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Verena Erlenbusch

Verena Erlenbusch (Ph.D., University of Sussex) joined the department in 2013. Before coming to Memphis, she taught at St. Mary's University and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. In spring and summer 2011, she was a Visiting Scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Verena's main research lies at the intersection of political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and continental philosophy. Specifically, she brings to bear Foucault's genealogical method on the phenomenon of terrorism. As a consequence, her research interests extend to the methodological import of Foucault's work for political philosophy, the significance of race in current conceptions of terrorism, and sovereignty, power, and violence in modern and contemporary continental philosophy. Verena's work is also concerned with questions of diversity and inclusive pedagogy in philosophy.

In January 2015, Verena participated in a series of blog posts on Foucault's relationship with neoliberalism on the humanities blog An und Für sich. You can read her contribution here.

During the 2014/15 academic year, Verena will be teaching Values in the Modern World, Philosophy of Law: Critical Race Theory, a graduate seminar on the history of sovereignty, as well as Advanced Reading and Research: Foucault and Race. In 2013, she taught Values in the Modern World, Philosophy of Law, and Philosophy in Literature: Kafka and German-Jewish Philosophy.

Verena serves as Director of Placement and as the pre-law Faculty Affiliate Advisor for the Philosophy Department.

Personal website

Recent & Forthcoming Publications

"Foucault's Sad Heterotopology of the Body." philoSOPHIA: A Journal in Continental Feminism 6 (2) (forthcoming).

“Foucault und die Realitätsbedingungen leiblicher Erfahrung” (Foucault and the Conditions of Existence of Embodied Experience). In Leib - Körper - Politik, edited by Thomas Bedorf and Tobias Klass. Velbrück Wissenschaft, 2015 (forthcoming).

"Terrorism: Knowledge, Power, Subjectivity," in Terrorism as Practice: Using Critical Methodologies for the Study of Terrorism, edited by Jacob Stump and Priya Dixit. Routledge, 2015 (forthcoming).

How (Not) to Study Terrorism.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (4), 2014, 470-491.

"The place of sovereignty: mapping power with Agamben, Butler, and Foucault,” Critical Horizons 14 (2013): 44-69.

“The concept of sovereignty in contemporary continental political philosophy,” Philosophy Compass 7 (2012): 365-75.

Recent & Upcoming Presentations

“Terrorism and Colonialism: Lessons from the Algerian War.” Roundtable: Diagnosing the Contemporary: Critical Genealogies of the Present (with Ladelle McWhorter, Paul Rabinow, Colin Koopman, Andrew Dilts, and Kevin Olson), American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. September 3-6, 2015.

"Outlines of A Genealogy of Terrorism." Roundtable: Deploying Genealogy - Designs for Critical Political Inquiry (with Colin Koopman, Andrew Dilts, Kevin Olson, and Nikolas Kompridis), Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting , Las Vegas, NV. April 2-4, 2015.

Commentary on Kimberly Engels, "Emotion and Deadly Force: A Sartrean Phenomenological Analysis of ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws." APA Central Division Meeting, St. Louis, MO. February 18-21, 2015.

“Against White Philosophy in Blackface” (with Luvell Anderson). AAPT and APA Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession session on Inclusive Philosophy Pedagogy: What Is It and How Do We Achieve It?, APA Central Division Meeting, St. Louis, MO. February 18-21, 2015.

“Law Is for White Terrorists.” Political Science Brown Bag Series. University of Memphis (Fall 2014).

“How (Not) to Study Terrorism.” Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities Brown Bag Talk, University of Memphis (October 2014).

Commentary on Bonnie Mann, Sovereign Masculinity: Gender Lessons from the War on Terror, 53rd Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, New Orleans (October 2014)

“Beasts, Monsters, Barbarians: The Racial Dimensions of Terrorism.” California Roundtable for Philosophy and Race, Marquette University (September 2014)

Contact Details
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Office: 314 Clement Hall
Phone: 901-678-3485
Fax: 901-678-4365
Email: vrlnbsch<at>memphis<dot>edu
Personal website
Office Hours (Spring 2015): By appointment.
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Last Updated: 3/13/15