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Leah Kalmanson

Assistant Professor       
Department of Philosophy and Religion       
Drake University       





Betweenness consists in the fact that self and other are divided from each other (i.e., wake-rareru in Japanese) and at the same time that what is thus divided becomes unified. In order that they be divided from each other, they had to be one originally; and in order that they may become unified, they must be absolutely separated...Totality subsists only in this movement.  --Watsuji Tetsurō 

The other cannot be totalized...The reversibility of a relation where the terms are read indifferently from left to right and from right to left would couple them one to the other...by virtue of the common frontier the other, within the system, would yet be the same.  --Emmanuel Levinas


How do we create an oppositional worldview, a consciousness, an identity, a standpoint that exists not only as that struggle that also opposed dehumanization but as that movement which enables creative, expansive self-actualization? --bell hooks


Power rearticulated is "re"-articulated in the sense of already done and "re"-articulated in the sense of done over, done again, done anew. What remain[s] to be considered [is] how we might make such a conception of the subject work as a notion of political agency in postliberatory times. --Judith Butler


The fact that actions were performed previously in a definite manner does not make it impossible for subsequent deeds to deviate from this manner of acting later on. Consequently, at every moment communal existence bears within itself the danger of and potential for its own destruction. 
--Watsuji Tetsurō



Curriculum Vitae


Drake University, Medbury 101, Des Moines, Iowa 50311
leah.kalmanson@eastwestcommunity.org


EDUCATION

Doctor of Philosophy (December 2010). Department of Philosophy, University of Hawai‘i.

Dissertation: The Politics of Emptiness: Alterity, Autonomy, and the Radical Subjectivity of No-Self.  

Master of Arts. August 2005. Department of Philosophy, University of Hawai‘i.  

Bachelor of Liberal Arts (Suma Cum Laude). May 2000. Department of Philosophy, Oglethorpe University.                          
   

RESEARCH AREAS

Areas of Specialization: Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Aesthetics

Areas of Competence: Ethics, Buddhism, Confucianism, Feminist Philosophy.

Languages:  Japanese and German (textual proficiency). 


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Assistant Professor. Fall 2011 to present. Department of Philosophy and Religion, Drake University.

Visiting Assistant Professor. Fall 2010 to Spring 2011. Department of Philosophy and Religion, Drake University.

Adjunct. Spring 2010. Religious Studies and Philosophy Department, Chaminade University.

Lecturer. Summer 2007, 2008, and 2009. Philosophy Department, University of Hawai‘i. 

Instructor. Fall 2008. Philosophy Department, University of Hawai‘i. 

Teaching Assistant. Fall 2006 to Spring 2009. Philosophy Department, University of Hawai‘i.

Teaching Assistant. Fall 2004 to Spring 2005. Education Department, East-West Center, University of Hawai‘i.


PUBLICATIONS AND CURRENT PROJECTS

Edited books

Buddhist Responses to Globalization. Edited with James Mark Shields (under contract with Lexington Press).

Levinas and Asian Thought. Edited with Frank Garrett and Sarah Mattice (Duquesne University Press, 2013).

Confucianism in Context: Classic Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, East Asia and Beyond. Edited with Wonsuk Chang. (Albany: SUNY Press, 2010).   

Chapters in books 

"Hiratsuka Raichō: Zen Philosophy and Action." Co-written with Michiko Yusa. In The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy. Edited by Bret Davis (Oxford University Press, in progress).

"Commentary on Giving." In A Commentary on Dōgen's Shushōgi: The Meaning of Practice and Verification. Edited by Jason Wirth, Kosho Itagaki, Bret Davis, and Brian Schroeder (in progress).

"An Inexhaustible Storehouse for an Insurmountable Debt: A Buddhist Reading of Reparations." In Buddhist Responses to Globalization. Edited by Leah Kalmanson and James Mark Shields (Lexington Press, in progress).

"The Ethics of Emptiness: A Comparative Study of Watsuji Tetsurō and Emmanuel Levinas." In Comparative Philosophy Today and Tomorrow. Edited by Sarah Mattice, et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars' Press, 2009).  

Journal articles

"Nothingness, Not as Such: Reflections on Japanese and Continental Philosophy." Comparative and Continental Philosophy (forthcoming).

"Buddhism and bell hooks: Liberatory Aesthetics and the Radical Subjectivity of No-Self." Hypatia Vol. 27, No. 4 (2012).

"The Messiah and the Bodhisattva: Anti-Utopianism Re-Revisited." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Vol. 30, No. 4 (2012).

"Levinas in Japan: The Ethics of Alterity and the Philosophy of No-Self." Continental Philosophy Review Vol. 43, No. 2 (2010).   

Translations

The Philosophy of Heidegger by Kuki Shuzō (unpublished manuscript).

"Regarding the Japanese Character" by Kuki Shuzō (unpublished manuscript).

Reviews 

Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought edited by William Edelglass, James Hatley, and Christian Diehm. Environmental Ethics Vol. 35 (2013).

Ethics Embodied: Rethinking Selfhood through Continental, Japanese, and FeministPhilosophies by Erin McCarthy. Journal of Japanese Philosophy Vol. 1, Issue 1 (forthcoming).

Nishida and Western Philosophy by Robert Wilkinson. Sophia Vol. 50, Issue 3 (2011), 505-507.

The Pristine Dao: Metaphysics in Early Daoism by Thomas Michael. China Review International Vol. 12, No. 2 (Fall 2005). 

 

CONFERENCES AND LECTURES

Refereed Conference Presentations 

Rethinking Reparations: Buddhist Perspectives on Restorative Justice.

October 11-13, 2012. Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Ritual Enlightenment: Judith Butler, Zazen, and the Performance of Liberation.

March 8-10, 2012. Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle. University of San Diego.

The Bodhisattva Paradox: A Buddhist Argument for Levinas's Anti-Utopianism.

July 4–9, 2010. International Conference of the Société internationale des recherché Emmanuel Levinas and the North American Levinas Society. Toulouse, France.

Buddhism and bell hooks: Liberatory Aesthetics and the Radical Subjectivity of No-Self.

April 8-10, 2010. Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle. Tokai University, Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Identity Politics and the Relationally Constituted Self.

December 27-30, 2009. Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. New York City, New York.

Levinas and Buddhism: The 'Other' Philosophy.

June 28-30, 2009. The Fourth Annual Conference and Meeting of the North American Levinas Society. University of Toronto.

The Ethics of Emptiness: A Comparative Study of Watsuji Tetsurō and Emmanuel Levinas.

April 12, 2008. Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle Annual Conference. Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

June 10-13, 2007. Fortieth Anniversary Conference of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy. Pacific Grove, California. 

Invited Conference Presentations

Reflections on Womanist-Buddhist Dialogue and the Future of Comparative Philosophy.

December 27-30, 2013. Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. Baltimore, Maryland.

Philosophers, Comparativists, Activists: New Work in Womanist-Buddhist Dialogue.
October 24-26, 2013. Satellite session of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the annual conference of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Eugene, Oregon.

Now I Get It!: Thinking Slowly about Sudden Enlightenment for Ethics Today.

November 18, 2012. American Academy of Religion. Chicago.

Can We Internationalize 'Ethics' in the Curriculum?: Roundtable of Faculty Teaching Ethics in an International Context.

October 2, 2012. Inaugural Herb and Karen Baum Symposium on Ethics and the Professions. Drake University. Des Moines.

Systemic Suffering: Buddhism, Global Power, and the Question of Reparations.

December 27-31, 2011. Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. Washington, D.C.

Unsaying the Said: Dogen and the Question of Original Enlightenment.

November 19-22, 2011. American Academy of Religion. San Francisco.

Erin McCarthy's Ethics Embodied (author-meets-reader panel).

March 3-5, 2011. Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle. University College Cork. 

Integrating Mental Health Care into Disaster Relief (group presentation).

April 24, 2005. What After the Tent?--A Workshop on Development of Plans for Risk Reduction in Tsunami-Affected and Other Areas of Human Insecurity. Peace and Conflict Resolution Workgroup in conjunction with the East-West Center.

Michael Ignatieff's Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (roundtable discussion).

April 2002. Georgia Continental Philosophy Society Annual Conference. Georgia College and State University.

Invited Lectures 

The Question of Transcendence: Translation, Dialogue, and the Invention of Religion in East Asia.

November 7, 2013. Annual Invited Lecture in Philosophy. University of South Florida.

There's No Getting beyond: Buddhism, Bataille, and the Economics of Decline.

September 27, 2013. Ninth Annual Religion, Literature, and the Arts Conference. University of Iowa.

Levinas by Any Other Name: Translation, Dialogue, and the Invention of Religion in East Asia.

July 28, 2013. Eighth Annual Conference and Meeting of the North American Levinas Society. Duquesne University.

The Temple of the Absolute: Inoue Enryō and the Practice of the Impractible.

May 24, 2013. Workshop on Inoue Enryō. Toyo University and Luther College. Decorah, Iowa.

What is Buddhism?

March 20, 2013. Saint Mark's Supper Program and Lecture Series. Saint Mark's United Methodist Church. Atlanta.

Engaged Buddhism.

November 30, 2012. Humanities Center Colloquium. Drake University.

An Introduction to Buddhism.

September 5, 2012. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Survivor Program. West Des Moines.

Zen Master Dōgen Is Not a Zen Master: Philosophy, Ritual Studies, and the Image of Zen in America.

April 5, 2012. John C. Maraldo Lecture Series in Comparative Philosophy. University of North Florida.

Rethinking Reparations: Buddhist Perspectives on Restorative Justice.

March 15, 2012. Mike Ryan Lecture Series. Kennesaw State University.

An Introduction to Hinduism and Buddhism.

March 14, 2012. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Survivor Program. West Des Moines.

The Impermanent Environment: Consumerism, Buddhism, and the Economics of Georges Bataille.

April 8, 2005.  Philosophy Department Colloquium Series. University of Hawai‘i.


ACADEMIC SERVICE

Drake University

Arts and Sciences Council, 2013 to 2015.

Advisory Board for The Comparison Project. January 2012 to present. 

Asian Studies Program Task Force. October 2011 to present. 

Diversity Committee. Drake University. August 2011 to May 2013.

External

Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies. The American Philosophical Association. July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016. 

Co-founder and Secretary. Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy. January 2013 to present.

Program Director. Satellite session of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the annual conference of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. October 2012 to present.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Digital Storytelling Workshop.

May 29-31 and August 12-16, 2013. Drake University.

J-Conference 2012. The J-Center of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy.

September 10-11, 2012. Drake University. Des Moines.

Institute on Infusing East Asian Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum.

July 22 to August 11, 2012. East-West Center, Honolulu.

Collegium Phaenomenologicum.

July 2010. Citta di Castello, Italy.


MEMBERSHIPS

American Academy of Religion

American Philosophical Association 

American Society for Aesthetics

Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle

East-West Center Association

North American Levinas Society

Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy





Current Projects: 

New Work in Womanist-Buddhist Dialogue

If you will be in Eugene, OR, for the 2013 conference of SPEP, you are warmly invited to attend a special panel of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy. We'll be featuring Carolyn Jones Medine of the University of Georgia, "The Face of the Other: Alice Walker and Postcolonial Feminist Thought," and Melanie Harris of Texas Christian University, "Engaged Buddhism and Liberation Theologies: Fierce Compassion as a Mode of Justice." We'll be meeting in Ferber (Lobby Level), Thursday, October 24th, from 9 am to noon.

http://ethicalaesthetic.posterous.com/ 

I am co-curating an online exhibit on the theme of ethics and ephemerality. The forum is a collaborative space where people can explore, though aesthetic means, the connections between alterity and transience. The site was first opened to my students and has since been made public. Please feel free to participate in whatever creative format you like: images, video, sound  files, text, etc. To get started, visit the forum at the address above and click on "follow by email." We will send you a password shortly. Please note that comments are also open to the public, so that you may respond to and engage with work posted by others.

Levinas and Asian Thought

Edited by Leah Kalmanson, Sarah Mattice and Frank Garrett.

Kuki Shuzō's The Philosophy of Heidegger

Kuki Shuzō's The Philosophy of Heidegger (ハイデッガーの哲学) is the world's first book-length study of Being and Time. It was published in Japan in 1936. I am translating this piece, along with a shorter essay "Regarding the Japanese Character" (日本的性格について), in collaboration with Shōji Kakuko.