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New PhD Students

2022-23 Entering Cohort

  • Michael Agrella I was born in Santa Clara, California and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I received my BA from Belmont University in philosophy with a French minor. I am interested primarily in 20th and 21st century (particularly French) Continental Philosophy such as phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. I have also been interested in German Idealism and Marxism. At the moment I am particularly intrigued by the connections between psychoanalysis, German Idealism, Marxism, and the natural sciences.

  • Hyomeen Keem  I am an international student and earned my B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at Jeonbuk National University in South Korea. I first became interested in the process of logic and the topics of metaphysics, so I decided to study more deeply about existence itself. I was drawn to the fact that things can be identical or different depending on how we define existence. So, I thought I should deal with the concept of identity first, and I wrote my master’s thesis about identity. After receiving my M.A., I became interested in emerging social issues in Korean society, so I decided to enter a Ph.D. program to analyze the phenomena with philosophical approaches. Looking at this issue, I realized men and women have different ideas or notions about feminism, and each gender has different ideas about the existence of women and men. Of course, men and women literally exist on this earth, but, looking at the gender conflict in Korea now, I have felt that the ‘way’ of that existence is different. The main goal of my research is to explain the ‘way’ of existence by studying philosophy about existence with Gender and Women's Studies.

  • Nash Meade I was born just south of Cincinnati and lived there until I was thirteen, at which point my family moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which is just south of Nashville. I got a double-major B.A. in English and philosophy at Middle Tennessee State University. My philosophical interests thread the line between my two disciplines. I am primarily interested in what I have taken to calling the "philosophy of narrative," which encompasses how different narrative forms teach us and how we interact with various narrative forms. Specifically, I am interested in the philosophy of games and games as an emerging philosophical space. In keeping with the theme, I am interested in connecting the above ideas to both ancient and existential notions of "life as play." When I am not doing academics, I enjoy gaming for pleasure (instead of for school), reading and writing poetry, and hiking.

  • Paradise Stanford Detroit, Michigan is my home but I have spent the past 7 years in Kentucky. During which time I attended Georgetown College where I earned a dual BA in English Literature and Philosophy. As a junior, I studied classical Greek and Roman mythology while studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I am also the recipient of UK’s 2022 Cralle Fellowship. My philosophical inspiration is W.E.B. Du Bois and as such, I understand myself to be a proto-critical theorist. My critiques of society are meant to turn theories into practice by referring to the past to improve upon the present and bring about a better future. Accordingly, my studies are centered around social and political philosophy, American Pragmatism, and critical theory, as well as philosophy of race, law, and embodied cognition. When I am not studying ways to bring about economic justice and social change, I enjoy spending time with my family, spoken word poetry, and crime documentaries.

  • Tara Toth I was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (the home of little league), but I resided in Pittsburgh for the past four years where I attended Duquesne University’s Honors College. Throughout my time there I earned two BAs in Philosophy and Communication Studies with minors in Psychology and Intercultural Engagement. I was also the 2022 recipient of the Excellence in Philosophy Award and nominated for the Liberal Arts General Excellence Award for my philosophical honors thesis on Camus’ Absurdism. My philosophical areas of interest are rooted in the continental tradition, but I am interested in exploring additional areas outside of my comfort zone. I came here focused on the ancient areas of death, eschatology, ethics, and the pedagogical value of the Socratic elenctic process along with the phenomenological areas of ontology and alterity. Though over the summer I have seriously taken up media ecology and the philosophy of technology which I gave a conference paper on back in June as well as ecophilosophy and the philosophy of trauma as it relates to women experiences of sexual harassment and assault. I also find myself increasingly interested in theodicy, eugenics, and temporality. When I don’t have my face shoved between the pages of a book, I enjoy being outdoors whether its playing with my two pits Tank and Kisses, hiking, camping, or grilling out back. Other hobbies of mine include sports, music, poetry, and travel (something I don’t get to do enough of).