Hermeneutics Seminar I - Instructors

June 17-21, 2024

John Arthos is a professor of Rhetoric in the Department of English, and the director of the General Education Public Speaking Program at Indiana University. He studies the theoretical, cultural, historical, and pedagogical intersection of rhetoric and hermeneutics from antiquity to today. He has published four monographs (Hermeneutics After Ricoeur, Gadamer’s Poetics, Speaking Hermeneutically: Understanding in the Conduct of a Life, The Inner Word in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics) and over fifty articles that approach hermeneutics from a rhetorical perspective. 

Francesca D’Alessandris is currently pursuing her second PhD, as a candidate in Humanities and Educational Sciences at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Her research project focuses on the role of aesthetic experience in learning processes. She already obtained a joint PhD in Philosophy from the Fondazione San Carlo of Modena and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where she defended her thesis on Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of the person. She recently published her book La persona e la traccia. Ipotesi sull’esistenza e il suo racconto a partire da Paul Ricœur [The person and the trace. Hypotheses on existence and its story from Paul Ricoeur] (Pisa: ETS, 2023) on Ricœur's philosophy of narrative identity. She has published several articles and essays in international peer-reviewed journals on Ricoeur’s philosophy, among them: "Du mal tragique au mal raconté. L’herméneutique de Ricœur entre Freud et Nabert", in A.T. Arjangi, G. Dierckxsens (ed), Le mal et la symbolique. Ricœur lecteur de Freud, De Gruyter, 383-396; "Progettare l’altrove. Considerazioni sul ruolo dell’ermeneutica per un’architettura utopica," Discipline Filosofiche, 30 (2020):  225-237; "La pensée des lieux de Paul Ricœur à l’épreuve du paysage,", Études Ricœuriennes 12, no. 2 (2021): 31-43; "La durée dans la dureté. Espaces de la mémoire et mémoires de l’espace chez Paul Ricœur," Études Ricœuriennes, 10, no. 1 (2019):  58-72.

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Religion Department at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he teaches courses in religion, theology, religious ethics, environmental and business ethics. His research focuses on philosophical hermeneutics and ethics in the thought of Paul Ricoeur in relation to historical and contemporary theological ethics and French reflexive philosophy. He has published several articles on Ricoeur, including "The Paradox of Attention: The Action of the Self Upon Itself," in A Companion to Freedom and Nature, edited by Scott Davidson (Lexington Press, 2018).

Fernando Nascimento is an Assistant Professor in Digital and Computational Studies at Bowdoin College in Maine, teaching courses on the philosophy of technology and hermeneutics. His research is organized in three interconnected academic axes: ethics, hermeneutics, and digital technologies. Among his writings, he is the author of A Ricoeurian Approach to Digital Technologies: Digital Poetics and Practical Wisdom (forthcoming 2024) and co-author of Meaningful Technologies: How Digital Metaphors Change the Way We Think and Live (2023).

George Taylor is an emeritus professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh. He specializes in legal hermeneutics and hermeneutics more generally. He studied as a graduate student under Paul Ricoeur, and he is the co-editor of Ricoeur’s Lectures on Imagination and editor of his Lectures on Ideology and Utopia. He is also the co-editor of Reading Ricoeur Through Law and Gadamer and Ricoeur: Critical Horizons for Contemporary Hermeneutics. He has written on Ricoeur extensively. 

David Utsler teaches philosophy at North Central Texas College. His work focuses on philosophical hermeneutics (especially Ricoeur and Gadamer), environmental philosophy, and critical theory. He co-edited and contributed to the first book devoted to the intersection of hermeneutics and environmental philosophy, Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics (Fordham 2014). His forthcoming monograph, Paul Ricoeur and Environmental Philosophy: An Introductory Inquiry, will be published by Lexington Books in the series, Studies in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur. He is on the international research team for the collaborative project, Hermeneutics of Architecture: Dwelling in the Horizon of Finitude, sponsored by the International Institute for Hermeneutics, the University of Warsaw (Poland), and the University of Coimbra (Portugal). He is also the co-director for the International Association for Environmental Philosophy.

Maria Cristina Clorinda Vendra is assistant professor at the University Jan-Evangelista-Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic). She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague. She is currently involved as a member of the research project, “The Face of Nature in Contemporary French Phenomenology: Challenges of New Metaethics and Ecology,” funded by the Czech Science Foundation. She has published articles and book chapters on Ricoeur’s thought and has participated in numerous international conferences and workshops in Europe, the United States, and Canada. She is presently serving as European Director for the Society for Ricœur Studies. Her scholarly interests include ecophenomenology, environmental hermeneutics, ecological ethics, and social philosophy.