Lauren Guilmette (Emory University)
The philosophy department at Florida Atlantic University enthusiastically welcomes Professor Lauren Guilmette as a new member of our faculty, beginning Fall 2014.
Professor Guilmette received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Emory University. As a member of the FAU philosophy faculty, Professor Guilmette will be teaching a variety of courses in ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, bioethics, and philosophy of literature, among others.
Professor Guilmette’s dissertation and current research focus on feminism, continental philosophy, and theories of affect in ethics and politics, engaging such figures as Spinoza, Nietzsche, Beauvoir, Foucault, Butler, and Nussbaum. Professor Guilmette is interested in the role of ‘affect’ in ethics and politics because she finds that lasting systemic injustices like racism, homophobia, and misogyny operate as tacitly conscious affect scripts. Hence, people claim that we live in a post-racial ‘Age of Obama’. Yet racially-tinged fear (Stand Your Ground laws, Stop-and-Frisk laws), disgust toward non-normative families, and other toxic affects persist structurally in the ‘scripts’ that we inherit and must, in turn, modify.
Professor Guilmette argues that an ethics that is attuned to histories of oppression must study and intervene upon seemingly automatic habits of feeling, which demand engagement with those half-forgotten stories, assumptions, and associations that frame our perceptions of others. Here, Professor Guilmette follows Michel Foucault’s 1980 claim that, whereas the Christian ethics of a former age worked on desire and whereas Kant’s Enlightenment morality worked on intention, today “the part of ourselves that is most relevant for morality is our feelings.”
While pursuing her doctorate at Emory University, Professor Guilmette taught philosophy at Ursinus College and Spelman College. Her research has been published in such journals as Philosophy Today and the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and she has also presented at numerous professional philosophy conferences.