Book Contract!

I am excited to announce that I officially have a book contract with Routledge! The title of my book is: Madness in Experience and History: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Foucault’s Archaeology. It will be published in the Psychology and the Other Series.

All edits are due in April 2021 and it should be published by December 2021.

Here is the tentative back-of-the-book blurb:

“Madness in Experience and History: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Foucault’s Archaeology brings together experience and history to show their impact on madness or mental illness. Drawing on the writings of two 20thcentury French philosophers, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, the author pairs a phenomenological approach with an archaeological approach to present a new perspective on mental illness as an experience that arises out of common behavioral patterns and shared historical structures. Many today feel frustrated with the medical model because of its deficiencies in explaining mental illness. In response, this book argues that we must integrate human experiences of mental disorders with the history of mental disorders to give a fuller account of mental health and to extend holistic care. In addition to providing a more comprehensive look at mental health, it also offers a fresh take on discovering value in diverse human experiences.”

Publications and Works in Progress

With my semester of teaching completed, I have now begun work on several projects for the summer. To keep myself on task, I am taking an inventory of what I have published, what I am working on and what plans I have for the future.

Already Published and in Print

Article: “At the Opening of Madness: An Exploration of the Nonrational with Merleau- Ponty, Foucault and Kierkegaard.” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 33, no. 3 (2019): 475-488.

Article: “Situating Melancholy in Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety.” Philosophy & Theology Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2014): 39-64.

Accepted for publication (as of today!)

Chapter in Edited Book: “The Need for Merleau-Ponty in Foucault’s Account of the Abnormal.” In Normality, Abnormality, and Pathology in Merleau-Ponty, edited by Talia Welsh and Susan Bredlau, SUNY Press. Abstract.

Currently Working On

Article: “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology.” I will be submitting this soon to the journal Foucault Studies. Abstract.

Book Proposal: Madness in Merleau-Ponty and Foucault: Integrating Human Experience in History. I am working on the proposal and editing the first chapter to submit to the Psychology and the Other Book Series at Routledge. The first chapter title is: The Case for Unity: The Need for Experience and History in Understanding Madness. Related to my Dissertation Abstract.

Article: No title yet. Something on phenomenology and liturgy in relation to the presence of humans in community. This will be submitted to the journal Religions.

Future Plans

Article: The Need for Foucault in Merleau-Ponty’s Account of the Abnormal.

Article: No title yet. Something on the relation between Foucault’s unreason (déraison) and Victor Hugo’s display of madness in Les Miserables.



Abstract for “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology”

I have been accepted to present the paper, “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology,” at the Psychology and the Other Conference in Boston, MA in October 2019. I am looking forward to the conference. Here is the short abstract. If you would like the longer version or a copy of the paper, please contact me.

Foucault’s participation in the 1954 carnival of the mad marked the beginning of his critical reflections on the origins of psychology. Using the cultural expression of this carnival as a starting place, this paper goes beyond carnival costumes to uncover the historical structures underneath the discipline of modern psychology. I will argue that these structures reveal motives behind certain psychological experiences, such as resistance to a mental disorder diagnosis and unexplained guilt from disordered behavior.

PhD Complete

On May 13, 2019, I successfully defended my dissertation and officially became a doctor of philosophy in philosophy. I graduated from the University of Dallas on May 19, 2019. Here is the abstract of my dissertation.

Title: Madness in Merleau-Ponty and Foucault: Toward an Inclusive Account of the Nonrational in Human Experience

This project begins with the problem found in relating the human to the nonrational. I seek to address two primary questions: First, is the nonrational only found in madness? And second, if not, what role does it play in human experience? To answer these questions, I offer an inclusive approach to the human-nonrational relationship by bringing together the phenomenological perspective of Merleau-Ponty and the historical-structural perspective of Foucault. I use their respective discussions on madness as a focus topic by which we can understand the broader implications of the nonrational in human experience. The subject of madness, however, is not chosen at random, since it is traditionally a term designated to make a stark contrast between abnormal “mad” humans and normal “rational” humans. By investigating the cases of madness, we will find that such clear-cut categories do not exist, neither phenomenologically nor historically, but rather that the subject of madness illustrates the type of relationship that all humans have to the nonrational. Thus, I argue that nonrationality plays a pivotal role in all of human experience, not just in cases of psychopathology, and that it must be understood inclusively in order to have a proper view of humanity. I further believe that an inclusive account of nonrationality not only adds to the philosophical conversation, but it also offers fresh ideas to the practice of psychology.