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Joshua M. Hall is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University.  His current research focuses various historical and geographical lenses on philosophy's boundaries, particularly the intersection of aesthetics, psychology and social justice.  Altogether, this includes a coedited anthology on philosophical practices in prisons (entitled Philosophy Imprisoned), forty  peer-reviewed journal articles (including in Philosophy and Literature and Philosophy Today), nine anthology chapters (including in Philosophy of Childhood: Exploring the Boundaries), and over thirty conference presentations (including three invited speaking engagements, the American Psychological Association, and the national meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics.   His related work in the arts includes one mini-chapbook collection and over seventy poems in literary journals (including Folio, Shampoo, and Roanoke Review) and over twenty years’ experience as a choreographer, instructor and performer.

Research, Teaching, & Service

Work experience

Sept 2018

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

William Paterson University
Aug 2016Aug 2018

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

CUNY, Queensborough


Aug 2007Aug 2012

Ph.D. in Philosophy

Vanderbilt University

recipient of a Harold J. Stirling Vanderbilt Fellowship

Ph.D. dissertation - Figuration: A Philosophy of Dance

Aug 2003May 2005

M.A. in Philosophy

Penn State University

recipient of Graduate Scholars Award

M.A. thesis - Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft as Nietzsche's Ars Poetica

Aug 1999May 2003

B.A. in Psychology, Philosophy

Samford University

recipient of Janice R. Teal Award for Highest Achievement in Psychology

recipient of Mabry Lunceford Award for Highest Achievement in Philosophy

graduated summa cum laude

Honors and awards

2017: William Stewart Travel Award, to present Invited presentation, “Dancing-with: A Theoretical Method for Social Justice,” at the Engagement Symposium of Philosophy and Dance (supported by the American Society of Aesthetics), at Texas State University

2016: Faculty Development Committee Award, Emory University, for two presentations applying my dissertation, at the American Philosophical Association (Pacific) and the University of Pittsburgh’s “Doing the Body in the 21st Century” Conference

2016: chosen, from a group of 120 faculty members in the Social Sciences Department, to conduct a “Mini-Class” in philosophy for prospective students and parents at the fall Open House, CUNY Queensborough

2015: Philosophy Imprisoned, an anthology coedited with Sarah Tyson at the University of Colorado Denver, earned a “Recommended” review in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

2014: anonymously recommended, as founder of the Birmingham Philosophy Guild, to consult on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’ upcoming MTV documentary on Millennials ' perspectives on race in the United States

2013: top student evaluations in the "Common Core" program at Samford University, "Top University in Alabama (Forbes) and #3 school in the South for "Best Undergraduate Teaching (by U.S. News & World Report)

2012: Berry Award for Best Publication by a Graduate Student, for “Revalorized Black Embodiment: Dancing with Fanon” – Vanderbilt University

2011: Berry Award for Best Publication by a Graduate Student, for “Choreographing the Borderline: Dancing with Kristeva” – Vanderbilt University

2009: J. E. Simons Award for Best Paper – Gonzaga University Graduate Philosophy Conference

2007-2012: Harold J. Sterling Vanderbilt Fellow – Vanderbilt University

2004: poetry scholarship to Prague, Czech Republic – Prague Summer Program

2003-2005: Graduate Scholars Award – Penn State University

2003: poetry scholarship to St. Petersburg, Russia – Summer Literary Seminars

Public Philosophy

Humanities Advisor for the Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham, Alabama, August 22-27, 2017:

 invited cofacilitator for “The Fierce Urgency of Now: A Space to Process the Election,” at Gibney Dance, Manhattan:

anonymously recommended, as founder of the Birmingham Philosophy Guild, to consult on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’ upcoming MTV documentary on Millennials' perspectives on race in the United States

invited for interview (4/17/15) with National Public Radio (NPR) about Jefferson State Community College’s Queer/Straight Alliance (QSA), which I founded in response to a hate crime on campus in the fall of 2014


Philosophy Imprisoned, co-edited with Sarah Tyson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado Denver (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2014)

Journal Articles

  1. “Core Aspects of Dance: Aristotle on Positure,” Journal of Aesthetic Education (forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)
  2. “Toward a New Conception of Western Shamanism,” International Journal of Applied Philosophy (forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)
  3. “Philosophy of Dance and Disability,” Philosophy Compass 13(12): 2018 (peer-reviewed)
  4. “Religious Lightness in Infinite Vortex: Dancing with Kierkegaard,” Epoché: A Journal of the History of Philosophy 23(1): 2018, 125-144 (peer-reviewed)
  5. “A Darkly Bright Republic: Milton’s Poetic Logic,” South African Journal of Philosophy 37(2): 2018, 158-170 (peer-reviewed)
  6. “Bodily-Social Copresence Androgyny: Rehabilitating a Progressive Strategy” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 32(1): 2018, 77-86 (peer-reviewed)
  7. "Poetry as Dark Precursor: Nietzschean Poetics in Deleuze’s ‘Literature and Life'," Philosophy Today 62(1): 2018 (peer-reviewed)
  8. “The Necessary Pain of Moral Imagination: Lonely Delegation in Richard Wright’s Haiku and White Man, Listen!Evental Aesthetics  7(1): 2018, 62-89 (peer reviewed)
  9. “Santayana’s Anticipations of Deleuze: Total Natural Events and Quasi-Pragmatism,” Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 53(2): 2017, 270-290 (peer-reviewed)
  10. “Logical Theatrics, or Floes on Flows: Translating Quine with the Shins,” European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 8(2): 2017 (peer-reviewed)
  11. Neuromancer through Alfarabi: On Neurotics as Politically-Imprisoned World-Creators,” Parasol: The Journal of the Centre for Experimental Ontology 1: 2017 (peer-reviewed)
  12. “Stanley Cavell’s Colerdigean Literary Life,” Essays in Criticism  67(3): 2017, 259-271
  13. “Hay’s Buddhist Philosophy of Gestural Language,” Asian Philosophy 27(3): 2017 (peer-reviewed)
  14.  "St. Vitus’ Women of Color: Dancing with Hegel,” Comparative and Continental Philosophy (forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)
  15. “Positure in Plato’s Laws: An Introduction to Figuration on Civic Education,” Journal of Social Science Education 15(4): 2016, 59-67 (peer-reviewed)
  16. Slanted Truths: The Gay Science as Nietzsche’s Ars Poetica,” Evental Aesthetics 5(1): 2016, 98-117 (peer-reviewed)
  17.  “Time-Traveling Image: Gilles Deleuze on Science-Fiction Film,” Journal of Aesthetic Education (forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)
  18. “Core Aspects of Dance: Schiller and Dewey on Grace,” Dance Chronicle 40(1): 2017, 74-98 (peer-reviewed)
  19. “Nerve/Nurses of the Cosmic Doctor: Wang Yang-ming on Self-Awareness as World-Awareness,” Asian Philosophy 26(2): 2016, 149-165 (peer-reviewed)
  20. “A Divinely-Tolerant Political Ethics: Dancing with Aurelius,” Epoché: A Journal of the History of Philosophy 20(2): 2015 (peer-reviewed)
  21. "Becoming-Fantastic: Deleuze and Mackay on Fantasy RPG Performance," Odradek: Studies in Philosophy of Literature, Aesthetics, and New Media Theories 1(1): 2015 (peer-reviewed)
  22.  “Alfarabi’s Imaginative Critique: Overflowing Materialism in Virtuous Community,” South African Journal of Philosophy  34(2): 2015 (peer-reviewed)
  23.  "Apposite Bodies: Dancing with Danto,” Philosophy in the Contemporary World (peer-reviewed)
  24.  “Rearticulating Languages of Art: Dancing with Goodman,” Evental Aesthetics 4:1, 28-53 (2015) (peer-reviewed)
  25.  “Questions of Race in J. S. Mill’s Contributions to Logic,” Philosophia Africana 16:2, 73-93 (spring 2015) (peer-reviewed)
  26. “Differential-Surface: Deleuze and Superhero Comics,” Transnational Literature 7:2 (2015) (peer-reviewed) 
  27.  “Self-Mimetic Curved Silvering: Dancing with Irigaray,” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy/Revue de la Philosophie Française et de Langue Française 22:1, 76-101 (fall 2014) (peer-reviewed)
  28. “Double Characters: James and Stevens on Poetry-Philosophy,” Research in Phenomenology 44:3 (summer 2014) (peer-reviewed)
  29.  “Absolute-Brahma: Royce and the Upanishads,” Asian Philosophy 24:2 (spring 2014) (peer-reviewed)
  30.  “Reattaching Shadows: Dancing with Schopenhauer,” PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture 9:1 (spring 2014) (peer-reviewed)
  31.  “Nancy and Neruda: Poetry Thinking Love,” Contemporary Aesthetics 12 (spring 2014) (peer-reviewed) 
  32. “Core Aspects of Dance: Condillac and Mead on ‘Gesture’,” Dance Chronicle 36:3 (fall 2013), 352-371 (peer-reviewed)
  33. “Redrawing Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics,” The South African Journal of Philosophy 32:3 (fall 2013), 235-247 (peer-reviewed)
  34. “Prevailing Winds: Marx as Romantic Poet,” Philosophy and Literature 37:2 (fall 2013), 343-359 (peer-reviewed)
  35. “Poetic Intuition: Spinoza and Gerard Manley Hopkins,” Philosophy Today 57:4 (winter 2013), 401-407 (peer-reviewed)
  36. "Syncopated Communities: Dancing with Ellison,” Southern Literary Journal 45:2 (spring 2013), 57-71 (peer-reviewed)
  37. Hyperion as Daoist Masterpiece: Keats and the Daodejing,” Asian Philosophy 22:3 (spring 2013), 225-237 (peer-reviewed)
  38. “Kandinksy's Composition VI: Heideggerian Poetry in Noah's Ark,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 46:2 (summer 2012), 74-88 (peer-reviewed)
  39. “Revalorized Black Embodiment: Dancing with Fanon,” Journal of Black Studies 43:3 (spring 2012), 274-288 (peer-reviewed)
  40. “Choreographing the Borderline: Dancing with Kristeva,” Philosophy Today 56:1 (spring 2012), 49-58 (peer-reviewed)

Anthology Chapters

  1. “Student Protests of University Investments: Harvard and Vanderbilt’s African Land-Grabs” Business Cases in Ethical Focus, ed. Fritz Allhoff and Alex Sager (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 2019) (forthcoming)

  2. "Dancing-with: A Theoretical Method for Poetic Social Justice,” Philosophy and Dance, ed. Rebecca Farinas, Craig Hanks, and Julie C. Van Camp (New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

  3. “Twixt Mages and Monsters: Arendt on the Dark Art of Forgiveness,” The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Vol. 2: Dimensions of Forgiveness, ed. Court Lewis (Wilmington, DE: Vernon, 2016), 215-240

  4. “Socially-Just Peace as Sustainable Tranquility through Organismic Empowerment,” Cultural Violence and Peace (Leiden: Brill) (forthcoming)
  5. “Student Protests of University Investments: Harvard and Vanderbilt’s African Land-Grabs” Business in Ethical Focus: An Anthology, 2nd Ed., ed. Fritz Allhoff, Alex Sager and Anand Vaidya (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 2015) (forthcoming)
  6. “Фύσις and the Homeric Divine in Plato’s Sophist,” in Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics (New York: Evolution Arts, 2015) (forthcoming)
  7. “Descartes’ Demon—More Powerful and Virtuous than God?” in Philosophical Approaches to the Devil (London: Routledge, 2016), 106-118
  8. “Tyrannized Childhood of the Liberator-Philosopher: J. S. Mill and Poetry as Second Childhood,” Philosophy of Childhood Today: Exploring the Boundaries (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2016), 117-132
  9. “Ender-Shiva, Lord of the Dance,” in Ender’s Game and Philosophy (New York: Open Court, 2013), 75-84
  10. “Du Bois, Foucault, and Self-Torsion: Criterion of Imprisoned Art,” in Philosophy Imprisoned, ed. Sarah Tyson and Joshua M. Hall (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014)

Book Reviews

Anne Waters, American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays, in Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society (forthcoming)

Einav Katan-Schmid, Embodied Philosophy in Dance: Gaga and Ohad Naharin’s Movement Research, in The Philosopher’s Magazine 77 (spring 2017), 117-118

Noël Carroll, Living in an Artworld: Reviews and Essays on Dance, Performance Theater, and the Fine Arts in the 1970s and 1980s, in Dance Chronicle 37:1 (winter 2014), 122-128

Magazine Articles

Dance Criticism

Art Criticism


current total of seventy-four poems, including in the following literary journals, three of which are multiple Pushcart Prize winners:


Ibbetson St. Magazine                               Main Street Rag

Shampoo                                                        The University of Chicago’s Euphony

Xavier Review                                                Chiron Review                       

Mobius                                                             Zouch Magazine

Lilliput Review                                              The Montucky Review

Entasis                                                             Black Fox Literary Magazine                          Monday Night

Folio                                                                 Hazmat Literary Review                                  Roanoke Review

Speaking Engagements

Invited presentation, "Dancing-with: A Theoretical Method for Social Justice," at Engagement Symposium of Philosophy and Dance (supported by the American Society of Aesthetics), Texas State University (fall 2016)

Invited session on Philosophy Imprisoned, Public Philosophy Network Conference, The Prison and Theory Working Group (summer 2015)

Roundtable Discussion on Philosophy and the Prison System, Vanderbilt University Philosophy Department Colloquium (winter 2015)

Conference Presentations

  1. “iZombie Cyborgs: On Compulsive Smartphone Use,” Society for Philosophy and Technology, spring 2019
  2. “Dante’s Self-Angelizing: Poetic Metaphors Creating Mystical Experience,” Mystical Theology Network Conference, Boston University, spring 2019
  3. “In Defense of Androgyny for Straight Men,” Illinois Philosophical Association, fall 2018
  4. “Just War Contra Drone Warfare,” American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, spring 2018
  5. “Figuration on the Afro-Caribbean Dance of Salsa,” American Society of Aesthetics Annual Meeting, fall 2017
  6. “The Bored Flaneur: Baudelaire under Kant’s Poetic Unfreedom,” Poetry Across the Curriculum Conference, spring 2017
  7. “The Figuration Philosophy of Dance on Disability and Grace,” American Society of Aesthetics Pacific Meeting, spring 2017
  8. “Figuration on Martial Arts: The Agnostic Dance of Tae Kwon Do,” Society for the Study of Philosophy and the Martial Arts, American Philosophical Association (Pacific), spring 2016
  9. “The Figuration Philosophy of Dance on Disability and Grace,” Doing the Body in the 21st Century Conference, Program of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, University of Pittsburgh, spring 2016
  10. “The Necessary Pain of Moral Imagination: Richard Wright’s White Man, Listen! and Haiku,” Long Island Philosophical Society, spring 2017

  11. "Apprenticing in Difference, and Queering Teaching Performance: Two Progressive Strategies for Straight White Male Philosophers,” American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT), American Philosophical Association (Eastern), winter 2016

  12. “Lovingly Generous Reimagining: Socially Just Peace as Sustainable Tranquility,” 28th Concerned Philosophers for Peace Conference, fall 2015
  13. “Wang Yangming on Personal Awareness as World-Awareness,” 13th Annual Conference on Persons, North American Society for Social Philosophy, summer 2015
  14. “Buddhist Dancing Gestures and the Philosophy of (Nonverbal) Language,” International Society for Buddhist Philosophy, American Philosophical Association (Central), spring 2015
  15. “Tyrannized Childhood of the Liberator-Philosopher: The Poetic Rebirth of J. S. Mill,” Special  Symposium of the International Association for the Philosophy of Children, American Philosophical Association (Eastern), fall 2014
  16. “Questions of Race in Leibniz’s Logic,” Midsouth Philosophy Conference , spring 2015
  17. “On Aesthetics as First Philosophy,” 52nd annual meeting of the Alabama Philosophical Society, fall 2014
  18. “Sublime Embodiment: Dancing with Danto,” Northwest Philosophy Conference, fall 2013
  19. “Fantastic Places: Deleuze and Fantasy Performance,” Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition (PACT), fall 2013
  20. “Confucian Shi: Poetic Virtue,” 39th Conference on Value Inquiry: Virtue, Vice, and Character, spring 2013
  21. “Enacting Dance: Graceful Form and The Embodied Mind,” Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference, spring 2013
  22. “Logical Theatrics: Quine and the Shins,” Popular Culture Association Conference, spring 2013
  23. “Materialist Excess: Imagining al-Farabi’s Virtuous Community,” 11th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, spring 2013
  24. “Reattaching Shadows: Dancing with Schopenhauer,” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) 50th Annual Conference, fall 2011
  25. “Differential Surface: Deleuze and Superhero Comics,” Comics & Popular Arts Conference (at Dragon Con), summer 2011
  26. “Butler, hooks, and the Resilience of Dance,” philoSOPHIA Conference, spring 2011
  27. “Ellisonian Jazz Dancing: A Model for Democratic Pluralism,” (co-presented with Prof. Lucius Outlaw, Jr.), Collaborations Conference, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, spring 2010
  28. “Ethicizing Kant’s Aesthetics: The Feminist Poetry of Mill,” Kent State Graduate Philosophy Conference, spring 2010
  29. “Choreographing the Borderline: Dancing with Kristeva,” Louisiana State University Graduate Philosophy Conference, spring 2010
  30. "Reattaching Shadows: Dancing with Schopenhauer,” Gonzaga University Graduate Philosophy Conference, spring 2009
  31. "Die Fröliche Wissenshaft as Nietzsche’s Ars Poetica,” Duquesne University Graduate Philosophy Conference, spring 2009
  32. “Absolute-Brahma: Royce and the Upanishads,” Stanford University Graduate Conference on Religion, spring 2008
  33. “Nancy and Neruda: Poetry Thinking Love,” North Texas Philosophical Association Conference, spring 2008
  34. “Comprehension and Appreciation of Poetry and Painting in Experts and Novices,” American Psychological Association Convention, spring 2004

Academic Teaching

  • Philosophy of Law                               William Patterson University     2019

  • Ethics                                                        William Patterson University     2019

  • Intro to Philosophy                              William Paterson University      2019

  • Liberal Studies Colloquium               William Paterson University     2018

  • The Arts of Social Justice                   William Paterson University      2018

  • Asian Philosophy                                   CUNY, Queensborough              2018

  • Intro to Philosophy                               CUNY, Queensborough              2018, 2017. 2016
  • Medical Ethics                                         CUNY, Queensborough              2018, 2017, 2016
  • Intro to Philosophy of Religion         Emory University, Oxford          2015
  • Logic                                                           Emory University, Oxford          2015
  • Metaphysics (IS)                                     Samford University                      2015
  • Logic                                                           Samford University                     2015
  • Medical Ethics                                         Muskingum University               2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
  • Logic                                                           Cal State Bakersfield*                 2014
  • Professional Ethics                                Cal State Bakersfield                  2014
  • Cultural Perspectives                            Samford University                     2013
  • Introduction to Logic                           Jefferson State                              2015, 2014, 2013
  • Ethics and Society                                 Jefferson State                             2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
  • Intro to Philosophy                               Jefferson State                              2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
  • Business Ethics                                       Vanderbilt University                 2012, 2011, 2010
  • General Logic                                           Vanderbilt University                 2010
  • Intro to Philosophy                                Vanderbilt University                 2009
  • Intro to Asian Philosophy                    Vanderbilt University                 2007   
  • (continued)                                               Penn State                                      2004
  • Environmental Ethics                           Penn State                                      2009
  • Intro to Ethics (TA)                                 Vanderbilt University                  2012, 2008
  • Philosophy of Race (TA)                       Penn State                                      2004

Graduate Seminars

  • W. E. B. Du Bois                           Lucius Outlaw, Jr.             spring 2012 (audited)
  • Ralph Ellison                               Lucius Outlaw, Jr.              fall 2008
  • Adorno’s Phil of Music             Jonathon Neufeld             spring 2008 (audited)
  • Phil of Race and Sexuality     Medina/Gines                      spring 2008
  • 19th Century Philosophy       John Lachs                           spring 2008
  • Psychoanalysis                          Kelly Oliver                            fall 2007
  • Medievals on De Anima          Idit Dobbs-Weinstein        fall 2007
  • Kant’s First Critique                 Jeffrey Tlumak                     fall 2007
  • William James                           Doug Anderson                   spring 2005 (audited)
  • Aristotle                                        Christopher Long               spring 2005    
  • British Romanticism               Nicholas Joukovsky           spring 2005
  • Josiah Royce                              Shannon Sullivan               fall 2005
  • Hegel and Marx                         Mitchell Aboulafia               spring 2004
  • Nietzsche                                    Charles Scott                         spring 2004
  • Aesthetics                                   John Sallis                              spring 2004
  • Philosophy of Literature        Evgenia Cherkasova           fall 2003 (audited)
  • Ancient Philosophy                 John Sallis                              fall 2003
  • 20th Century Philosophy      Charles Scott                         fall 2003
  • Philosophy of Mind                Dale Jacquette                       fall 2003



reading ability in Chinese, Ancient Greek, German and French                                 reading and speaking ability in Spanish

Dance / Choreography
twenty years of experience as a dancer, choreographer and instructor
multiple online courses taught (including the Blackboard 9 platform) proficiency in SPSS (statistical software)

lead facilitator for “Hope for a New Life,” a substance abuse support group, with a focus on heroin addiction, at Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) in Birmingham, Alabama

 three years of experience as a volunteer counselor at the Crisis Center, suicide and psychological crisis hotline in Birmingham, Alabama

years of management experience in various settings, including dining, insurance sales, and the largest psychiatric practice in the state of Alabama

Academic Memberships

Academic and Professional Service

  • Humanities Advisor, Sidewalk Film Festival – fall 2018

  • Founder, Paterson Philosophy Guild, fall 2018 – present

  • peer reviewer, Journal of Black Studies, 2011 – present

  • peer reviewer, Philosophy Today, spring 2018 – present

  • member, editorial staff, The Agonist, spring 2018 – present

  • member, The Nietzsche Circle, spring 2018 – present

  • Member, Department of Social Sciences Curriculum Committee, fall 2017 – present

  • Member, QCC Archival and Cultural Resources Committee, fall 2017 – present

  • Faculty Mentor, ASAP Program, fall 2017 - present

  • peer reviewer, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist philosophy, spring 2017 - present
  • chair, panel session of the Engagement Symposium of Philosophy and Dance, Texas State University, fall 2016
  • chair, group session of the International Society for Buddhist Philosophy (ISBP) at the American Philosophical Association, Central Meeting, spring 2015
  • founder and faculty adviser, Jefferson State College Queer Straight Alliance, fall 2014 - present
  • founder and facilitator, Jefferson State College Women of Color, fall 2014 - present
  • peer reviewer, Journal of Aesthetic Education, spring 2014 - present
  • founder and facilitator, Birmingham Philosophy Guild, spring 2013 - present
  • chair, session on belief, Northwest Philosophy Conference, fall 2013
  • organizer, suicide counseling training, provided by Nashville Family and Children’s service, for death row prisoners at Riverbend Maximum Security Penitentiary
  • peer reviewer, PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, summer 2012
  • founding member, Prison Reading Group, Vanderbilt University, spring 2012
  • commentator, John Fitzpatrick’s “The Ancient Greeks and John Stuart Mill,” Tennessee Philosophical Association Conference, fall 2011
  • founding member, English-Philosophy Salon, Vanderbilt University, fall 2011
  • commentator, Jordan Pascoe’s “On Kant’s Third Sphere of Political Society,” philoSOPHIA Conference, spring 2011
  • member, Race Reading Group, Vanderbilt University, spring 2011 – fall 2012
  • peer reviewer, Journal of Black Studies, 2011
  • graduate student representative to the graduate program reassessment committee, fall 2010

Doctoral Dissertation

Figuration: A Philosophy of Dance

Supervisor: John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

             Dance receives relatively little attention in the history of philosophy. My strategy for connecting that history to dance consists in tracing a genealogy of its dance-relevant moments. In preparation, I perform a phenomenological analysis of my own eighteen years of dance experience, in order to generate a small cluster of central concepts or “Moves” for elucidating dance. At this genealogical-phenomenological intersection, I find what I term “positure” most helpfully treated in Plato, Aristotle and Nietzsche; “gesture” similarly in Condillac, Mead and Kristeva; “grace” in Avicenna, Schiller and Dewey; and “resilience” in Fanon, (Judith) Butler and Deleuze.

             With these analyses in place, I apply the four Moves in analyzing various forms of dancing (including salsa dancing and the pollen dance of the honeybee) and coordinate them to outline a comprehensive philosophy of dance. This philosophy points to certain conditions for an ideally flourishing, dancing society. And these conditions create the possibility for a coalition of sympathetic discourses (including critical race theory, queer theory, disability studies and democratic theory) united in pursuit of political virtue.

             The development of a philosophy of dance offers a deeper understanding of the intellectual values of a practice often identified with bodily immediacy and therefore judged uninteresting. It also reinvigorates philosophy with the dynamism and bodily relevance of the practice of dancing. Most important, it demonstrates the meaningful intersection of aesthetics and political ethics, by exploring how aesthetic practices underlie and inspire human flourishing.


David Wood, Joe B. Wyatt and Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Art, Vanderbilt University

Charles Scott, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

Lucius Outlaw, Jr., Professor of Philosophy and Africana & Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Douglas Anderson, Professor of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Rosemary Fisk, Associate Dean, Howard College of Arts & Sciences, Profess or English, Samford University

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