Faculty News

September 2021

Dr. Keya Maitra co-authors new book, The Ethics of Governance: Moral Limits of Policy Decisions

Check it out here

Emeritus Professor Gordon Wilson Receives Grant

The $100,00 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Scholarly Editions and Translations Program was awarded to Dr. Wilson for his ongoing work on the writing of medieval theologian and philosopher Henry of Ghent.

Dr. Scott Williams interviewed by R.T. Mullins on podcast The Reluctant Theologian. 

Dr. Williams discusses his new book, Disability in Medieval Christian Philosophy and Theology. 

You can access the podcast here

It’s also available on Spotify, iTunes, and Stitcher.

Dr. Scott Williams Edits New Book

Disability in Medieval Christian Philosophy and Theology examines, through close readings of medieval Christian philosophical and theological texts, what medieval Christian philosophers and thinkers said about what today we call “disability,” and compares the theories of these medieval thinkers with the assertions of modern and contemporary philosophers and theologians of disability.


Recently Published by Scott Williams

In Defense of a Latin Social Trinity: Response to William Hasker – Faith and Philosophy 37.1 (2020) 96-117

Dr. Keya Maitra to Present at the University of Connecticut in March

Dr. Keya Maitra has been invited to give the Robinson A. Grover Lecture at the University of Connecticut on March 6, 2020. The title of the paper she will present is “Consciousness and Attention in the Bhagavad Gita.” Dr. Erik Anderson, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Furman University, will offer comments.

Dr. Melissa Burchard Newly Published Book

Philosophical Reflections on Mothering in Trauma examines the lived experience of mothering children who have been seriously harmed by others. Using an interdisciplinary approach, that employs a feminist phenomenology and an emphasis on narrative theory, this ground-breaking work gives voice to experiences of trauma, and of mothering, not ordinarily heard in philosophical discourses.

With a philosophical lens, Melissa Burchard examines the challenges faced by families during the adoption and parenting of abused children. In doing so, Burchard argues that the investigation of traumatic experience poses questions that philosophers must address if we are to improve collective understanding of the human condition. These questions center around the epistemological implications of traumatic experience, the role of power and privilege in abusive relationships, and the interconnected issues of morality and moral agency in trauma, problematic desires engendered in traumatic circumstances, and therapeutic responses to trauma. The book expresses ways in which mothering wounded children can, if we are deeply engaged and reflective, shift our understandings of what it means to be parents, to be children, to love, to know, to construct a self, to feel desire, to nurture, to coerce, and to live in the ambiguity of not knowing which decisions are right and which are wrong.

Dr. Keya Maitra Newly Published Book

Congratulations are in orders for Dr. Keya Maitra on the publication of her brand new translation of the Bhagavad Gita! Coming out from Bloomsbury Academic, not only is it a wonderful translation, but Keya’s special feature, the “Philosopher’s Corner”, draws out the philosophy of the text in a way that is incredibly helpful for teaching.

Philosophy of The Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction presents a complete philosophical guide and new translation of the most celebrated text of Hinduism. While usually treated as mystical and religious poetry, this new translation focuses on the philosophy underpinning the story of a battle between two sets of cousins of the Aryan clan.

“Professor Maitra’s edition of the Bhagavad Gita is a welcome and valuable contribution to our field, as it both invites and enables her readers to engage the text in light of enduring philosophical questions. Her Introduction is tremendously useful in situating the text in its historical and conceptual contexts. Further, she provides a translation that is at once evocative and philosophically precise – and is supported by a helpful glossary. We are fortunate to now have access to a volume that so effectively makes this philosophically rich text accessible to students, general readers, and academics alike!” –  Elizabeth Schiltz, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of East-West Philosophy, College of Wooster, USA,

Brain Butler’s Newly Published Book

The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation

Congratulations to the University of North Carolina Asheville Philosophy Department’s very own Brian E. Butler! Brian Butler, Professor of Philosophy and the Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities​​ launched his new book, The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation, on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center. At the book release, Brian discussed The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation and its connection to Black Mountain College-infused ideas related to democratic aims and experimental practice that were developed during the middle part of the 20th century. “The aim in this book is to develop a more democratically-based conception of constitutional law, but one that also has deep roots in empirical fact,” says Butler. “Black Mountain College was one of the inspirational visions that informs the book.” Below is a snippet of The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation.

“This book is centered upon constitutional law and cases decided by the United States Supreme Court. Its argument, somewhat paradoxically it might seem, is that a fixation upon the Supreme Court and United States constitutional law as it currently functions and it is theoretically justified is very problematic. What I attempt in the pages that follow is a reconstruction of legal theory with the prime aim of making it more democratic in both concept and practice. This explains why I have called the title The Democratic Constitution.”

Keya Maitra awarded the Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship for Scholarship for 2015-16

This is one of the highest honors that UNC Asheville presents annually to honor a faculty member who has excelled in either scholarship or service. The review committee looks at the faculty’s work over the last 15 years and the major contributions which are made.

Honororary recognition for Professor, Keya Maitra, who was recently elected as the Treasurer of the Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory (FEAST). This organization is one of most prominent organizations for feminist philosophers in US and Canada.

Brian Butler selected for 2nd term as Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities

Brian Butler, professor of philosophy at UNC Asheville, has been selected for a second term as the university’s Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities. The Howerton Distinguished Professor works to enhance the interdisciplinary study of the humanities across UNC Asheville’s curriculum through pedagogy and scholarship and has an endowed fund for organizing and supporting lectures, conferences and events that bring visiting scholars and experts to campus. Read more about the Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities here.

Recently Published by Suny Press

Prof. Duane Davis’ edited volume (co-edited with William S. Hamrick), titled, Merleau-Ponty and the Art of Perception just came out from SUNY Press. It reflects on how art and perception are intertwined in Merleau-Ponty’s writings by bringing together contributions from a diverse range of fields; a solid accomplishment both in philosophy and the literature on Merleau-Ponty!

Prof. Burchard Receives National Recognition!

Congratulations to Prof. Melissa Burchard who has just been selected as an NEH Scholar to attend a summer institute entitled “Moral Psychology and Education: Putting Humanities to Work”.  Melissa is excited about having the opportunity to develop two research projects involving childhood trauma and its effect on moral development. For more about this opportunity and how she plans to use it, see Press Release.