Department of Philosophy



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Lisa Guenther

Professor Lisa Guenther's was one of only three successful proposals in the Principal's Dream Course competition. The program is to enhance existing undergraduate courses to encourage undergraduate research and inquiry. Funds are awarded for the development of sustainable courses that enhance the learning experience. 

Professor Guenther's will develop PHIL 276, Critical Perspectives on Social Diversity. Her starting point is Indigenous scholar Eve Tuck's call to suspend “damage-centered research” that relies on pain and injury for its theory of change, and to cultivate a “desire-based research” that affirms the “complexity, contradiction, and the self-determination of lived lives”. Rather than focusing on the victimization of oppressed groups, desire-based research and pedagogy supports the agency of people in diverse social locations to survive, resist, refuse, and cultivate resurgence. The course will develop a critical toolkit of concepts and methods for desire-based research on race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability, in conversation with primary texts and theoretical reflections on recent social movements such as Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, #MeToo, and movements for queer and trans liberation, disability rights, prison abolition, and radical ecology. Students will work in active-learning groups to create a collective project on a specific social movement, and they will also be guided through an inquiry-based process to develop their own individual research paper. Scholar-activists Eve Tuck, José Medina, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor will be invited to campus to share their perspectives with students.