Katherine Kirby, PhD Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Global Studies

Katherine Kirby


Ph.D., Fordham University (Philosophy)
M.A., Fordham University (Philosophy)
B.A., Salisbury University (Philosophy)

Areas of Expertise:

Ethics (including the philosophical ethics tradition, metaethics, applied ethics), Emmanuel Levinas (French postmodern ethicist), Global Studies, Community-Engaged Learning (Working toward expertise in Critical Race Studies & Philosophy of Resistance)

Courses I Teach:

  • Radical Love, Liberation, & Justice
  • Power, Resistance, & Race
  • The Art of Living, Aging, & Dying
  • Truth & Propaganda
  • Otherness and Marginalization
  • Society, Identity, & Race
  • Philosophy and the Good Life
  • South Africa Study Trip: Resistance, Revolution, & Representation
  • Guyana Study Trip: A Study in Solidarity
  • Advanced Integrations: Equity Studies and Peace & Justice

My Saint Michael’s:

I’ve become a huge proponent of service-learning courses, wherein there is practical engagement with the community that breathes a certain life into the texts we read and discuss. I find that service-learning opportunities set the stage for a close philosophical (phenomenological) exploration of our lived experiences, especially in courses that challenge students to think about ethical or moral responsibility and engagement.


Research Interests:

  • Ethics (theoretical and applied ethics)
  • Equity studies (including philosophical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, disability, age, poverty, gender, sexuality)
  • Philosophy of oppression, resistance, and liberation
  • Community-engaged learning
  • Engaged Buddhism
  • Global studies

Selected Awards + Recognition

  • Norbert A. Kuntz Service Award, 2019
  • MLK Society Appreciation Award, 2017
  • Vermont Campus Compact Award for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching, 2011


Life Off Campus:

Outside Saint Michael’s I enjoy hikes, playing with my dog Abigail, movies, cooking, selected television shows, and spending time with friends and family.

Recent News

Recent Presentations

“The Body Speaks!: Reflections on Body Language and the Power & Limitations of Zoom in Transformative Pedagogy,” presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the North American Levinas Society (Remote Video-Conference, July 20-23, 2020).

“’But I’m Not Racist!’: Denial, Fragility, & the Desire for Invulnerability,” presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the North American Levinas Society (Drake University, July 23-26, 2019, Des Moines, Iowa).

“The Idolatry of Individualism & the Cultural Violence of Indifference,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Concerned Philosophers for Peace (Loyola Univ., Oct. 22-24, 2015, Baltimore, Maryland).

Academic Conference Organization

“The Face and the Interface: Levinas, Teaching, and Technology,” Remote Video-Conference for the 15th annual meeting of the North American Levinas Society, Chair of organizing committee, July 20th-23rd, 2020.

Recent Publications

“Review: Intercultural Dialogue: In Search of Harmony in Diversity,” in Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 39, no. 1 (December 2017).

“Cultivating Responsible Global Citizenship: Philosophical Exploration & Service-Learning in Guyana,” in Experiential Learning in Philosophy (Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy, 2016).

“Push, Pull, and Reverse: Self-Interest, Responsibility, and the Global Health Care Worker Shortage,” co-authored with Patricia Siplon, in Health Care Analysis, vol. 20, no. 2 (2012).