Hello and welcome to my website! I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the 2017-20 Rice Family Fellow in Bioethics and the Humanities at The Hastings Center. I am also a core faculty member of the interdisciplinary Disability Studies minor and the Global Studies doctoral program, and I am currently the co-director of a 2-year NEH Public Humanities grant project, “The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability and Technology,” with Erik Parens.
My work centers on the relationship between bodies, values, and society, and its effects on wellbeing. I am especially concerned with the meaning of disability and the issue of ableism, and how philosophical inquiry into each might improve the lives of people with disabilities and the justness of institutions ranging from medicine to politics. Towards this aim and working to bring reflective and empirical studies together, my research occurs at the intersection of bioethics, philosophy of disability, social epistemology, and 19th-20th c. Continental and American philosophy (esp. phenomenology and neopragmatism). I also draw heavily from feminist philosophy (esp. care ethics), philosophy of medicine, and the ethics and philosophy of technology.
I am the author of Ethics After Ableism: Disability, Pain, and the History of Morality, forthcoming with The University of Minnesota Press in 2019. With Christine Wieseler, I am co-editor of The Disability Bioethics Reader, which is under contract with Routledge. It will be the first introduction to the field of bioethics that centers the experiences of people with disabilities and is grounded in research from critical disability studies and philosophy of disability. With Erik Parens, I am also co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of The Hastings Center Report on the theme: “The Weight of Genomic Knowledge.” This issue takes a critical, historical, and intersectional approach to enduring ethical, legal, and social implications of clinical and consumer genomics.
In addition to a series of articles, my current research is building towards two book-length projects: one on the meaning of ability (currently entitled Ability Trouble) and another exploring the phenomenological and political dimensions of care (currently entitled The Promise of Care). Other ongoing work includes studies on the intersection of hermeneutic phenomenology, narrative medicine, and clinical practice, ableism as a form of epistemic injustice, care ethics and the “duty to know,” the history of modern medicine and bioethics, disability-related ELSI research in genomics, and the role of epistemologies of ignorance in healthcare delivery.
Articles and commentaries of mine have appeared in journals including The American Journal of Bioethics, AMA Journal of Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Levinas Studies, Chiasmi International, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. Book chapters of mine have or will soon appear in volumes including The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling, 50 Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology, Applying Nonideal Theory to Bioethics, Philosophy of Disability: New Perspectives, and Disability and American Philosophy. My public philosophy has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, HuffPost, AEON, and a Tedx talk. I am also a regular contributor to the researcher-led news outlet The Conversation.
I received my PhD and MA in Philosophy from Emory University and my BA in Philosophy as well as Religious Studies from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. My doctoral research was supported by fellowships from Emory University, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. My postdoctoral research was carried out at The Hastings Center and supported by the NEH.