Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins is Canada Research Chair and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. Since her Ph.D. (Trinity College, Cambridge, 2005), she has held academic posts in the U.K., the U.S., and Australia, published a monograph called Grounding Concepts (OUP, 2008), and very nearly finished the manuscript for a new book called What Love Is and What It Could Be (coming soon from Basic Books).
What is your favorite thing that you’ve written?
My new book, What Love Is and What It Could Be. It’s my first book for the world beyond academia. I love to write for scholarly audiences too, but this feels very different. I suppose the stakes feel higher. It’s scary, but also exhilarating: like learning a new language and realizing I can suddenly talk to far more people than I ever imagined. Like finding a new voice.
What time of day are you most productive and creative?
After coffee but before it wears off. So approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on an average day. I feel OK about this though: I remember, from when I was a student, Hugh Mellor telling me Frank Ramsey only did philosophy for four hours in the morning. Then he’d go for walks or listen to records the rest of the day, because philosophy was too intense to do for more than four hours. Alas, in my less-creative parts of the day, I mostly have to catch up on email or admin, but I do also go out for afternoon walks with my dog. She might consider that to be the most productive and creative part of my day.
What’s your favorite quote?
One of my all-time favorites is this classic piece of fierceness from Labyrinth:
Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the goblin city, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great. You have no power over me.
But then there’s also a moment in the classic 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express when Poirot delivers the line,
I take only such cases now as interest me, and to be frank my interest in your case is … uh … dwindling.
I can’t choose between these. They’re like my twin mottos for life.
If you were an ice cream, what flavor would you be?
Argh, no! I hate being cold. Can I be a flavor of jelly bean or something?
Find out more about Carrie on her website here.
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