Philosophy department welcomes new professor

Brittany Eldridge

This year, WKU welcomed a new professor to the Philosophy Department.

Grace Hunt, originally from Midland Ontario, Canada, started the year as a new assistant philosophy and religion professor. 

The instructor, who has also spent the past eight years working in New York City, completed her doctoral work at The New School for Social Research, a leading university in New York City. The school specializes in social and political philosophy and European philosophy. After that, she was offered a post doctoral position at Bard College in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

While there, she taught incarcerated men at maximum and medium security state prisons in the Hudson Valley area, a region approximately 70 miles north of New York City. She taught a course there on philosophy and the city. 

“It was the first time I taught an all-male classroom and it was very different in that respect,” Hunt said. “The program I was teaching for within bard college was call the bard prison initiative, BPI, and it is an endowed project so it has an endowment or funding that is not from the state.” 

Hunt teaches continental philosophy, but specifically teaches in the areas of European and feminist philosophy. She said that WKU’s job description was perfect for her, and applied because she heard it was a good place. 

Hunt will teach a course next semester that will be worth one credit. In the class students will read, discuss, interpret and evaluate theologian and activist Cornel West’s book on social justice, “Race Matters.” 

“His book is philosophical in that it studies things like nihilism,” Hunt said. “This belief that there’s no inherent value in the universe and so we’re left to ourselves to figure out how to act.”

She will also be teaching a course next semester on nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The course is Philosophy 401: Readings in Philosophy. 

Eric Bain-Selbo, department head of philosophy and religion, said that the department was really impressed with Hunt’s background, her commitment to education and was fascinated by her work teaching in the prison setting. Her background in contemporary philosophy was exactly what they were looking for. 

“She had great training for students who really want to pursue their interest in philosophy,” Bain-Selbo said. “She’s more than capable of challenging them and pushing them to a broader knowledge of the field as well as working through difficult problems within the discipline.”