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We Mourn the Loss of Professor Pleshette DeArmitt

It is with great sadness that the Department of Philosophy announces the sudden passing of Professor Pleshette DeArmitt, Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis. 

Professor DeArmitt was a beloved teacher, mentor, and colleague. A leading scholar in the philosophical work of Julia Kristeva, Prof. DeArmitt joined the department in 2006, after holding visiting appointments at Grinnell College and Villanova University. She received her MA and PhD from DePaul University and her BA from Duquesne University. She had served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy since 2013.

Among her many honors and leadership positions, Prof. DeArmitt was a 2010 recipient of the American Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, awarded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She also served as the President of Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française (SAPLF) and on the Committee on the Status of Women for the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP).

Prof. DeArmitt's research and teaching interests included contemporary continental philosophy, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and social and political thought. She regularly taught undergraduate courses in feminist theory and 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy. She taught graduate courses on Rousseau’s moral psychology, Freud’s metapsychology, Kristeva's philosophy of bios, and themes in contemporary continental philosophy.

Prof. DeArmitt published scholarly articles on Derrida, Kofman, and Kristeva in journals such as MosaicParallaxPhilosophy TodayResearch in Phenomenology, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy. She was the author of The Right to Narcissism: A Case for an Im-possible Self-Love (Fordham University Press, 2013) and the co-editor of Sarah Kofman’s Corpus (SUNY Press, 2008). 

She is survived by her husband, Kas Saghafi, also Associate Professor of Philosophy, and her beloved daughter Seraphine.

Friends are invited to celebrate her life on Saturday, April 18, with a visitation beginning at 10.30am and a memorial service to follow at 11.30am at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. The family requests memorials be sent to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38119, "Behind the Stone Wall."

The obituary is available here.


Pleshette DeArmitt



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Last Updated: 4/15/15