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Dr. Abigail Klassen’s got high hopes - Part 1

Fri. Jan. 11, 2019

We’ve all got big hopes for this year. Among these, those of us who study and work at UWinnipeg look forward to a time when we can return to campus for in person classes, events, and even meetings.

Dr. Abigail KlassenAccording to Dr. Glenn Moulaison, Dean of Arts, Dr. Abigail Klassen, who is both a UWinnipeg alum and faculty member, is an inspiration to their students.
(photo supplied)

Dr. Abigail Klassen has high hopes for 2021. Last year, Klassen, a faculty member teaching this term in the Department of Philosophy, was awarded a prestigious fellowship. The Ernst Mach Worldwide Award, named for Ernst Mach the noted Austrian physicist and philosopher (1833-1916), provides for exceptional young researchers to study in Austria. The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) is the organization that provides the award as well as a number of other scholarships and awards. These awards are offered within Austria and between Austria and the rest of the world and what they all emphasize is collaboration through international exchange and cooperation. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on Klassen’s ability to take up their position due to the need to travel.

In June 2021, Dr. Klassen will travel to Austria to study at the University of Salzburg. Dr. Glenn Moulaison is Dean of Arts and offered the following comment. "Dr. Klassen’s rich intellectual journey began as a student at the University of Winnipeg. Back as an instructor, inspiring their own students, they will shortly undertake the next step, and I wish them all the best.”

With the hope and optimism of the new year and the coming opportunity, we wanted to highlight Dr. Klassen’s work in their own words. We do so in two parts. In Part 1, as below, Dr. Klassen shares the story of their time after graduating from the University of Winnipeg with their BA and through their postgraduate study and early years teaching. In Part 2, which we will post later in January, Dr. Klassen talks about their research and their hopes for their study at the University of Salzburg.

So for now as we mask and social distance, Dr. Klassen looks ahead to an incredible time of international collaboration with their peers. And while Klassen’s travel is delayed until June, our students have this opportunity to study with them as they teach two sections of “Environmental Ethics” PHIL-2233 this term.

Dr. Abigail Klassen - Bio              

While I teach primarily in the Department of Philosophy, I have also been an Instructor in the Departments of Rhetoric, Writing and Communications, Geography, and Sociology at the University of Winnipeg. I received my BA, Honours in Philosophy from the University of Winnipeg in 2008, my MA in Philosophy from Concordia University (Montreal) in 2010, and my PhD in Philosophy from York University in 2016. During my doctoral candidacy, I was a visiting student in the Department of Gender Studies and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence at the University of Aberdeen and in the Departments of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis under the direction of Ron Mallon, San Francisco State University under Ásta, University of California, Berkeley under John R. Searle, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Sally Haslanger. I remain part of The Berkeley Social Ontology Group (formerly, The John R. Searle Institute for Social Ontology).

From 2015-2017, I taught in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and at UNLV’s Honors College. I have also taught at York University. I am the current Editor of Appraisal: The Journal of the British Personalist Forum.

My research, like, and inspired by my teaching interests, is broad. Mainly, I am interested in how social ontology and metaphysics intersect with philosophies of feminism, philosophy of nature (I’m especially interested in problematizing a tidy division between “the natural” and “the artificial”/“social”), ethics, and postmodern (post-Truth) theory. I am also interested in philosophy of mind and traditional metaphysics (particularly the philosophy of spacetime and numbers). My dissertation, Social Constructionism and the Possibility of Emancipation (York University, 2016), is based around social metaphysics and examines how the kinds, institutions, and practices of the social world - universities, poetry reading groups, economic recessions, and so on - are possible at all.

See also:
Dr. Abigail Klassen's got high hopes - Part 2