Ken A. Parsons
Chair, Religious Studies & Philosophy
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D. Michigan State University
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Social & Political Philosophy, Violence & Power, Critical Theory &
AREAS OF COMPETENCE
Philosophy of Technology, Feminist Philosophy, 19th & 20th Century
European Philosophy, Ethics, Bioethics
Dr. Ken Parsons joined the department in August 2008 from his previous teaching positions at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI (2007-08) and SUNY-Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY (2005-07). He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Michigan State University in May 2004. His research currently focuses on the philosophical problems of how we represent phenomena of violence and how we exercise moral judgments about it, in particular as these problems relate to mass violence. In this arena, the questions being addressed are: What is it that is under consideration for reflection when one "thinks clearly about violence"? How are philosophers to represent and reflect upon phenomena that in its most concrete manifestation is an experience of harm and suffering? How does one frame the historical realities of violence in ways which make violence salient for those it is being represented for? He has presented his research in South Korea, Hungary, Canada and Rome, Italy, most recently with the Society for European Philosophy/Forum for European Philosophy.
He teaches courses within the areas of Value Theory (Social-Political Philosophy, Ethics), Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Technology and co-teaches interdisciplinary courses which integrates Philosophy and other academic perspectives/methodologies (Music, Media & Film Studies, and Social Work). This Spring he will travel to India with Professor Francis Origanti (Social Work), 11 students, and two other faculty for a course on social justice. In addition to coursework on social justice in India and Catholic Social Teachings, students will have the chance to learn more about Indian cultural traditions, study some history and perspectives in various parts of the country, and engage in community-based work and learning.
Starting in the Fall of 2013, Dr. Parsons will be transitioning into a new position as Director for the Center of Global Studies & Social Justice. He will retain his departmental affiliation and will still teach one course per semester, but will no longer be chair of the department.