PhD Students

Hamad Mohamed is a third-year doctoral student studying German Idealism, particularly in terms of conceptions of logical laws, concepts, propositions, syllogisms, and the relationship between logic and metaphysics. He is also interested in social and political philosophy, particularly Marxism and its relationship to German Idealism. 
EVA BOODMAN   Eva Boodman is a second year doctoral student with interests in social and political philosophy, metaphysics, Critical Theory and German Idealism. She has undertaken several projects on the politics of memory, including a Masters thesis on Walter Benjamin, as well as research on Jurgen Habermas and the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Eva has a particular interest in the relationship between politics and metaphysics, and maintains a soft spot for Aristotle, the concepts of virtuality and illusion, and several 20th century French thinkers.
Continental ethics, feminism, aesthetics, queer theory, Irigaray
Philosophy of religion, epistemology (particularly theories of justification),  hermeneutics, Neo-pragmatism
MATTHEW COATE   Ethics and subjectivity
Levinas, Heidegger, phenomenology, ancient philosophy, environmental philosophy, materiality, joy
BRENDAN T. CONUEL   Brendan T. Conuel is a first-year PhD within the Philosophy Department. Trained as an astrophysicist, he is interested in philosophy of science and the application of thermodynamic information theory to philosophy of mind problems. Other interests include philosophy of religion and philosophy of sexuality, with a particular focus on Nietzschean and psychoanalytic approaches.  
An alumnus of the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University, Robbie is a first-year doctoral student interested in organicism, nominalism, automata theory, dystopian finance.
Awareness, perennial patterns of metaphysical thought
Metaphysics, epistemology, Greek philosophy, Heidegger
Social and political philosophy, 20th century continental philosophy, feminism, postcolonialism
Harrison Fluss' areas of research include Spinoza, German Idealism, Marxism, and Critical Theory. Currently, he is focusing on the connections between Spinoza and Hegel, and how Hegel's critique of Spinoza helped to shape later developments in the history of philosophy and contemporary debates. 3rd Year.
Ancient philosophy, rhetoric, phenomenology
Phenomenology, literature
My dissertation research engages theories of embodiment and social identity in feminism and the critical philosophy of race, focusing on habit as a conceptual thread to explore stereotypes and implicit bias. In addition to an undergraduate course on habit I designed for PHI 101 "Concepts of the Person," other original syllabi that I have created reflect teaching interests in politics, ethics, and feminism, as well as Caribbean and Africana thought. Forthcoming Publications: "Rethinking Habit" in Feminist Interpretations of William James. Accepted for publication.
Contemporary French philosophy, philosophy of science & technology, political philosophy
"My primary research interests are in Husserlian phenomenology and philosophy of mind. I also have strong secondary interests in philosophy of science, metaphysics, and Heidegger. Currently I am investigating points of contact and mutual enrichment between phenomenology and analytic philosophy of mind, in particular emergentist models of consciousness. My hope is that phenomenological resources can help resolve some of the lingering problems of emergentism and provide a better model for downward causation. In addition, I believe such a project would be fruitful for the philosophy of science in general and provide grounds for situating metaphysics vis-a-vis the natural sciences." Program status: 2nd year
Miles Hentrup is a second-year PhD student in the Philosophy program at Stony Brook. Miles works primarily on the history of philosophy (especially Kant and German Idealism) and social and political philosophy (especially Critical Theory). He is currently exploring the relationship between late modern philosophy and ancient skepticism.
Radical dialogue, phenomenology, feminist theory
Travis Holloway is a 5th year Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in the Philosophy Department at Stony Brook. His dissertation research focuses on democracy and post-structuralist thought in France, and on the theme of the "voice" in philosophy, literature, and political thought. Since 2011, he has pursued, simultaneously, both the writing of his dissertation and a Master of Fine Arts degree at New YorkUniversity, where he is currently the Goldwater Fellow in Poetry and teaches Creative Writing. He has also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and the Universität Freiburg in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. His recent work has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, Symposium, on C-SPAN's Book TV, and in the co-authored book, _Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America_ (OR Books, 2011), and he is currently translating a book by Jean-Luc Nancy.  
Phenomenology, ancient philosophy, literature, philosophy of art
I am a fourth-year PhD student. I am interested in contemporary and 20th Century continental philosophy and philosophy of place; I am currently focusing on the role of emplaced and embodied experience in the constitution of abstract thought.
ADAM ISRAEL   Third Year.  Radical political philosophy with an emphasis on the Marxist tradition, Critical Theory, and questions of temporality/nonsynchronism.  Decolonial Philosophy.  Philosophy of Pedagogy, especially popular education.  Comparative Political Philosophy.  Philosophy of History.  History of Left politics, especially the history of European colonialism, the rise of the modern international-state system, and the history of labor unions.  History of Philosophy, especially Aristotle, German Idealism, Nietzsche, and twentieth century French philosophy.  Questions involving the intersection of politics and aesthetics.  Metaphor theory.  Poetics.
AMIR JAIMA   Born in Antigua West Indies, Amir Jaima studied philosophy at Swarthmore College before entering the philosophy doctoral program at Stony Brook University (SBU) in 2009. His interests are in ethics, aesthetics, africana philosophy, ancient philosophy, 20th century French philosophy, and literature. With the support of the Turner Fellowship program, he is currently working on his dissertation, tentatively titled, "Questionable Form: an inquiry into the relationship between philosophy and literature." Other areas of research include (post)racial discourses and analysis, cosmopolitanism, and contemporary feminism. Having been a fourth grade teacher in a "past life", Jaima is also passionate about teaching. Currently he teaches an introductory philosophy course for the Stony Brook Educational Opportunity Program, as well as for the SBU philosophy department. Additionally, Jaima is an aspiring novelist, and has a number of working "side-projects" that both inform and are inspired by his philosophical work.
Social and political philosophy, Luhmann's systems theory, governmentality studies
Contemporary French philosophy, continental and feminist ethics, comparative religion, ancient philosophy
Existential Phenomenology, Technoscience, Radical Empiricism, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Aesthetics
Ancient philosophy, epistemology, moral psychology, German Idealism, phenomenology, hermeneutics
SCOTT KRAVET   Scott Kravet is an 8th year ABD. His research interests span the History of Philosophy, 20th Continental Philosophy (Phenomenology, Existentialism, Post-Structuralism), Ancient Greek Philosophy (focusing on the Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle), Social and Political Philosophy (focusing on Ancient through Modern) and Early Modern Philosophy including British Empiricism. My current project brings together Deleuze's aesthetics in his logic of sensation with Levinas' ethics of alterity in the face-to-face encounter. The project explores how Deleuze reinvents major concepts of British Empiricism and applies them to the concept of the head in his study of the painter Francis Bacon. At the same time, this reinvention of empiricism is applied to Levinas and his work on the face, the sculpture of Sacha Sosno and alterity. A further goal is to explore the possibility of a Levinasian ethics in a Deleuzian aesthetics. Scott is also a 4th year News Fellow in the School of Journalism. He helps to develop curriculum for an international program initiated at Stony Brook University at the Center for News Literacy to teach students to critically engage journalism (i.e. critical thinking, basic logic, applied epistemology) and understand the role of journalism in a society. Scott is also interested in pedagogical issues such as the use of comedy and poetry in the classroom and innovative ways of exploring the ethics of cheating, plagiarism and grade manipulation.
WESLEY MATTINGLY   I am a third-year doctoral student specializing in twentieth-century continental thought with focus on environmental philosophy and the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. This term I will be defending my dissertation proposal, provisionally entitled "Passageways: Groundwork for an Ecstatic Ecology." In it I argue that an environmental ethics of responsibility must be grounded in a phenomenological poetics of ecological response-ability couched most primitively in terms of affectivity. This analysis is accompanied by a study of backcountry trailwork (and earthwork more broadly) based on my three-year apprenticeship in this trade under the employ of the National Park Service in Yosemite, California. Each chapter is devoted to specific instances of this work: the practice of digging swales for diverting water runoff, dry stonemasonry, fire-gathering, campsetting, and hiking. In the process I seek to illustrate how the reduction of these practices to the application of instrumental protocols dictated by a deliberative, anthropocentric set of interests obfuscates how the seasoned laborer in-habits or dwells in the trail and its environs by becoming responsive to the intentional thickness of its sedimented traces: the corporeal, placial, organic, and elemental marks of passage accrued to the earth over time. In addition to my research in eco-phenomenology, this project will extend my ongoing work on art and finitude (viz. natality and mortality).  
Theories of the subject and of memory in psychoanalysis, phenomenology, ethics, and feminist thought
Ali Mohsen is a second year doctoral student in the philosophy department. Ali is mainly interested in metaphysics and epistemology within the fields of phenomenology, Islamic philosophy, and ancient philosophy.
Phil is a second year doctoral student with an interest in the Philosophy of War, or at least the ethical situation and responsibility with respect to warfare, especially insofar as it implicates civilians and soldiers. Other interests include phenomenology, embodiment philosophy, and existentialism.
History of philosophy, ethics, political philosophy
Helen Ngo is a 4th year doctoral student in Philosophy. Her areas of interest include phenomenology, existentialism, social, legal and political philosophy, and feminist ethics. She is particularly interested in questions of race and gender, immigration, power and resistance, being-with and community, as well as phenomenological analyses of the body and technology. Helen is currently working on a dissertation which examines the bodily experience of racism and racialisation. On the one hand, her dissertation will employ phenomenological analyses of the body to think through embodied forms of racist praxis, namely, the expression of racism on the registers of bodily habit, posture, and lived spatiality. On the other hand, it will also explore tensions between the phenomenological conception of the body as 'lived', familiar, and inconspicuous, and the experience of one's body as visible and overdetermined, in the case of those who experience their bodies as racially objectified.
MARIA PRADO   Foucault, Nietzsche, political theory, cultural analysis, queer feminism
JESSICA SIMS   Jessica Sims is a third-year doctoral student. She has completed an MA in the Philosophy program at the University of Oregon. Her current research focuses on questions in ancient philosophy, existentialism, and philosophy of technology. In particular, she is interested in the various ways that technologies can shape an individual's sense of self and the political consequences that this technological influence has on the formation of communities In addition to Jessica's research and teaching responsibilities, she is also serving a three-year term as the graduate assistant to the Co-Organizers of SPEP.
OLI STEPHANO   A second-year PhD student in Philosophy, Oli Stephano is fascinated by questions of affectivity, temporality, and ethics. In particular, he is interested in how a Spinozist attention to what a body can do might inform both ecological thinking and queer and feminist thought respectively. When it comes to ontologies of nature and ecological ethics, he wonders: can we rethink ecosystemic transformation through the lens of affect and capacity? How can an attention to the virtual potencies of all kinds of earthly bodies transform our present such that it can sustain more affirmative futures? With regards to theories of sexual difference and desire, how might we recast questions of embodiment, intimacy, and sexual ethics? Accordingly Oli is looking forward to doing more research in biophilosophy and neo-vitalist approaches to materiality. His passionate engagements with Spinoza, Bergson, and Deleuze will, G-d willing, converge with his explorations of Chassidic thought in doctoral research on immanence, monism, and multiplicity.
JENNY STRANDBERG   My name is Jenny Strandberg and I am a third year student in the PhD program here at Stony Brook University. I completed my MA in Philosophy and the Arts (Stony Brook Manhattan) in 2010, where I developed an interest in the history of philosophy. In 2012, I completed my Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. My research interests are in ancient philosophy and the way it intersects with modern studies of women and gender, as well as environmental ethics and politics. I am particularly interested in Plato's philosophy, and currently working on new ways of thinking about environmental problems through the Republic. 
DANIEL SUSSER   Social and political philosophy, philosophy of technology, feminist philosophy
RACHEL TILLMAN   My dissertation is about how the concept of health is determined. I am interested in providing a substantial account of health that gives adequate credit to the physiological or biological bases of the concept. I bring Deleuze and Aristotle into conversation with feminist theory and bioethics to put forth an account of how dynamic materiality actively shapes what we can mean by health, as well as how such a robustly defined concept of health can help us address longstanding political and epistemological quandaries about how to promote health in just and differentiated ways. Prior projects include work on embodied and naturalized ethics, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of education. I am currently ABD and in my 5th year.
DANIEL UCKO    My interests are in philosophy of science, particularly physics, with an emphasis on the social and political perspective, bringing in relations of trust and validation of scientific progress, for instance through mechanisms such as peer review. I am also interested in scientific communication and dialogue not only between scientists but also with the public, which I view as very much a two-way street. (Second Year)
PATRICK J. WELSH   Fifth year doctoral student. Broadly speaking, my areas of interest are German Idealism, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of literature. My research focuses on the role of art in modernity, critically revising some of Hegel's claims in his lectures on fine art with particular reference to the novel. This involves assessing often ambitious claims about the historical achievement of rational self-transparency, the satisfaction of our supposedly highest spiritual aspirations, the social foundations of modern individuality, the threat of false consciousness--and just what art has to do with any of these decidedly philosophical questions.
SOREN WHITED   Soren Whited is a 3rd year doctoral student working primarily in the areas of modern political philosophy and Critical Theory. Soren’s current work focuses on modern articulations of the concept of freedom, particularly those of Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Marx, as well as the legacy in the 21st century of radical Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thought more generally.
Ancient philosophy (esp. Aristotle), history of metaphysics, political movements, music
The organic metaphor in 19th & 20th Century ethical & political thought, the intersection of aesthetics and politics, imagination
The ethical & the political, phenomenology, philosophy of the animal
Department of Philosophy      Harriman Hall 213, Stony Brook, NY 11794     Phone: (631) 632-7570
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