Our faculty members are known internationally for their research and teaching. As a student in our graduate program, you may work with any of the scholars in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion. The below selection of faculty members provides a snapshot of our particular expertise and interests in science, technology, health, and medicine.
A principal reason Professor Campbell came to OSU was that he saw Oregon as a social laboratory for many of the difficult ethical issues in medicine. He has authored numerous articles on the controversial Oregon Death with Dignity Act and on the Oregon Health Plan. He also authored papers for the National Bioethics Advisory Commission on the ethical questions of human cloning and of research on human tissue. His most recent book is Bearing Witness: Religious Meanings in Bioethics (2019).
Sharyn Clough teaches courses in the study of knowledge, especially scientific knowledge. Her research examines the complex ways in which science and politics are interwoven, and the notions of objectivity that can be salvaged once this complexity is acknowledged. More recently she has been investigating the importance of basic peace skills for deliberation about science policy. She is the author of Beyond Epistemology: A Pragmatist Approach to Feminist Science Studies, and the editor of Siblings Under the Skin: Feminism, Social Justice and Analytic Philosophy.
Rob Figueroa focuses on environmental justice issues. With Sandra Harding, he co-edited Science and Other Cultures: Issues in the Philosophies of Science and Technology. His current transdisciplinary research continues to be with Latinx communities in the US; in addition to, indigenous populations addressing joint-management of National Parks and environmental heritage, as well as refugee populations in terms of environmental and climate refugees, conditions in refugee camps, and relocated communities. He consistently draws upon environmental identity, heritage, cultural continuance, and restorative empathetic relationships.
Jacob Darwin Hamblin writes about the history and politics of science, technology, and environmental issues. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Science, Salon, and The American Scientist, and his peer-reviewed essays have appeared in Isis, Diplomatic History, Environmental History, Technology and Culture, and many other academic journals. His books include Oceanographers and the Cold War (2005), Poison in the Well: Radioactive Waste in the Oceans at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age (2008), and Arming Mother Nature: the Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism (2013).
Trina Hogg is a specialist in African history and legal history. She is writing a book about Sierra Leone, including the impact of rail technology on African lives in the early twentieth century. She is developing courses that touch on the history of technology in African and environmental history, and teaches on a graduate seminar on the history of science and Africa.
Stephanie Jenkins received her dual Ph.D. in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Her dissertation, Disabling Ethics: A Genealogy of Ability, argues for a genealogy-based ethics that departs from traditional bioethical approaches to disability. Her research and teaching interests include 20th century continental philosophy (especially French), feminist philosophy, disability studies, critical animal studies, and ethics. She is also the creator of the first Phish Studies conference, held at OSU in 2019.
Professor Kaplan came to Oregon State University in 2003. Prior to his position at OSU, he served as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a Lecturer in Philosophy at Stanford University, and was a post-doctoral fellow with the Stanford University Biomedical Ethics Center’s Program in Genomics, Ethics and Society. He is the author of Making Sense of Evolution (co-authored with Massimo Pigliucci) and The Limits and Lies of Human Genetic Research.
Professor Kopperman teaches courses on the history of medicine and other topics, including the popular “Why War?” course. His research focuses on British history, 1500-1800; British military, 1650-1800; Enlightenment medicine; and the Holocaust.
Flo joined the OSU faculty in 1977. Her primary research field is aesthetics. Her scholarly writing has appeared in such journals as Philosophy and Literature, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Persistence of Vision, and in anthologized collections. Flo teaches courses in introductory philosophy, aesthetics, and metaphysics and created the department’s course in “Art and Morality.” She was a winner of the 1987 American Society for Aesthetics essay competition and wrote a series of op-ed essays for the Portland Oregonian on art and morality during the public-funding controversies of the 1990’s. Her present project examines the aesthetics of the Hubble photographs and how they reflect, and help to shape, contemporary appreciations of nature.
Ben Mutschler’s research and teaching interests include Colonial and Revolutionary America, the history of family and household, the history of poverty and welfare, the history of disease, and most recently the history of disability.
Linda Richards focuses on courses and research connected to peace activism, war, and issues connected to nuclear energy and disarmament. She is a winner of the Phyllis Lee Award for commitment to social justice. Her essays have been published in Peace & Change, Distillations, and Historia Scientiarum. She is the co-PI on the National Science Foundation grant “Reconstructing Nuclear Environments and the Downwinders Case.”
Stuart Ray Sarbacker specializes in the Comparative Study of Religion with a focus on Indic religion and philosophy. His work is centered on the relationships between the religious and philosophical traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, especially with respect to the practices of yoga and tantra (both bodily disciplines and contemplative practices). His current project focuses on the ways in which the philosophical and ethical issues associated with self-transformation in Indian contemplative traditions mirror those arising from emergent technologies of human augmentation. His books include Samādhi: the Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga (2005) and The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy (2015).
Mason Tattersall focuses on complex systems of understanding (such as philosophical, scientific, and religious systems) and their structural dynamics. He is interested in the ways in which human beings understand their world and the different historical manifestations of such understanding. He teaches World History, European History, the theory and methods of historical research, and the History of Science.
Allen Thompson’s work broadens our conception of environmental virtue and moral responsibility as a part of understanding human excellence in adapting to emerging and anthropogenic global environmental conditions. In addition to authoring many journal articles and book chapters, Thompson is the lead editor of Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future (MIT, 2012) and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics (2015). Thompson has co-authored articles with ecologists, land managers, geographers, and atmospheric scientists, as well as other philosophers.
Nicole von Germeten’s work focuses on sexuality, race, gender, religion, and legal history, especially in Spain and the Iberian empires. Her publications include books and essays on Afro-descended populations in Spanish America, focusing on Catholic brotherhoods and Jesuit proselytization. Her scholarship has also explored transactional sex, honor, the history of emotions, fantasy, fashion, violence, witchcraft, sodomy, suicide, and penitential practices.