Welcome to the web page of

James B. South

Philosophy Department

Marquette University

padua


aldus Teaching and Research Interests


aldus Current Research


aldus Editorial Work


aldus Curriculum vitae


aldus Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy



aldus James Bond and Philosophy

 

aldus Buffy Goes Dark

 

aldus Mad Men and Philosophy


aldus Links of Interest


aldus Some Stuff about Me


aldus Contact Me


Teaching and Research Interests



"I have a class to teach in about five minutes, and I have to arrive early to glare disapprovingly at the stragglers."

My primary areas of research are Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, Ordinary Language Philosophy (especially the thought of Stanley Cavell), and Philosophy and Popular Culture. Much of my research to date in the history of philosophy has focused on issues associated with questions about cognition in later medieval philosophy, for example, intentionality, sensation and knowledge of the singular. The reason for this focus is my suspicion that the precise contours of Descartes' indebtedness to Late Scholastic thought are still not well understood due to a failure to appreciate some distinctive turns made in discussions concerning the intellect in the 15th and 16th centuries. My writing on popular culture--tv shows, music, comic books, etc.--allows me to explore some interests I have in contemporary philosophy, including the social context in which philosophy finds itself. Recent published work includes an essay on Zabarella and regressus theory (in the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal), an essay on comic book heroes and modernity in a volume of essays edited by William Irwin and Jorge Gracia, an essay on the Beatles and the practice of philosophy, and the volumes James Bond and Philosophy (co-edited with Jacob Held), Buffy Goes Dark (co-edited with Lynn Edwards and Elizabeth Rambo) and Mad Men and Philosophy (co-edited with Rod Carveth). For the last nine years, I have edited the journal Philosophy and Theology. I have also begun coursework as an Academic Candidate at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.

I regularly teach undergraduate courses in Social and Political Philosophy. My interests there are directed at the development of the modern tradition of political thought from Machiavelli to Mill and the criticism of that tradition begun by Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and others. I also regularly teach a course on the history and philosophy of crime and punishment. I have recently developed several new courses. One, "Philosophy and Popular Culture," explores several philosophical issues associated with popular culture, while also looking closely at various ways of thinking about the discipline of philosophy. Another, "Philosophy and Film," takes as its central text Stanley Cavell's Cities of Words. Another, "Conceiving the Subject," look at various texts from 20th century literature and thought to see how we can best approach the vexed question of the notion of 'the subject.' I am especially concerned in this course with making problematic the notion of 'authenticity' by focusing on several challenges stemming from the work of Freud, Wittgenstein, Adorno, and others. On the graduate level, I often teach a Plato course, specialized courses on Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ("Franciscan Philosophy," "Humanism and Platonism in the Renaissance"), and a course on Marx and Moral Theory. Most recently, I developed a course on the thought of Cora Diamond and Stanley Cavell. For many years I have taught a freshman seminar in the honors program on the work of Joss Whedon.

return to main menu


Current Research



"Uh ... is this all research, or just some kind of stress test for the table?"

Work in progress includes essays about Thomas Aquinas on sensation, Nicoletto Vernia and regressus theory, and a long essay on intentionality in Zabarella and Suárez. In addition, I have begun work on an essay exploring Stanley Cavell's use of the notion of "baptism" and, more generally, his indebtedness to the thought of the early Martin Luther. I'm also finishing up work on an essay on Veronica Mars and scepticism and am co-editing a book (with Jacob Held) on the British novelist Terry Pratchett. Looking to the slightly more remote future, I am engaged in a project on the early work of Cavell more generally, especially his books on Walden, some essays in Must We Mean What We Say?, and The World Viewed. I have also begun thinking about the relation between Cavell's perfectionist ethics. psychoanalytic thought, and the novels of Thomas Pynchon.

return to main menu


Editorial Work



"You know, inspirational music ... a montage, me sharpening my pencils, me reading, writing, falling asleep on a big pile of books with my glasses all crooked, 'cause in my montage I have glasses."

I am the editor of the journal Philosophy and Theology

I am on the editorial board of Slayage:The International Online Journal of Buffy Studies

return to main menu


Links


"I go online sometimes, but ... everyone's spelling is really bad, and it's ... depressing."

The Marquette Philosophy Department Web Site

Scholasticon: A web site devoted to later Scholastic Philosophy

The Renaissance Society of America

The Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

The Medieval Academy of America

Société Internationale pour l'Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale

Whedonesque: A web site dedicated to news about Joss Whedon's shows/movies

Academic Buffy Bibliography

PopPolitics.com: A site that explores the intersections of pop culture and politics

American Association of University Professors

And, for your Philosophy Gift-Giving needs:

The Unemployed Philosophers' Guild

return to main menu


Some Stuff about Me

"Yes, he's clearly a bad influence on himself."

Several years ago, I read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, a book that confirmed to me that
you can tell a lot about a person by what he or she likes. So in an homage to
Rob's obsessive list making, here's a few top five lists to help you get to know me.

Top Five Aimee Mann Songs

5) Lost in Space
4) Put Me on Top
3) Amateur
2) Little Bombs
1) Momentum


Top Five Comic Book Heroes

5) Jessica Drew (Spiderwoman)
4) Luke Cage
3) Dinah Lance (Black Canary)
2) Nick Fury
1) Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)


Top Five Xena Episodes

5) The Ides of March
4) The Xena Scrolls
3) A Day in the Life
2) Is There A Doctor in the House?
1) Girls Just Want to Have Fun


Top Five Woody Allen Movies

5) Crimes and Misdemeanors
4) Deconstructing Harry
3) Hannah and Her Sisters
2) Husbands and Wives
1) Annie Hall


Top Five Current TV Shows

5) Person of Interest
4) The Venture Brothers
3) Homeland
2) Justified
1) Mad Men


Top Five Comic Books

5) Astonishing X-Men
4) Powers
3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2) Runaways
1) Birds of Prey (Gail Simone)


Top Five Terry Pratchett Novels

5) Wyrd Sisters
4) Small Gods
3) Jingo
2) Carpe Jugulum
1) Hogfather

Top Five CDs in Heavy iPod Rotation

5) Matthew Sweet & Susannah
Hoffs-Under the Covers(both volumes)
4) Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
3) Joe Williams-At Newposrt '63
2) Dave Brubeck Quartet-Take Five
1) Claudine Longet-Colours


Top Five Burt Bacharach Songs

5) One Less Bell to Answer
4) A House is not a Home
3) Don't Make me Over
2) Walk on By
1) The Look of Love



return to main menu


Contact me

"740? Verbal?! I'm... pathetic! Illiterate! I'm Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel."

James B. South
Department of Philosophy
Marquette University
PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

E-mail:james.south@marquette.edu
Phone: (414) 288-6729

return to main menu


The quotations are, of course, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Last updated 10/18/2013