You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Philosophy & Religion Graduate Students & Research Interests

Select Graduate Student Profiles

Olasimbo Akinfeleye

Hometown: Prince George's County, MD

Intellectual interests: Postcolonial philosophy, Eastern philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Ethics, Ethics of care, Global Ethics, Epistemology, Biopolitics/biopower, Peacebuilding, International conflict resolution, Human rights, Religion and violence.

Fun fact: I do not have a favorite color.

Rhys Allison

Hometown: Springfield, VA

Intellectual interests: Queer and Trans philosophy, decolonial ethics, disability philosophy, deconstruction, continental philosophy, history, how eugenic logic shapes our current world, ontology, relations between the body and society, Derrida, and Agamben

Fun fact: I recently finished the second draft of a fiction book I'm writing (based on Romeo and Juliet, focused on a trans boy Tybalt) and am working on the first draft of a middle grade fantasy project.

Giovanna Calderon

Hometown: Long Island, New York

Intellectual interests: Ethics, Human Rights, Latin American Philosophy, Immigration Policy, Critical Race Theory.

Fun fact: I have met two Supreme Court Justices: Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer.

Lucas Franco

Hometown: Morris County, NJ

Intellectual interests: Democratic theory informed by care ethics and phenomenology.

Fun fact: I was AU's principal orchestral tubist for three years as an undergraduate.

Joo Lee

Hometown: Vienna, VA

Intellectual interests: Phenomenology, Pragmatism, Buddhism, East Asian Philosophy, Ethics, Critical Race theory, post-modernism.

Fun fact: I am a painter.

Austin Oliver

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

Intellectual interests: I am interested in the ways in which the work and thoughts of early 20th century existentialists/phenomenologists interact with a variety of other philosophical disciplines.

Fun fact: I am planning to pursue a PhD in Philosophy after graduating from AU.

Charié Payne

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Intellectual interests: African Spiritual Philosophy, Womanism, Black Feminism Care Ethics, Ethics, Moral Psychology, Anti-blackness, Afropessimism, Afrofuturism, Black Liberation Theology, Critical Race Theory, Ontology, Epistemology, Phenomenology of Embodiment, Continental Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Levinas.

Fun fact: I love banana-flavored things but I hate the actual fruit. Something about the texture I just cannot get with.

Gisela Rosende

Hometown: Miami, FL

Intellectual interests: Critical race theory, gender-based violence and understanding the social determinants of health.

Fun fact: I’ve been to 48 states!

Sarah Salkowski

Hometown: Fenton, MI

Intellectual interests: Ethics, ethics of care, social epistemology.

Fun fact: I’m a Christmas Eve baby.

Nadine Yassin

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Intellectual interests: Existentialism, political philosophy, phenomenology, critical race theory, metaphysics, philosophy of mind.

Fun fact: I'm in the process of learning my fourth language.

Recent Qualifying Papers by MA Students

  • “Necessary Tension: A Response to Creative Etiquette"
  • “A Caring Education: The Cure for the Neoliberal Self”
  • “Trans Experience, Narrative Inquiry, and Playfulness”
  • “The Invisibility of a Black Father’s Touch: Perceptions of Black Male Flesh and the Phenomenology of Embodied Care”
  • “All Is Fair in Care and War: Care Ethics for Artificial Intelligence in US War Strategy”
  • “The Self-Defeat of John Rawls; the Self-Defeat of Ideal Theory”
  • “Womanist Love Ethic: Anti-Blackness, Womanism, and the Foundation of Care”
  • “Revised Revisionism: The Necessity of Epistemic Inclusion in Historical Revisionism”
  • “Abolition Feminism: Disrupting the Spacetime(s) of Disposability”
  • “Ubuntu, Disability, and Access to Education”
  • “Everybody Can’t Be Included: The Desire for Linguistic Belonging”