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Graduate Student Bios

​Kieran Aarons (
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Kieran completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Oregon, and a master's degree at the Centre for Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario in London. His areas of research include contemporary French philosophy (esp. Deleuze), as well as 19th and 20th century political philosophy. More generally, his interests lie in the philosophy of time and the event, the philosophy of history, theories of property, libidinal economics, and contemporary Marxist and non-Marxist accounts of the State and revolutionary practice. He is currently on a research fellowship with the German Academic Exchange Service (D.A.A.D.) in Berlin.

Vilde Lid Aavitsland (
Vilde received her BA from the University of Oslo, Norway, and her MA from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Germany. She originally came to DePaul University on a Fulbright Flagship Scholarship to write her MA thesis, in which she sought to develop a model of political judgment from Hannah Arendt's unfinished work on judgment. Her research interests are in social and political philosophy and 20th century continental philosophy. Currently, she is working on developing a concept of critical history in the works of Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault.

Eric Aldieri (
Originally from central Connecticut, Eric earned his BA in Philosophy & Humanities from Villanova University. His interests grow out of aesthetics, phenomenology, critical theory, and Christian thought, as well as contemporary developments in queer theory and affect theory. Most recently, he has been working on questions of temporality, memory, history, and vulnerability, specifically as they relate to the early works of Walter Benjamin. Outside of philosophy, he is interested in digital photography, collage art, coffee, and brewing.

Jessica Avery (
Originally from Albuquerque, Jessica received a bachelor’s degree in biology (BS) and philosophy (BA) from the University of New Mexico, where she completed an honors thesis that combined Heidegger and Nietzsche to present an interpretation of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. Her primary areas of interest include 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, philosophy of literature, existentialism, hermeneutics, philosophy of science, ontology, and philosophy of film. She is particularly focused on questions concerning technology, death, authenticity, nihilism, popular culture, and love.

Cameron Coates (
Cameron received his BA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and his MA in Philosophy from Loyola University (Chicago, IL). His research focuses on Greek philosophy (especially ontology, natural philosophy, and political theory). His dissertation investigates Aristotle’s ontology of life. Cameron’s research has appeared in Phronesis and in Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought.

Evan Edwards (
Evan Edwards is a PhD candidate in the philosophy program at DePaul University, where he is currently working on his dissertation, “Nature's Genius: Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, and the Emergence of Political Ecology.” This dissertation seeks to illuminate the roots of contemporary debates over the nature of political ecology in the work of Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. It finds in these two thinkers a presentation of significant attitudes about the ethical and political implications of the developing science of ecology in the nineteenth century. By attending to these attitudes, the dissertation seeks to root out the implicit assumptions that underlie contemporary theorizations about this relationship in order to begin thinking more critically about the question: what kind of claim does (and can) ecology make on practical philosophy (in both politics and ethics)? He teaches in the philosophy, business, liberal arts, and environmental studies programs, where he teaches a range of courses.

Benjamin Frazer-Simser (
Benjamin received his BA from the University of Colorado at Denver, where he studied Ancient philosophy and Spinoza. He earned his MA and PhD from DePaul for his dissertation “A Discourse of the Non-Discursive in Plato and Pseudo-Dionysius. His primary interests are in Ancient philosophy, particular his erotic dialogues. He also focuses on Continental philosophy, phenomenology, and the philosophy of religion.

Jennifer Gammage (
Jennifer earned her BA and MA in Philosophy from The University of New Mexico where she taught college writing courses in the Department of English. She is interested in questions arising at the intersection of philosophies of temporality, history and memory, trauma studies, affect theory, ethics, decolonial thought, and existentialism. Her dissertation argues that models of progressive history and objective, linear historiography not only distort our understandings of selves and worlds, but fail to accommodate those living in the aftermath of trauma. She draws on Nietzsche’s philosophy of history alongside Gloria Anzaldúa’s autohistoria-teoría in order to put forward a concept of history that is essentially anarchic and creative, and to suggest modes of historiography capable of honoring the often violent multiplicity of inheritances contemporary selves grapple with through ethical engagement with the past and present. Jennifer is a former McNair scholar and PIKSI participant, and remains committed to increasing support for those from traditionally underrepresented groups in philosophy and the academy at large. ​

Owen Glyn-Williams (
Originally from Originally from Originally from Toronto, I received a BA in philosophy from McMaster University, and an, I received a BA in philosophy from McMaster University, and an MA from The Center for the Study of Theory and Criticism, at the University of Western Ontario. My MA thesis focused on the attempts made by Hannah Arendt and Jacques Rancire to recover a political logic from Kant's notion of aesthetic judgment. My current interests lie in modern political philosophy, and my research takes up questions of right and force, universality and the partisan, and the specificity of politics from Machiavelli to Marx. I continue to engage with the work of Rancire, as well as that of Michel Foucault.

Liam Heneghan (
Liam is an ecosystem ecologist currently working at DePaul University where he is a Professor of Environmental Science. Heneghan is co-director of DePaul University's Institute for Nature and Culture and is co-chair of the Chicago Wilderness Science Team. His interests are primarily in the relevance of continental philosophy for conservation biology and for ecological dwelling.

Amelia Hruby (
Amelia Hruby received a BA in English and Religious and Ethical Studies from Meredith College (Raleigh, NC) and completed an MA in Philosophy at DePaul University. She works on aesthetics and feminist theory across French and German thought, focusing on the intersection of these two fields in considering what it means to develop a feminist aesthetics.

Thomas Krell (
After completing my MA at the New School for Social Research in 2009, I spent a year as a research assistant in the “Lehrstuhl fr Erkenntnistheorie, Philosophie der Neuzeit und Gegenwart” at the Universitt Bonn. In the fall of 2010, I joined the Department of Philosophy at DePaul. I am writing a dissertation on nihilism and German philosophy in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

Kristina Lebedeva (
Originally from Russia, Kristina works in contemporary ethics, disability studies, phenomenology, trauma theory, and early Chinese philosophy. Her dissertation centers around the question of evil, suffering, and temporality. In all of her work, Kristina continues to engage with the issue of indifference in the face of suffering.

Maureen Melnyk (
Maureen received a BA in philosophy from The University of Alberta and an MA in theory and criticism from The University of Western Ontario, both in Canada. Her main interests include contemporary French philosophy, phenomenology, feminist theory and aesthetics.

Neal Miller (
I received my BA in philosophy and anthropology from the University of Oregon and I am currently an advanced doctoral candidate here at DePaul. My research is in social and political philosophy from a Continental perspective. I am currently wrapping up a dissertation largely based on the philosophy of Michel Foucault, which serves three aims: 1) to define Foucault’s concept of critique as a history of the present and desubjection; 2) to argue for the necessity of his engagement with neoliberalism as a test of critique; and 3) to trace his critique of neoliberalism back to that of anthropology and governmentality in the name of the politics of truth. I am also interested in the critique of political economy, affects and powers of action as they relate to happiness (ethics), struggles around race, class, and gender, and forms of life that counter and pervert their material and semiotic conditions.

Gil Morejón (  
Gil recently defended his dissertation, "Obscurity and Involvement: On the Unconscious of Thought in Leibniz, Spinoza, and Hume." His current research focuses on the metaphysics of ideas, problems in social epistemology, and the philosophy of science, particularly in early modern Europe. He is also interested in contemporary debates concerning political theology and critical theory.

Jeta Mulaj ( )
Originally from Kosova, Jeta received her BA in philosophy from Villanova University and is now a PhD philosophy student and a teaching fellow at DePaul University. Her research focuses on social and political philosophy, especially questions of capitalism, stability, and revolution.

Amanda Parris (
Amanda K. Parris received her BA in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her graduate studies in German idealism, principally Hegel’s Science of Logic, and nineteenth and twentieth century continental philosophy. She then turned to the thinkers of the seventeenth century, focusing on the philosophy of Spinoza, a standpoint which she has never abandoned. Amanda is near completion of her dissertation, entitled “Immanent Causation in Spinozas Concept of Human Freedom.”

Daniel Rosiak (
Daniel Rosiak is a doctoral candidate, currently completing his dissertation “Towards a Classification of Continuity, and the Emergence of Generality”, which covers Aristotle’s Physics and logical works, Duns Scotus and Oresme, Spinoza and Leibniz, Hegel’s Science of Logic, and the mathematical theory of toposes. His main research areas include Ancient and Medieval philosophy, category theory and contemporary (philosophy of) math, and mathematical theories of musical composition. He is also working on a manuscript introducing sheaf theory and topos theory to a wider audience of mathematicians and non-mathematicians.

Rachel Silverbloom (
Rachel Silverbloom is a PhD candidate in the philosophy program. She received her BA in philosophy from SUNY New Paltz in 2014, where she completed an honors thesis on the work and thought of Albert Camus. Since June 2014, she has worked for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, teaching existentialism and ethics to gifted students ages 12–17. Her interests are rooted in existentialism and aesthetics, with connections to critical theory and feminist philosophy. Her current research is exploring the theme of aesthetic redemption, particularly in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor Adorno, Albert Camus, and others.

Jacob Singer (
Jacob received his BA from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and his MA from the University of Guelph (Guelph, ON). His interests include German idealism, Ancient philosophy, and 20th century continental philosophy. He is currently writing a dissertation on Hegel's treatment of the syllogism in light of the ambitions of German idealism at the time.

J.D. Singer (
I’m originally from Long Island, NY. I did my undergraduate work at Muhlenberg College, where I graduated magna cum laude with a BA in philosophy with honors. I was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received the Noel R. and Edith J. Moyer award for achievement in philosophy. I did an honors thesis on Merleau-Ponty’s concept of freedom, in which I argued that Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy solves (or at least dissolves) the traditional problem of freewill. I'm very passionate about teaching, and so far I've taught Introduction to Philosophy, Business Ethics, and Critical Thinking. I specialize in phenomenology, and most of my research is centered in the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, though I have a lot interests that branch out from there. I’m beginning work on my dissertation, in which I will focus on Merleau-Ponty’s account of the relationship between the human and the animal/non-human. I intend to argue that Merleau-Ponty’s account is compelling on its own terms and that it the key to understanding his late, unfinished ontology. Most importantly, I wish to use Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the human/animal relationship - or, more generally, Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy—as the foundation for a genuinely non-anthropocentric account of community and ethical involvement.

Paul Turner (
Before coming to DePaul, I studied the Humanities, Philosophy, and Music at Marshall University (Huntington, W.Va). After receiving my MA in Philosophy at DePaul in 2013, I spent time as an advanced visiting student within the graduate program in Chinese Philosophy at Fudan University in Shanghai, PRC. Presently I am working on my dissertation, a comparative-thematic study of the approaches to a peculiarly generative absence or nothingness common to (I contend) the Daoist classic Zhuangzi and Heidegger’s middle-1930s work. My other interests include ancient Greek thought, phenomenology, deconstruction, philosophy of language (particularly in connection with religion), history and philosophy of science, and Buddhist metaphysics. I have taught a variety of philosophy courses at DePaul and at Guangxi University in the People’s Republic of China, including introductions to both Asian and Western philosophy, business ethics, sex and gender, and multiculturalism. Some of my work has recently been published in the journal Metaphilosophy.

Thomas Floyd Wright (
Floyd is a doctoral candidate at DePaul. He received his BAfrom Seattle University with a major in Philosophy and Political Science. He is interested in the intersection of metaphysics and politics, especially in relation to problems of legitimacy and value in liberal and neoliberal theories of the state. He is currently completing an as yet untitled dissertation that reexamines the systematic role of religion in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit that challenges the dominant interpretive framework for understanding the fundamental principles of the latter’s social theory.​