Stephen Bloch-Schulman

APA Member Interview: Stephen Bloch-Schulman

Stephen Bloch-Schulman is an Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Elon University. He works at the intersection of political philosophy and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He was the inaugural winner of the Prize for Excellence in Teaching Philosophy, sponsored by the APA, the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, and the Teaching Philosophy Association.

What excites you about philosophy?

Surprise. I love philosophy because I continue to be unsettled and unhorsed (as my colleague Ann J. Cahill likes to describe it) by it. I constantly learn from my students, from colleagues, and from the articles and books I read. Even when I think I have something figured out, I find out, once again, how much my intuitions and convictions need to be questioned. Never a dull moment.

And collaborating. I love collaborating.

What are you most proud of in your professional life?

  1. My work mentoring and co-writing with students.
  2. My work with the Elon Academy — a college access program for underserved high school students — and particularly the class on rap, race and gender that I co-taught with Rebecca Scott, which she mentioned in her APA member interview.
  3. My work on Reclaiming Democracy, a class that brings together faculty and students from six very different campuses with members of the community to learn about grassroots democracy. To read more, see an article the faculty wrote about the class here.

What are you working on right now? 

Some of my current projects:

  1. Anthony Weston and I are working on a draft of a book, tentatively called Thinking Through Questions, intended for introductory philosophy students, in which we explore the meaning of questions, categorize them, and help students get to better questions (and reject those that are problematic).
  2. I have started using white rappers as a lens through which to explore how white people do and can better engage with race and racism. I continue to develop that for the classroom, and am working towards writing that up for publication.
  3. I’m co-writing a series of papers with a group of colleagues and former students on the underrepresentation of female-identified students in the Elon philosophy program. The first paper just came out in Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, and can be accessed here.
  4. I am also preparing to teach Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies 110 for the first time, and am revising the Rap, Race, Gender and Philosophy class I teach.

What topic do you think is under explored in philosophy? 

Fatherhood. I would love to see philosophers, and particularly philosophers working from feminist, disability, and critical race lenses, write about fatherhood and its changing roles and meanings.

If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would you most like it to be?

I would like to be able to predict, with perfect accuracy, how long a task will take me (not sure if that is a talent or a super-power).

What is your favorite sound in the world?

The sound of my wife singing to and with my children.

What’s your poison? 

While I enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, my real drink of choice is coffee.

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This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better. We’re including profiles of APA members that spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it. We’d love for you to be a part of it, so please contact us via the interview nomination form here to nominate yourself or a friend.

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