PhD, Philosophy, University of Toronto, 2002
BA Honours, Philosophy, Bishop’s University, 1994
BA, English, Bishop’s University, 1994
Phenomenology, Feminism, and Prison Issues
Solitary Confinement: Social Death and its Afterlives (Minnesota University Press, 2013) is a phenomenological critique of solitary confinement, drawing on the work of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, as well as legal and historical documents in the history of the US penitentiary system, supermax prisons and detention camps such as Guantanamo Bay. Deprived of regular contact with concrete others in a shared space, many prisoners come unhinged from reality; they experience perceptual distortions and hallucinations, they lose track of time, and they even become unable to identify the boundaries of their own bodies. What must subjectivity be like in order for these effects to be possible? Who are we, such that we can be undone in this way, unhinged from ourselves by being separated from others? What ends are served by isolating prisoners to the point of psychological and even ontological derangement?
Selected Recent Publications
‘The Most Dangerous Place: Pro-Life Politics and the Rhetoric of Slavery.’ Postmodern Culture 22:2 (January), 2013.
‘Fecundity and Natal Alienation: Rethinking Kinship with Emmanuel Levinas and Orlando Patterson.’ Levinas Studies 7. Special Issue on Levinas and Race, Ed. John Drabinski, 2012.
‘Beyond Dehumanization: A Post-Humanist Critique of Intensive Confinement.’ Journal for Critical Animal Studies 10:2, Special Issue on Animals and Prisons, 2012.
‘Resisting Agamben: The Biopolitics of Shame and Humiliation.’ Philosophy and Social Criticism 38:1, 2012, pp. 59-79.
For a more complete list of academic publications, click here.
For contributions to public philosophy, see Rethinking Prisons, REACH Coalition, New APPS blog, The New York Times, The Believer, and other sites.
Graduate: Rethinking Prisons (Foucault and Black Radical Thought); Theories of Sexual Difference, Husserl and his Readers, Levinas
Undergraduate courses: Phenomenology, Gender and Sexuality, Biopower, Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, Philosophy and the Occupy Movement