I am Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Regis University (Regis College) in Denver, Colorado. I work primarily in contemporary Continental philosophy, focusing on its intersections with logic and mathematics, and the implications of these intersections for social and political thought.
My book, Multiplicity and Ontology in Deleuze and Badiou (under contract with Palgrave MacMillan), contends that multiplicity is an ontological structure and as such prescribes an ontological procedure in the work of Gilles Deleuze, his collaborations with Félix Guattari, and in relation to that of Alain Badiou. This text develops certain of the ideas in my dissertation, "Rethinking Multiplicity after Deleuze and Badiou," which I defended at Duquesne University in 2015. This portion of my research was profiled in an "Early Career Research Spotlight" at the Blog of the American Philosophical Association: https://blog.apaonline.org/2017/11/15/early-career-research-spotlight-rebecca-vartebedian/.
Connected more closely to my teaching, I maintain research interests in value of critical theory and phenomenology in service of questions of justice and the common good. This work is informed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Iris Marion Young, Fred Evans, John Russon, George Yancy, and the practice-based approach of Maria Talero. My interest in phenomenology is long-standing, and it was Merleau-Ponty's work in particular that inspired work on the Master's Thesis I wrote at the University of Colorado Denver in 2009.
I have a developing interest in conceptions of hospitality in forms of new materialism; here, my work engages Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, and Sara Ahmed.
teaching and course development
I develop courses around my firmly-held belief that philosophy is a form of immanent critique. Philosophy is a tool that exposes gaps between aspiration and actuality, and as such provides those who engage it with the awareness and skills necessary to transform the present for a better future. Where it is appropriate, students in my courses engage in Community-Based and Service learning as a way of expanding their understanding of course material.
I teach courses in the Philosophy department, the Honors Program, and the Integrative and Foundational Cores. A sampling of my recent and upcoming courses include the following:
With the exceptions of Philosophy/Art and Writing for Social Justice, each of the courses listed above are of my own conception and design. When possible, I use live issues shaping campus and student life to inform my approach to course construction; such is the case with Hospitality, Justice, and the Common Good, and with Precarious Bodies.
In spring 2017, our Philosophy Capstone course focused on existentialism and existential themes in films. Together, my students and I completed a blog with our invitations. Read more here: http://regisphilosophycapstone.weebly.com/.
I am also interested in strategies for developing confidence in basic writers, and am keen to learn the ways confidence translates to competence in reading and writing, both in the philosophy classroom and in a student's broader collegiate experience. This interest grew from my participation in the 2017 cohort of the Denver Writing Project's Intensive Summer Institute. Partnered with the National Writing Project, DWP gathers classroom teachers in grades K-16 to discuss strategies and best practices for teaching writing, and cultivates opportunities for writing practice.
Forthcoming and in Preparation
Multiplicity and Ontology in Deleuze and Badiou
Under contract with Palgrave MacMillan, 2018
"Ontology, the Count-as-One, and Interrogation: Returning to Badiou after Pfeifer's The New Materialism"
Invited contribution, under review for Review Journal of Political Philosophy, v. 13 (2018)
Review of Alain Badiou and Gilles Haéri, In Praise of Mathematics (Polity, 2016)
Under review for Badiou Studies, vol. 6 (2018)
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.
Contributions to Online Forums
"Writing on an Island.” Submitted to Letters from Grad School (http://lettersfromgradschool.org). July 2016.
Online Book Event, “Geoffrey Pfeifer’s The New Materialism: Althusser, Badiou, and Zizek,” Working Group on Contemporary Materialism (http://contemporarymaterialism.wordpress.com), fall 2015.
Review of Simon Blackburn, Truth: A Guide (Oxford University Press, 2005), Denver Journal 9 (Jan. 2006): http://www.denverseminary.edu/dj/articles2006/0400/0403.
"Jane Bennett’s Vital Materialism and its Prospects for Hospitality.” Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Estes Park, CO. August 2017.
"Alain Badiou: World, Event, and Structure." Iliff School of Theology / University of Denver Graduate Student Colloquium. March 2016.
"Excresence, Excess, and the Possibility of Resistance." Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy Participants' Conference. August 2014.
"Let's Get Small: the Joke as Event in Deleuze's Logic of Sense." Graduate Student Colloquium, Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University. January 2011.
“Truth and Identity: Allowance and Collaboration.” Truth Matters Interdisciplinary Conference, Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. August 2010.
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 (2015), Duquesne University
M. Humanities, Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy and Film Studies (2009), University of Colorado Denver
M.A., Philosophy of Religion (Honors, 2006), Denver Seminary
B.A., Philosophy and History (2001), Regis University (Regis College)