About Me

Aminah Hasan-Birdwell | I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. My research attends to marginalized figures in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Hello, thank you for visiting! My name is Aminah Hasan-Birdwell. I am a lover of philosophy and a scholar of the history of philosophy. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. This site is to provide information on my current and previous projects, teaching, and a personal blog on all things early modern. 

In broad strokes, I would describe my research as preoccupied with the reevaluation of the history of philosophy and of political thought. I attend to marginalized figures in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. My current projects attempt to shed light on previously unattended-to figures’ responses to theoretical and ethical discussions on war (domestic and international), on slavery’s conditions and justification, and on ideas of race and gender during the period. Philosophically, war and slavery are conditions that highlight struggles to define the nature of freedom, human agency, the function of law, and justice. I believe the task is not only to account for the ways philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have justified these conditions of human bondage—either in view of war or slavery—but also to explore discourses that challenged them through metaphysical and moral arguments on human nature

A little information about myself, before Emory I had previous appointments as a Visiting Scholar in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California (USC), a Visiting Fellow at the Early Modern Studies Institute at USC, a Thom Fellow at the Huntington Library, and an ACLS Fellow (2021–22). Before that, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University (2019–2021), the Associate Director of the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy at Columbia University (2019–2020), and the Alva and Beatrice Bradley Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Furman University in 2017–19. In addition to my research, I am currently the Chair of the Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers for the American Philosophical Association. My post began in July of 2022. Our committee works for the advancement of Black philosophers in the profession. I am currently working with the APA to provide mentoring services for underrepresented faculty and to create a nationwide database of all Black philosophers, among other activities. I am also currently the library liaison and member of the graduate studies committee for the Department of Philosophy at Emory.  

Please feel free to contact me with all inquiries!