Philosophical Perspectives on Care

NEH Summer Institute for Higher Education Faculty, July 7th–29th, 2022



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Elizabeth Brake is a Professor of Philosophy at Rice University. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Philosophy. She has held visiting Fellowships at the Murphy Institute at Tulane, the University of Warwick Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Colorado at Boulder Center for Values and Social Policy.  She holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews.

Brake’s research is primarily in feminist ethics and political philosophy. Her book, Minimizing Marriage: Marriage, Morality, and the Law, develops a radical proposal for marriage law reform. She has published in journals such as Ethics, Journal of Moral Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Social Theory and Practice, Kantian Review, and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. She is currently working on two new projects: one on the state’s role in disaster response, and one on bad behavior in relationships.


Tamara Metz is an Associate Dean of the Faculty, and Associate Professor of Political Science and Humanities at Reed College. She is the author of Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State and the Case for Their Divorce (Princeton University Press, 2010), co-editor of Justice, Politics, and the Family (Paradigm Press, 2014) and has published work in various edited volumes and journals including Contemporary Political Theory, Politics & Gender, Social Theory and Practice, Journal of Politics, The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, and The Nation. 

Visiting Faculty


Asha Bhandary is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iowa. A political philosopher and feminist ethicist, she is author of the monograph Freedom to Care: Liberalism, Dependency Care, and Culture (2020), several articles on liberalism, care, culture, race, and bioethics, and co-editor of Caring for Liberalism (forthcoming 2021). Her new project is a monograph preliminarily titled Being at Home, which further develops the theory of liberal dependency care to address the bodily implications of racist microaggressions and intersectional caregiving expectations.   


Stephanie Coontz is Director of Research and Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families. A Professor Emerita at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, she has authored seven books on marriage and family life, including A Strange Stirring: ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and American Women at the Down of the 1960s, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (revised and expanded edition, 2016), and Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, which was cited in the US Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. She also edited American Families: A Multicultural Reader.

A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Coontz has also taught at Kobe University in Japan and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Recent awards include The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Work-Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Instituten and an honorary doctorate from Muhlenberg College. She has also received the Council on Contemporary Families first-ever (and only) "Visionary Leadership" Award and the Dale Richmond Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for her "outstanding contributions to the field of child development." More information on Stephanie can be found at


Amelia DeFalco is Associate Professor of Medical Humanities in the School of English, University of Leeds. Her current research project investigates representations of caregiving by animals, inhuman creatures and technology in literature, film, and television. She is Co-I of the Wellcome Collaborative Project “Imagining Technology for Disability Futures” ( and PI of the Arts and Humanities Research Council project “Imagining Posthuman Care.” Her publications include, Imagining Care: Responsibility, Dependency, and Canadian Literature (University of Toronto Press 2016), Uncanny Subjects: Aging in Contemporary Narrative (Ohio State University Press 2010), and essays on aging, care, disability and the posthuman. 


Maxine Eichner is the Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC School of Law. She writes on issues at the intersection of law and political theory, focusing particularly on families, social welfare law and policy, gender, and the relationship among the family, the workplace, and market forces. She is the author of two books, The Free-Market Family: How the Market Crushed the American Dream (and How It Can Be Restored) (OUP 2020) and The Supportive State: Families, Government, and America’s Political Ideals (Oxford, 2010), as well as an editor of Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (eds. Ellman et. al., Lexis, 2014), a lead author of the families chapter of the International Panel on Social Progress, and has written many law review articles. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an advisor of The Restatement of the Law: Children and the Law project.

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Daniel Engster is a Professor of Political Theory and Ethics and the Director of the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership at the Hobby School of Public Affairs. He is the author of The Heart of Justice: Care Ethics and Political Theory (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Justice, Care, and the Welfare State (Oxford University Press, 2015), and co-editor (with T. Metz) of Justice, Politics, and the Family (Routledge, 2013) and (with M. Hamington) of Care Ethics and Political Theory (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is currently working on a project on relational politics.

Screen-Shot-2020-10-02-at-1.34.39-PM.png Eva Feder Kittay is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Philosophy at Stony Brook University/SUNY. Her  pioneering work on interjecting questions of feminism, care and disability (especially cognitive disability) into philosophy. She was President of the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division, has received an NEH and Guggenheim Fellowship and her latest book Learning from My Daughter: The Value and Care of Disabled Minds (Oxford University Press, 2019) was awarded the PROSE prize for the best book in philosophy in 2020.


Camisha Russell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and a Co-Editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Her primary research and teaching interests are in Critical Philosophy of Race, Feminist Philosophy, and Bioethics. Her first book, The Assisted Reproduction of Race was published by Indiana University Press in 2018). Other recent publications include “Rights-holders or refugees? Do gay men need reproductive justice?" in Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online (2018), a chapter on Eugenics in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race (2017), "Questions of Race in Bioethics: Deceit, Disregard, Disparity, and the Work of Decentering" in Philosophy Compass (2016) and "The Race Idea in Reproductive Technologies: Beyond Epistemic Scientism and Technological Mastery" in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2015).


Alex Sager is Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Portland State University. His work in the philosophy of migration includes Against Borders: Why the World Needs Free Movement of People (Rowen and Littlefield, 2020), Toward a Cosmopolitan Ethics of Mobility: The Migrant's-Eye View of the World (Palgrave, 2018), and the edited collected The Ethics and Politics of Immigration (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).


Mary Lyndon (Molly) Shanley is Professor Emerita of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair at Vassar College. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is author of Feminism, Marriage and the Law in Victorian England (Princeton, 1989); Making Babies, Making Families: What Matters Most in an Age of Reproductive Technologies, Surrogacy, Adoption, and Same-Sex and Unwed Parents (Beacon, 2001); Just Marriage, ed. D. Chasman and J. Cohen (Oxford University Press, 2004); co-editor respectively with Carole Pateman, Uma Narayan, and Dan O’Neill and Iris Young of anthologies of feminist theory; and numerous articles on gender, family law, and ethical issues in reproductive medicine and law. In her local community she leads a weekly women’s writing group at the Dutchess County Jail and sings in Cappella Festiva, a community chorus.


Gina Schouten is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Her research interests are in the areas of political philosophy and ethics, focusing on matters of justice and political legitimacy. She has written about educational justice and gender justice, and about whether political liberalism can constitute an adequate theory of legitimacy. Her recent book, Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor, argues that the state may legitimately enact social policy aimed at promoting a gender-equal sharing of domestic and unpaid caregiving work, even consistent with the constraints of liberal neutrality. Her current project consists in a series of papers in which she explores and defends a conceptual picture of political normativity that employs two distinct concepts of justice: an aspirational concept of justice that is one source of value for assessing a social arrangement, and a verdictive concept that gives judgments about which social arrangements have most value all things considered.


Dr. Anika Simpson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morgan State University.  She has dedicated the majority of her career to teaching at an Historically Black University, where she has invested in the work of institution building through the establishment of MSU’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities program and marshaled full university support for MSU’s LGBTQ+ communities through the creation of the LGBTQ+ Presidential Advisory Council. She also serves as Board Co-Chair for the National LGBTQ Task Force and serves as a Commissioner for Washington, DC’s Office of Human Rights.  Dr. Simpson is currently completing a monograph entitled Single Black Mother: Queer Reflections on Marriage and Racial Justice, under contract at Oxford University Press.


Allison Weir is a Canadian social and political philosopher who researches and writes about critical theories of freedom, identity and power, feminisms and gender, Indigenous philosophies, decolonizing theories, global care chains, and theories of intersections of gender, race, class, and religion. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. Allison Weir co-founded the Institute for Social Justice in Sydney, Australia, where she was Research Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Social Political Thought, until the Institute closed in late 2018. Before moving to Australia she held a tenured professorship in Philosophy and in Women and Gender Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. She has held visiting positions at Concordia University in Montreal, the New School in New York, the University of Dundee, Scotland, and the University of Frankfurt, Germany. Her book, Decolonizing Freedom, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2021. She is the author of Identities and Freedom (Oxford) and Sacrificial Logics (Routledge), as well as many articles in books and journals including Hypatia: An International Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Philosophical Topics, and Critical Horizons.