Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Office:
Salisbury Laboratories, 330
Phone: +1-508-831-5215
Fax: +1-508-831-5932
jmcweeny@wpi.edu

Jennifer McWeeny

Jennifer McWeeny is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities and Arts Department. Her training in philosophy is pluralistic in nature, engaging work from a variety of schools and traditions including Continental philosophy, analytic philosophy, feminist philosophy, and Asian and comparative philosophies. Philosophers who have influenced her thinking in profound ways include Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, William James, Zen Master Hakuin, Galen Strawson, Margaret Cavendish, and María Lugones. She also has professional interests in literature, neuroscience, and Gestalt therapy.

In her research, Professor McWeeny primarily studies the role that our embodiment plays in the production of knowledge, perception, intentionality, and emotion. She is especially interested in theorizing the cognitive aspects of pre-reflective experience; considering the ways that placing different kinds of bodies at the center of philosophical analysis alters our traditional accounts of phenomena; and analyzing how the categories of gender, race, sexuality, and species emerge in experience as a primary means of categorizing and understanding bodies. She also studies the hermeneutical questions that arise when bringing the perspectives of multiple cultural, social, and intellectual traditions together in dialogue.

Professor McWeeny was recently interviewed by the academic journal Hypatia about her recent article "Topographies of Flesh: Women, Nonhuman Animals, and the Embodiment of Connection and Difference." In this video interview, she also discusses her comparative philosophical method, how she came to call herself a feminist, why she sees veganism as a feminist issue, and the need for creative feminism that goes beyond critique of dominant ontological paradigms. The interview can be accessed here:

http://www.hypatiaphilosophy.org/Editorial/feminist-philosophy-connections.html

Research Interests

  • Phenomenology and Continental philosophy
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Epistemology and philosophy of science
  • Asian and comparative philosophy

Education

  • BA, Biology and Philosophy (double-major), The Colorado College, 1998
  • MA, Philosophy, University of Hawai’i, Manoa, 2000
  • MA, French Language and Literature, University of Oregon, 2003
  • Graduate Certificate, Women's and Gender Studies, University of Oregon, 2003
  • PhD, Philosophy, University of Oregon, 2005

Featured Publications

  • Asian and Feminist Philosophies in Dialogue: Liberating Traditions, edited with Ashby Butnor (Columbia University Press, 2014).
  • "Topographies of Flesh: Women, Nonhuman Animals, and the Embodiment of Connection and Difference," Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 28:4 (2014).
  • “The Feminist Phenomenology of Excess: Ontological Multiplicity, Auto-Jealousy, and Suicide in Beauvoir’s L’Invitée,” Continental Philosophy Review 45:1 (2012): 41-75.
  • “Sounding Depth with the North Atlantic Right Whale and Merleau-Ponty: An Exercise in Comparative Phenomenology,” Journal for Critical Animal Studies 9:1-2 (2011): 144-166.
  • “Liberating Anger, Embodying Knowledge: A Comparative Study of María Lugones and Zen Master Hakuin,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 25:2 (Spring 2010): 295 -315.
  • “Origins of Otherness: Non-conceptual Ethical Encounters in Beauvoir and Levinas,” Simone de Beauvoir Studies 26 (2009-2010): 5-17.

Professional Highlights

  • Winner of Honorable Mention in Hypatia’s Diversity Prize for her article "Topographies of Flesh" 
  • Former Executive Secretary of the Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy
  • Member of the Feminist Philosophy Advisory Board to the Pluralist Guide in Philosophy
 
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