Research. I began graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University in fall 2018, after completing my BA in philosophy and BS in neuroscience at Saint Louis University. I’m currently working on my dissertation, which puts forward a social constructivist theory of emotion to show how oppression can be manifest as what we often think are simply our natural or innate emotional responses. I argue that our emotions – as a class of mental states – are actively constructed sites of our mind capable of not just reflecting, but enacting various projects of oppression. In subsequent chapters following this theory, I trace out three enactments which instantiate how oppressive ideology corrupts how we come to learn which emotions we’re feeling, which emotions are appropriate, and what actions they license.
Depressing as this is, I chose this line of research because it matters that the human tolls of oppression – even when they concern our oft-fleeting mental states – are recognized and don’t go unseen. It is terrible to be the victim of a cruel and oppressive world that you, alone, have little say over; but it can seem equally terrible when you feel that no one sees or cares to understand any of the incredibly complex and trying mental currents that wage war within you. We owe a lot to victims of oppression, and for me, this debt requires that we are as honest and clear-eyed as possible about how and why oppression works its harm as it does within the minds of the oppressed. It is also my hope that this project has more straightforwardly practical payoffs, insofar as a deeper and shaper understanding of how oppression can find its way into our emotions equips us to fight back and leverage their power in our struggle for a freer, more flourishing world.
Methodologically, within philosophy, my work draws across domains of philosophy of emotion, philosophy of mind, social epistemology, Marxism, and feminist philosophy; and more broadly, I aim to incorporate as much insight as possible from cognitive science, psychology, social movement theory, literature/film, radical political theory, and on-the-ground politics & organizing as I can within it. I am incredibly grateful to have Susanna Siegel as my main advisor and mentor throughout graduate school.
Teaching. I began teaching in fall 2020, and have since taught as a Teaching Fellow (TF) for four courses in the philosophy department — Existentialism in Literature and Film w/ Prof. Sean Kelly, Happiness w/ Prof. Susanna Rinard, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason w/ Prof. Samantha Matherne, and Philosophy of Mind w/ Prof. Cheryl Chen. I additionally have three years of experience as a Writing Consultant at Saint Louis University Writing Services.
Service. I currently serve as a Trustee of the Harvard Graduate Student Union (HGSU-UAW Local 5118). From 2020-2021, I served as a co-chair of HGSU’s Contract Enforcement & Education Committee, and from 2019-2020, I served as the philosophy department steward. Within the department, I helped restart our department’s MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) chapter and served as an Organizational Committee member for 3 years, alongside other climate and social initiatives. I’m also proud to currently be serving my second year as a graduate director of PIKSI-Boston.
For woefully out of date information in pdf form, please see my CV (I promise to update this soon!):