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MemberNicholas Perez

Currently an independent research focusing on religion, philosophy, and history who is hoping to attend the University of Louisville for the PhD in Humanities program.  Planned research is over Teresa of Avila’s epistemology of the body. Research interests include Virgin Mary, primarily theological conceptions conerning her and cultural reception of her; theology and history of Christianity (primary periods ancient, medieval, and postmodern), particular focus on concepts of salvation, the Eucharist, gender, and the body; female Christian mystics, primarily Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila; Biblical exegesis, translation, and literary analysis; connections between literature and religion; philosophy of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Nietzsche, Freud, Heideggar, Bataille, Beauvoir, Kirsteva, and Irigaray (primary philosophic interest is existential phenomenology).

MemberSalam Rassi

I am an intellectual historian with an interest in theological, philosophical, and scientific encounters between Christians and Muslims living in the medieval Islamicate World. I earned my doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2016, and have since held research and teaching positions at the American University of Beirut and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Minnesota. I am currently completing a monograph based on my doctoral research on the anti-Muslim apologetics of the thirteenth-century bishop and polymath Abdisho of Nisibis.   My current research focuses on two interconnected areas: (i) the history of theological encyclopaedism among Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christians in the medieval Islamicate World and (ii) the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy. The first—theological encyclopaedism—examines a widespread genre of literature produced by Christian communities in the medieval Middle East: the summa theologica, or summary expositions of the Christian faith. These texts provide key insights into how authors articulated a Christian world view within a broader, non-Christian religious setting. The second—the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy—focuses on the impact of Avicenna’s metaphysics on the philosophical and theological oeuvre of Barhebraeus (d. 1285/6), a near contemporary of Thomas Aquinas and of comparable significance to the Syriac Orthodox tradition.   A further project involves the history of Arabic alchemy, in particular, the representation of the Christian as mediator of alchemical and occult knowledge in the pre-modern Islamic imaginary. Much of this work centres on an unedited alchemical primer attributed to Aristotle, of which I hope to produce a critical edition, translation, and study of its scientific and literary contexts.

MemberElena Deanda

Elena Deanda-Camacho is an Associate Professor of Spanish and the Director of the Black Studies Program at Washington College. She received her BA from the University of Veracruz, Mexico, and her PhD from Vanderbilt University. Besides literature, she has studied philosophy, religion, and medieval studies in Mexico, France, and the USA.   Deanda specializes in early modern Spanish literature with an emphasis in the Spanish Enlightenment and colonial Mexico. Her research moves between medieval women’s theology and prostitution in the eighteenth century. Her scholarship and teaching practice interrogates questions about gender, race, and ethnicity; desire, sex, and love; inquisitorial censorship and freedom of speech.

MemberAbigail Young

After finishing a Licentiate and PhD in mediaeval studies (specifically the history of mediaeval scritural exegesis), I found myself in non-traditional academic employment as a research associate at the Records of Early English Drama at the University of Toronto. There I honed my Latin and palaeographic skills, developed copy-editing skills, and learned to code C and HTML. But I found little time to give to the history of theology or exegesis, even to my chief interest, the Fourth Gospel. Now, in retirement, I am pursuing a long-desired goal of writing a commentary on that Gospel. It’s both a learning and a teaching experience.

MemberJames South

My primary areas of research are Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, Ordinary Language Philosophy (especially the thought of Stanley Cavell), and Philosophy and Popular Culture. Much of my research to date in the history of philosophy has focused on issues associated with questions about cognition in later medieval philosophy, for example, intentionality, sensation and knowledge of the singular. The reason for this focus is my suspicion that the precise contours of Descartes’ indebtedness to Late Scholastic thought are still not well understood due to a failure to appreciate some distinctive turns made in discussions concerning the intellect in the 15th and 16th centuries. My writing on popular culture–tv shows, music, comic books, etc.–allows me to explore some interests I have in contemporary philosophy, including the social context in which philosophy finds itself. Recent published work includes an essay on Zabarella and regressus theory (in the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal), an essay on comic book heroes and modernity in a volume of essays edited by William Irwin and Jorge Gracia, an essay on the Beatles and the practice of philosophy, an essay on Veronica Mars and Skepticism, and the volumes James Bond and Philosophy (co-edited with Jacob M. Held), Buffy Goes Dark (co-edited with Lynn Edwards and Elizabeth Rambo) and Mad Men and Philosophy (co-edited with Rod Carveth). My most recent published work, with Jacob M. Held is a co-edited book entitled Philosophy and Terry Pratchett for Palgrave-Macmillan. I sometimes blog at andphilosophy.com. For the last eleven years, I have edited the journal Philosophy and Theology. I have also begun coursework as an Academic Candidate at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. You can find more information about my publications at my bepress.com site. I regularly teach undergraduate courses in Social and Political Philosophy. My interests there are directed at the development of the modern tradition of political thought from Machiavelli to Mill and the criticism of that tradition begun by Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and others. I also regularly teach a course on the history and philosophy of crime and punishment. I have recently developed several new courses. One, “Philosophy and Popular Culture,” explores several philosophical issues associated with popular culture, while also looking closely at various ways of thinking about the discipline of philosophy. Another, “Philosophy and Film,” takes as its central text Stanley Cavell’s Cities of Words. Another, “Conceiving the Subject,” look at various texts from 20th century literature and thought to see how we can best approach the vexed question of the notion of ‘the subject.’ I am especially concerned in this course with making problematic the notion of ‘authenticity’ by focusing on several challenges stemming from the work of Freud, Wittgenstein, Adorno, and others. On the graduate level, I often teach a Plato course, specialized courses on Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (“Franciscan Philosophy,” “Humanism and Platonism in the Renaissance”), and a course on Marx and Moral Theory. Most recently, I developed a course on the thought of Cora Diamond and Stanley Cavell. For many years I taught a freshman seminar in the honors program on the work of Joss Whedon.

MemberMichael Miller

I’m a researcher and teacher, in the broad area of philosophy and religion. Slightly narrower, my specialism is Judaism, and narrower still I focus on Jewish mysticism and modern Jewish thought (from Soloveitchik to Benjamin, Rosenzweig, Levinas, et al). However I’m stubbornly interdisciplinary and usually try to cross the boundaries between different aspects of philosophy and speculative thought as well as trying to keep up with current research in scientific, linguistic and psychological fields which connect with my interests. Keeping it broad helps to revitalise intellectual disciplines and keep them exciting. The other area I’m increasingly focusing on in my research and teaching is Black Judaism, especially the Hebrew Israelite movement. I’m also very interested in experimenting with the forms of research, writing and teaching – making these practices more accessible, more artistic, more willing to think outside the usual boxes.

MemberSimone Bregni, Ph.D.

I am an associate professor of Italian language, literature and culture with twenty-six years of teaching & leadership experience at the university level. Since July 1st, 2020, I serve as Chairperson of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Saint Louis University. My areas of specialization are Medieval & Renaissance Italian literature and foreign (F/L2) language acquisition. Currently, my focus is on the applications of technology and digital media to language acquisition, in particular video game-based learning (VGBL). In fall 2016, as a recipient of the Saint Louis University (SLU) Reinert Center for Innovative Teaching, I developed Intensive Italian for Gamers. The course was successfully taught in the SLU state-of-the-art Learning Studio in spring 2017. I have presented my research and results in workshops and presentations, at conferences and in publications (in print and forthcoming). I have an extensive and eclectic background in Classics (Greek and Latin, Philology, Literature), Ancient and Medieval History, Theology, Philosophy; but also in Cinema Studies, International Studies, Communications and Journalism. I definitely enjoyed the variety of my studies. I am a firm believer in multidisciplinary approaches to both learning and teaching.

MemberErik Eklund

I am PhD candidate in Theology and Literature at the University of Nottingham and adjunct professor in biblical studies, theology, and English at Northwest University. In 2019, I received the Dieter E. Zimmer Prize from the International Vladimir Nabokov Society for my work on eschatology and theurgy in Nabokov’s 1955 novel, Lolita.

MemberSean Hannan

Sean Hannan (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2016) is an Assistant Professor in the Humanities at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His research focuses on the intellectual history of Christianity, with emphases on late antiquity, North Africa, and the philosophy of time. While his doctoral project dealt with temporality in the works of Augustine of Hippo, his current research broadens out to incorporate alternative accounts of time drawn from antiquity and the Middle Ages. At MacEwan, he has a mandate to make use of methods from the digital humanities when teaching courses on ancient, medieval, and early modern history.