DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Philosophy > About > Graduate Student Bios

Graduate Student Bios

Kieran Aarons (sketchyproposal@yahoo.com)
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 (vildeaav@gmail.com)
Vilde received her B.A. from the University of Oslo, Norway, and her M.A. from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Germany. She originally came to DePaul University on a Fulbright Flagship Scholarship to write her M.A. 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.


Cameron Coates (ccoates@depaul.edu)
Cameron received his BA from St. John's College (Annapolis, MD) and his MA in Philosophy from Loyola University (Chicago, IL). His research focuses primarily on Ancient Greek ontology and natural philosophy. In particular, he is interested in questions about matter and materiality in Aristotle's thought.

Evan Edwards (evan.scott.edwards@gmail.com)
Evan Edwards studied philosophy, gender studies, and mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, receiving his B.A. in 2011. He is currently a graduate student in the philosophy program at DePaul University, where he is working on a dissertation on Walt Whitman’s understanding of the way that poetry can attune the body to recognize and evaluate the social and natural world. His research interests include early German Romanticism, Marxian/Marxist political economy, American Transcendentalism, the reception of Hegel in America, and, more broadly speaking, the influence of 19th century German philosophy on American thought and ‘common sense.’ He writes for 3 Quarks Daily, and contributes to the City Creatures blog at the Center for Humans and Nature. He lives in Chicago with his partner and their son.

Benjamin Frazer-Simser (btfrazer-simser@att.net) 
Benjamin received his BA from the University of Colorado at Denver, where he studied Ancient philosophy and Spinoza. He earned his MA and Ph.D. 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 (jgammage@depaul.edu)
Jennifer earned her BA and MA in Philosophy at University of New Mexico. Her interests, broadly construed, unfold at the intersections of phenomenology, hermeneutics, and ontology within 19th and 20th century German thought, especially Heidegger and Nietzsche. She is currently working on questions regarding methodological approaches to personal and communal histories, and ways in which our  comportment toward the past cultivates and informs interpretive and ethical practices and narrative understandings of trauma. In addition to her work in philosophy, Jennifer co-edits In Progress, an interdisciplinary journal of graduate studies, and works on initiatives aimed at expanding channels of access and support for underrepresented groups within the academy.

Owen Glyn-Williams (owen299@gmail.com) 
Originally from Toronto, 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 (lhenegha@depaul.edu) 
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 (hrubyaj@gmail.com)
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 (tkrell@depaul.edu)
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 (kvlebedeva@gmail.com) 
Originally from Russia, Kristina got her BA and MA from DePaul University. Her current research interests include trauma theory, psychoanalysis, Marxism, critique, and phenomenology. Her present work centers around the relationship between thought and trauma.

Maureen Melnyk (maureenmelnyk@yahoo.com) 
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 (nmille11@depaul.edu)
I received my B.A. 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
(gdmorejon@gmail.com)
After receiving his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Villanova University, Gil joined the department of philosophy at DePaul in 2011, where he received his MA in 2013. His areas of research include early modern philosophy and social epistemologies, including intersectional Marxism and feminist philosophies of science. He is currently writing his dissertation, entitled "The Genesis of Belief and Miraculous Ascription", in which he seeks to outline a theory of unconscious determination and a project of ideology critique based on the work of Spinoza, Hume, and Leibniz.

Amanda Parris (aparris@depaul.edu)
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."

Rachel Silverbloom(rsilverbloom@gmail.com)
Rachel Silverbloom 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 deeply rooted in existentialism and aesthetics, with particular attention to thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Adorno. Of late, she is focusing on questions of indirect communication, silence, and incomprehensibility."

Jacob Singer (jsinger8@depaul.edu )
Jacob received his B.A. from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and his M.A. 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 (Jsinger4@DePaul.edu) 
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 (paul.m.turner@gmail.com) 
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 (tfwright@gmail.com)
Floyd is a doctoral candidate at DePaul. He received his B.A. from 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.