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Bio / C.V.



LEIGH M. JOHNSON
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Assistant Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy
Christian Brothers University
650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104

EDUCATION
2007               Ph.D., Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University
                          (Doctoral Minor, African and African American Studies)
2003               M.A., Philosophy, Villanova University
2000               B.A., Philosophy, University of Memphis
PRIMARY RESEARCH AND TEACHING AREAS
Areas of Specialization:                                                                   Areas of Competence:
Social and Political Philosophy                                                           Interdisciplinary Humanities
Theoretical and Applied Ethics                                                           History of Philosophy
Feminism, Gender Studies, and Queer Theory
Contemporary European Philosophy
Race Theory/Postcolonial Studies/Human Rights


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2014-         Assistant Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Christian Brothers  University and Graduate Instructor, Memphis College of Art 

2007-14     Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Rhodes College

2004-06             Instructor, Department of Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University

2002-03             Teaching Assistant, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University


PUBLICATIONS

Johnson, Leigh M. “Terror, Torture and DemocraticAutoimmunity.” Philosophy and Social Criticism 38.1 (January, 2012): 105-124.

Johnson, Leigh M.  “Transitional Truth andHistorical Justice: Philosophical Foundations and Implications of the SouthAfrican TRC” International Studies in Philosophy 38.2 (Fall, 2008): 69-107.



WORKS UNDER REVIEW or IN PROGRESS

Haunted Democracy, Manuscript

Weak Humanism, Manuscript

“Race, Gender and the Uncanny Valley” Article

“Reason and Racism,” Article

AWARDS

2011               Center for the Outreach and Development of the Arts (CODA) Grant for the “American Values Project” (www.americanvaluesproject.net)

2010               Creative Advance Planning (CAP)-Mellon Study Leave (Fall semester)

2010               Hill Grant for Curricular Development, Project Title: “Blogging in the Classroom: Utilizing New Media to Develop Writing-Intensive Courses,” Rhodes College

2009               Faculty Development Award, Project Title: “Weak Humanism,” Rhodes College

2008               Faculty Development Award, Project Title: “Terror, Torture and Democratic Autoimmunity,” Rhodes College

2007               College of Liberal Arts and Humanities Initiative Award (semester-long funded research release), The Pennsylvania State University

2007               University-wide Outstanding Teaching Award, The Pennsylvania State University

2006               Department of Philosophy Teaching Award, The Pennsylvania State University

2006               College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in Research in the Humanities, The Pennsylvania State University

2006               Institute for the Arts and Humanities Research Residency Award, The Pennsylvania State University

2003-07             Graduate Teaching Fellowship and Graduate Scholar Award, The Pennsylvania State University

INVITED/CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

2014            "Knowledge is Power" #BlackLivesMatter Teach-In, Christian Brothers University

2014              “How Philosophy Can Respond to Racism” Invited lecture, University of Toledo

2014               “Race, Gender and the Uncanny Valley” Invited lecture, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, 7 February

2013               “The Racist in a Culture of Racism is Normal” Invited lecture for The Ethics and Semantics of Racial Language Symposium, University of Mississippi, 4 October

2012               “The Racist in a Culture of Racism is Normal: What Frantz Fanon and the Philosophy of Race Can Teach Us About the Trayvon Martin Case” Invited lecture for the African-American Studies “Brown Bag” Lecture Series, April 2, Rhodes College

2011               “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Preamble of Promises” Keynote Address for the Mid-South Model United Nations Conference

2011               “Weak Humanism” Presentation for Think Tank: A Collaboration of Artists and Philosophers (Omaha, NE)

2010               “The Geometry of Racial Identities: Spinoza, Nietzsche and Sullivan” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) Annual Meeting.  McGill University (Montreal, Quebec)

2010               “Racial Passing and the Uncanny Valley” Invited lecture for African-American Studies “Brown Bag” Lecture Series, April 19, Rhodes College

2010               “Human Rights and Weak Humanism” Keynote Address for 12th Annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, April 9-10, Creighton University  

2009               “Rethinking Alienation and Humanism” Author-Meets-Critics Session devoted to Dr. Amy Wendling’s Karl Marx on Technology and Alienation, American Philosophical Association (APA), Eastern Division Meeting

2009               Heroes, Scapegoats and ‘Good’ Liberals: The Complicated Operations of Race in Post-Obama America” Invited lecture for the Gloria Anzaldua Speakers Series,  November 23, The University of Texas- Pan-American

2009               “Terror, Torture and Democratic Autoimmunity” Tri-State Philosophy Symposium, Hendrix College

2009               “The Gaza Conflict” International Studies Program Forum, Rhodes College

2008               “Reason and Racism” Invited lecture presented for the Philosophy Department at The University of Memphis

2008               “Why Gender Is So Troublesome” Invited (inaugural) lecture for Women’s History Month at The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

2007               “Violence: The American Tradition?” Presented for the American Studies Colloquium, Rhodes College

2007               “Political Forgiveness (if there is such a thing)” Invited paper presented for the Philosophy Department at Trinity College (Hartford, CT)

2006               “The Uses and Abuses of the Race/Sexuality Analogy,” Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) Annual Meeting

2006               “Conditional and Unconditional Forgiveness: What’s Happening at the South African TRC?” Presented for the Philosophy Department at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

2005               “Truth and Reconciliation: South Africa’s Transition to Multiracial Democracy,” Society for Social and Political Philosophy Panel, American Philosophical Association (APA) Eastern Division Meeting

2005               “A ‘barely conscious reaction’? Arendt, Africa and Colonial Hearts of Darkness,” Discernment in Dark Times: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Work and Influence of Hannah Arendt, The Pennsylvania State University

2004               “Transitional Truth and Historical Justice: Philosophical Foundations and Implications of South Africa’s Model for Racial Reconciliation,” Presented for the California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race, University of San Francisco

2003               “Opening Up Possibilities: Figuring Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Politics,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton Research Conference, Villanova University

2003               “Derrida, Ethics, Psychoanalysis,” Response to Stephan Bird-Pollan, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Graduate Student Conference, Villanova University

2002               “Can we save the dialectic for political thinking?” Philosophy in Progress Series, Villanova University

2002               “Resignification and the Possibility of Political Agency: Confronting the Foreclosed Life in Judith Butler,” Philosophies of the Self: Metaphysical, Epistemological, Moral: Fordham University Graduate Student Conference, Fordham University

2002               “Refiguring the Bodily Schema: Fanon and Merleau-Ponty,” Response to Dr. Heath Massey, Race and Philosophy: Graduate Student Conference, Villanova University

2002               “Fanon and the Problem of Racialized Sexuality,” The Mid-South Philosophy Conference, University of Memphis

2002               “Iris Marion Young and Identity Politics,” Response to Dr. Christa Lebens, The Mid-South Philosophy Conference, University of Memphis


CONFERENCES ORGANIZED

2010               Tri-State Philosophy Symposium at Rhodes College

2009               Executive Planning Committee for Scholars in Critical Race Studies Conference: “The Obama Phenomenon” at The University of Memphis

2009               Executive Planning Committee for Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Gender Studies Conference: “The Personal is Still Political” at Rhodes College

2008             Executive Planning Committee for Scholars in Critical Race Studies Conference: “Global Civil Rights” at The University of Memphis

COURSES TAUGHT

Introduction to Philosophy                                          Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Contemporary Moral Problems                                   Philosophies of Power
Social and Political Philosophy                                   Humanism and Human Rights
Philosophy and Film                                                   Existentialism
Ethics                                                                         Philosophy of Race
19th C. Philosophy                                                      Humanism and Human Rights
History of Theory and Criticism                                  Feminist Philosophy
Derrida’s Later Works                                                 Liberalism and Its Critics
Search for Values (Gilagamesh through Aristotle)
Search for Values (Renaissance to the present)

HONORS THESES DIRECTED

2010   Mark Wadley (Philosophy ‘10).  Thesis Title:  ‘”This Is A Work of Fiction’: Rethinking Philosophy and Literature”


RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS DIRECTED

2013              Andrea Tedesco (Philosophy, ’15), Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies Project Title: “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: The Skewed Logic and Problems with Abstinence-Only Education”

2013              Carrie Cobb (Philosophy, ’16), Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies Project Title: “The Drumbeat of Memphis: Reducing Youth Handgun Violence One Child, One Gun and One Community at a Time”           

2012              Omolola Ajayi (Religious Studies ’15), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “Who Is the Man in the Mirror?: Homosexuality, Blackness and the Complexities of Intersectional Identity”

2012              Ryley Erhardt (English ’12), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “You May Not Get There With Me: How the Memphis Civil Rights Movement Left the LGBT Community Behind”

2012              Tanner Evins (Philosophy ’13), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “What Makes a Memphian a Memphian?: An Existential Analytic”

2011-12         Colin Fleck (Philosophy ’12), The American Values Project

2011              Ben Curtis (Philosophy ’12), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “Owning Our Understanding of Property Rights: Coupling Marx’s Critique of Capitalist Political Economy and Butler’s Understanding of Community with a Kantian Moral Framework”

2011              Sarah Holland Bacot (Gender and Sexualtiy Studies ’13), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “How to Say Gay: An Analysis of the Relationship between Queer Theory and the Contemporary LGBT Rights Movement”

2011              Jack Clark (Sociology ’12), Rhodes Institute for Regional studies Project Title: “The Human Right to Education”


PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

American Philosophical Association (APA)

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

Society for Social and Political Philosophy (SSPP)

philoSOPHIA


OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

Curator-at-Large, Public Philosophy Journal

Faculty Advisor, NAACP Student Chapter, Christian Brothers University

Executive Committee, Rhodes College African-American Studies Program

Executive Committee, Rhodes College Gender and Sexuality Studies Program

Educational Program Committee, Humanities Division Representative (2012-15)

Rhodes Model United Nations (Expert session on Human Rights), 2011 and 2012

Rhodes Scholarship Symposia, 2012-13

Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, Summers 2011-2013


External Reviewer, International Journal of English and Literature

Sabbatical Replacement Search Committee, 2010, Philosophy Department, Rhodes College

Committee to Review 2nd-year Search for Values Program Curriculum, 2010, Rhodes College

Rhodes Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts Advisory Committee, 2009-12

Tenure-Track Search Committee, 2009, Philosophy Department, Rhodes College

Neal/Shewmaker Awards Committee, 2009-10, Rhodes College Search for Values Program

Tenure-Track Search Committee, 2008, Philosophy Department, Rhodes College

Participant, Douglass Seminar (curriculum planning seminar for Rhodes’ Search for Values Program), Summers 2008-2010
·         Session Leader, “Teaching Kant” (2009, 2011)
·         Session Leader, “Blogging in the Classroom” (2009)
·         Curriculum Review Committee for “Classical Greeks, Hellenistic Greeks, Jews and Romans” (2008-2010)

Creator and Author (since 2006), ReadMoreWriteMoreThinkMoreBeMore


Curriculum Committee, 2008-10, Rhodes College Gender and Sexuality Studies Program

Participating Faculty, OPEN RHODES (Summers, 2008-2012)
·         Session Leader, “Majors in the Humanities”

Participating Faculty, Rhodes College American Studies Program

Participating Faculty, Rhodes College Search for Values in Light of Western History and Religion Program

Executive Committee, Scholars in Critical Race Studies (SCRS)

Faculty Advisor, Rhodes Radio, 2007-2011

Faculty Advisor, Rhodes Students Engaged in Global Activism (SEGA), 2007-2009

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