Dr. Valerie E. Broin
Back to Philosophy Dept.

Office: Library 195D

Office hours: Not available

Office phone: 667-3527

Email: broin@toto.csustan.edu
 Curriculum Vitae

A recent paper: Standing in the Way of Truth: Understanding Narratives of Domestic Violence

Work in Progress

Infinite Distances, a novel set in St. Augustine, Florida

Writing Oneself Into Being: Trauma, Self-Construction and Autobiographical Expression

This work integrates my research in philosophies of self, autobiographical constructions of self in literature and psychotherapy, and postmodern thought. The question this book addresses is what it means to develop "healthy selfhood" after the disintegrating experiences of trauma.

It specifically examines how the trauma that females experience, such as domestic violence, incest, and rape is socially constructed, how it affects the self-understanding of survivors, and how healthy selfhood can be reconceptualized to better address the issues of survivors.

Frequently taught courses

Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1010) -- either with a focus on selfhood or on social/political philosophy (Plato, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, Friere, Marx, Freud)

Classics of Western Philosophy -- often a course on 19th and 20th century Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, Beauvoir)

Theory of Knowledge (PHIL 3300) -- both historical and introducing recent continental discussions concerning epistemology (Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Foucault)

Twentieth Century Philosophy (PHIL 4260)

Philosophy of Art (PHIL 4500) -- Hume, Kant, Tolstoy, Danto, Heidegger, Foucault, Benjamin, Marcuse, Minh-ha, Mudimbe, Hirsch, Gadamer, Ricoeur, etc.

Philosophy and Feminism (PHIL 4950) -- Recent feminist theory, mostly focusing on U.S. feminists. Last semester I taught this with an eye towards autobiographical theory and constructions of gender through autobiography.

Society and Gender -- generally a course showing how gender (along with race and class) is implicated throughout our cultural concerns of education, socialization, media, law, language, the family, the workforce, intimate relations, and violence.
 Parting words: Lighten up! (I believe that was the message in Jitterbug Perfume -- Tom Robbins -- though it could have Heideggerian overtones.) Basically what excites me is shining light on the things we normally take for granted, the things that direct our way of seeing the world so completely that we no longer notice how directed our vision is. What I like to let loose, in philosophy or in creative writing, are expanding options that let us create our lives more imaginatively and playfully.

"But the point is to live" (Camus).