Japanese Studies, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental History, American Pragmatism, Comparative Philosophy

Juan Thurmond

M.A. - University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Ethan Traman

B.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

M.A. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale

I am primarily interested in the faculties and reflection, imagination, and historical sensitivity. Academically, my interests range from virtue ethics to mysticism, both metaphysical and spiritual in the latter case.

Matthew Williams-Wyant

B.S. - Towson University
M.A. - American University

Areas of Research: Phenomenology, Existentialism, Indian Buddhism and Classical Chinese Philosophy. My primary focus within these traditions centers on epistemology, specifically the generation of meaning and the question of evidence. I am currently working on my dissertation on the role of adversity and cliché in the generation of sense and meaning in the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty. Additional interests include the role of praxis and self-cultivation in one's engagement with philosophy and in the world. To what extent is the study of philosophy a means of learning how to breathe?