The Department of Philosophy is delighted to announce the arrival of Dr. Aminah Hasan-Birdwell whose research reevaluates the history of philosophy, the history of political thought, and notions of race and gender in the early modern period. A significant amount of her present research attends to marginalized figures in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her chief research sheds light on previously unattended-to figures’ responses to the theoretical and ethical discussions on war (domestic and international) and on slavery’s conditions and justification. This enables her to discuss the intersections of slavery, war, race, and gender.
Philosophically, war and slavery are conditions that highlight struggles to define the nature of freedom, human agency, the function of law, and justice. She believes the task is not only to account for the ways philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have justified these conditions of human bondage but also to spotlight discourses that challenged them through metaphysical and moral arguments on human nature.
Currently she is finishing a book project that treats early modern women philosophers’ ethical and political responses to the Thirty Years’ War, the Fronde, and the English Civil War, as well as their challenges to dominant thinkers at the time. Her second project focuses on providing the conceptual grounds for slave narratives to be considered a philosophically significant genre.