I'm a scholar-teacher with a passion for pursuing curiosity, improvisation, and liberation both in and out of the classroom. Since 2012, I've taught in the Philosophy department at Regis University in Denver, Colorado USA. I'm currently Associate Professor of Philosophy and our department chairperson (through 2024). I serve as affiliated faculty in Regis's Peace and Justice Studies and Women's and Gender Studies programs.
Beyond the classroom, I am the Community, Culture, and Programs Strategist at Compass Ethics, an organizational ethics consultancy. In this role, I leverage my extensive pedagogical experience and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion to support organizations implementing structural change. I am also a member of the Advisory Board for the Demographics in Philosophy Project, a data project designed to assess gender-based hiring and publishing disparities in the discipline.
Research and Writing
I specialize in 20th and 21st century Continental philosophy and its conversation with the History of Philosophy. I also pursue interests in critical phenomenology (especially critical race phenomenology and whiteness studies), metaphysics (questions of being, becoming, and change), philosophical logic, aesthetics, and art-making.
With S. Andarge, N. Aranda, J. Brady, T.M. Charfauros, K. Coakley, and R. Worles, "Erlebnis, Tarrying, and Thinking Again after George Yancy." In George Yancy: a Critical Introduction, edited by Kimberley Ducey, Clevis E. Headley, and Joe R. Feagin (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021), pp. 29-47.
"Guests in the Out-Side: Becoming, Knowing, and Acting in Jane Bennett's Vital Materialism," Philosophy in the Contemporary World: An International Journal 27:2 (Spring/Summer 2021), 20-43. https://doi.org/10.5840/pcw20212712
"Alain Badiou." Entry in Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers (2020). DOI 10.5040/9781350999992.0041 (subscription required).
"Collision: Voices of Water." Evental Aesthetics: Aesthetic Intersections 3, vol. 9:1 (2020), 55-67. Open Access online: https://eventalaesthetics.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/EAV9N1_2020_Vartabedian_Water_55_67.pdf
(Monograph) Multiplicity and Ontology in Deleuze and Badiou. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
"Negation, Structure, Transformation: Alain Badiou and the New Metaphysics." In Open Philosophy topical issue, "The New Metaphysics: Analytic/Continental Crossovers" (2018): 213-222. Open Access online: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opphil.2018.1.issue-1/opphil-2018-0015/opphil-2018-0015.xml?format=INT
"Allowances, Affordances, and the Collaborative Constitution of Identity.” Perspectives International Postgraduate Journal in Philosophy, vol. 5 (2014), 58-74.
"Should We Condemn Michael?” in Ultimate LOST and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone, ed. Sharon Kaye (Wiley, 2010), 233-241. Also appeared as “Should We Condemn Michael for Saving Walt?” in LOST and Philosophy: The Island Has Its Reasons, ed. Sharon Kaye (Blackwell, 2007), 18-25.
"Special Effects, Special Status: Lie, Visual Effects, and Stephen Prince’s Perceptual Realism,” Cinemascope 10 (Jan.-June 2008), special issue: Falsehood and Cinema, ed. Mariangela Fornaro, http://www.cinemascope.it.
Review of James Dreier, ed., Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory (Blackwell, 2006), Teaching Philosophy 30:1 (March 2007), 132-134.
Work in Progress and Under Review
"Badiou's Threshhold: Event and the Limits of Being." In preparation for 21st Century Philosophy of Events: Beyond the Analytic/Continental Divide. James Bahoh, Marta Cassina, and Sergio Genovese, eds. (volume proposed to Edinburgh University Press).
"Three Stories about Decision: Badiou, Parmenides, and the Persistence of Thinking Being" In preparation for M = O? Rereading Alain Badiou's Mathematical Ontology 30 Years After Being and Event. Tzuchien Tho and Mirna Dzamonja, eds. (volume under contract with Suture Press).
"The Pleasures of the Problem: Path, Decision, and Annulment in Parmenides and Badiou." in preparation for Practice: Encounters with Antiquity, eds. Ryan Johnson, Jacob Greenstine, and Dave Mesing (in press, forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press).
"Cognitive Dissonance, Loving Perception, and Empathetic Capacity." Conference paper in preparation.
"The Uninvited Guest: Settler Logics and Hospitality." Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy, Texas State University San Marcos, June 2022.
"The Uninvited Guest: Hospitality, Responsibility, and Possibility." Decolonization and Poststructuralism online conference, universidad Compultense Madrid. February 2022.
“Local Time.” Second Temporal Belongings International Conference: Material Life of Time. March 2021.
“Nurturing the Four Natures – Mind.” Choosing the Goodness and Understanding the Choice Workshop, facilitated by Dr. Trudi Wright. Online, March 2021.
“Decolonial Strategies in Education: Here and Abroad,” with Naomi Olson, Ph.D., Josie Brady, Tricia Charfauros, and Grace Warner. The Sixth Annual Internationalization Summit, University of Denver, April 2019.
“Construction and Demonstration as Ontological Method.” Duquesne University History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Seminar, April 2019.
“Who is this TED, and Why does he Talk So Much?” Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry (D-Phi) panel and discussion with Buntport Theater. Denver East High School, April 2019.
“Using a ‘Four-Corners’ Approach to Initiate Challenging Conversations.” All-Faculty Teaching Institute. Regis University, August 2018.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Capacities
I am passionate about supporting diverse communities by improving transparency and access, especially around process. The training I develop emphasizes ground-up inquiry into structure and empowers practitioners to work from their strengths and existing frameworks. I've recently developed workshops around the following topics:
Faculty Fellow for Teaching and New Faculty Development
I designed, implemented, and successfully funded a program to support a three-year faculty fellow position to mentor new faculty toward tenure and promotion. This position emerged from research based on the challenges faculty from positions marginalized by the academy face in securing tenure, as well as from anecdotal accounts of recently-tenured faculty in our college concerning the process and uncertainty around it. In addition to successfully recruting and naming a tenured faculty member to serve as fellow, I worked with the Office of University Advancement to secure donor support for the position.
Reading Access in the Introductory Philosophy Classroom
Philosophy is for everyone, no matter how they're positioned in relation to (a) the academy and (b) the discipline itself. I have developed a reading access program that supports first-year students in their first semester to experience success in reading and reading comprehension, responding to philosophical texts, and developing their personal philosophical positions on matters of attention, courage, and identity. The access program will be implemented in fall 2022 with an initial cohort of 20 students, many of whom identify an interest in developing skills around critical reading and/or who will benefit from extra support in reading college-level materials.
DEI-Informed Course Design
Though equity and inclusion are at the heart of my teaching practice, I design courses that place questions of diversity, difference, and the dynamic creativity these facilitate at their center. These courses include:
Teaching and Course Development
I offer courses in the history of philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy's relationship to art, and philosophy’s intersections with race, gender, and sexuality. Each of my courses are built on the commitment to philosophy as a tool that provides those who engage it with the critical awareness and skills necessary to transform the present for a better future. A sampling of recent courses at these crossings include:
My academic preparation is pluralistic; my work with contemporary Continental philosophy is informed by extensive training in the history of philosophy and work with Analytic philosophy.
Ph.D., Philosophy, Duquesne University
M. Humanities, Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy and Film Studies, University of Colorado Denver
M.A., Philosophy of Religion (Honors), Denver Seminary
B.A., Philosophy and History, Regis University (Regis College)
I was born and raised in the Denver area and have lived in Denver for most of my life. I enjoy Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, lifting heavy things, noodles in broth, reading speculative and science fiction, film, and hanging around with our basenji comrades, Luke and Lucille. I appeared on an episode of Jeopardy! in 2008. I did not win.