AOS (Area of Specialization): Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, Stanley Cavell and Ordinary Language Philosophy, Philosophy and Popular Culture, and Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
I studied classics and philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. I also earned a M.A. there with a thesis on Thomas Aquinas. I received my Ph.D. from Duke University (1995), where I wrote a dissertation on the early Jesuit philosopher Francisco Suárez. I have been at Marquette since 1995 and was Chair of the philosophy department from 2005-2013 and was Associate Dean for Faculty in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences until 2021.
My teaching interests include Plato, Augustine, Later Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Marx, Philosophy and Film, and Ordinary Language Philosophy.
I'm also interested in Psychoanalytic theory and am in the Academic Candidate Program at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. I am also pursuing an M.S. degree in Community Psychology at Alverno College.
Ph.D., Duke University
My primary areas of research are 1) Late Medieval and Renaissance philosophy and 2) the philosophical interpretation and understanding of popular culture. In the first area, I've published numerous articles on such thinkers as John Duns Scotus, Suárez, and Jacopo Zabarella (an Italian Renaissance philosopher). My primary philosophical interests in this period involve issues of philosophic method, philosophy of mind, and political philosophy.
In the second area, I've edited Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy (Open Court, 2003) and co-edited (with Jacob Held), James Bond and Philosophy (Open Court, 2006), (with Lynne Edwards and Elizabeth Rambo), Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television (McFarland, 2009), (with Rod Carveth), Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing Is as It Seems (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), (with Jacob Held), Philosophy and Terry Pratchett (Palsgrave-Macmillan, 2014), and (with Kimberly Engels) Westworld and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018). I've also published essays on comic books, the films of Woody Allen, and the Beatles. An emerging third interest is the work of Stanley Cavell and Charles Taylor, and I have written a critical essay on Taylor’s concept of personal identity and authenticity.