Gail Weiss

Gail Weiss
Professor of Philosophy
Rome 558; Spring 2021 Office Hours: Th 3:45-4:45 pm and by appointment
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

phenomenology, existentialism, feminist theory, critical race theory, philosophy of literature, philosophy of disability 

Executive Co-Director for the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

General Secretary for the International Merleau-Ponty Circle


Ph.D. Yale University


Monographs, Edited Journals, and Edited Volumes

Existential Ambiguities: Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty (under contract with Indiana U. Press)

50 Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology, Co-Editor with Ann Murphy and Gayle Salamon (Northwestern University Press, 2020)

Guest Co-Editor (with Debra Bergoffen) of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy Cluster Issue on “Contesting the Norms of Embodiment” Volume 27.2 (Winter 2012).

Guest Co-Editor (with Debra Bergoffen) of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy Special Issue on “Ethics of Embodiment” Volume 26.3 (Summer 2011).

Refiguring the Ordinary (Indiana University Press, 2008)

Intertwinings: Interdisciplinary Encounters with Merleau-Ponty (SUNY Press, 2008)

Feminist Interpretations of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006)

Thinking the Limits of the Body (SUNY Press, 2003)

Body Images: Embodiment as Intercorporeality (Routledge, 1999)

Perspectives on Embodiment: The Intersections of Nature and Culture (Routledge, 1999)

Recent Articles, Book Chapters, and Encyclopedia Chapters

““Transformative Descriptions” co-authored with Ann V. Murphy and Gayle Salamon, 50 Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology, eds. Gail Weiss, Ann V. Murphy, and Gayle Salamon (Northwestern University Press, 2020, xiii-xiv).

“Introduction” Journal of Speculative Philosophy: A Quarterly Journal of History, Criticism, and Imagination Special Issue on “Critical Phenomenologies: Past, Present, Future,” Volume 33, Number 3, Guest-edited by Gail Weiss and Andrew Cutrofello (Fall 2019), 341-348.

“Doing Time in a For-Profit Space: Re-Negotiating Identity in the Prison-Industrial Complex,” Rethinking Feminist Phenomenology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, edited by Sara Cohen-Shabot and Christina Landry (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 69-83).

“A Genealogy of Women’s (Un)Ethical Bodies” New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment. eds. Clara Fischer and Luna Dolezal (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 17-35).

“The Shame of Shamelessness” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy Special Issue on “Gender and the Politics of Shame,” Volume 33, Issue 3, Guest-edited by Clara Fischer (Summer 2018), 537-552.

“Race and Phenomenology (or Phenomenologizing Race)” Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race, Eds. Linda Martìn Alcoff, Luvell Anderson, and Paul Taylor (Routledge Press, 2018, 233-244).

“Beauvoir, Irigaray, and the Ambiguities of Desire” Differences: Rereading Beauvoir and Irigaray. Eds. Emily Anne Parker and Anne van Leeuwen. (Oxford University Press, 2018, 177-195).

“The Perils and Pleasures of the ‘I Can’ Body” Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale Volume 21, #2 Fall/Autumn Special Issue: Throwing Like a Girl: 40 Years Later/Lancer Comme une Fille: 40 Ans Plus Tard, Éditeur invité Donald A. Landes.(2017), 63-80.

“The ‘Normal Abnormalities’ of Disability and Aging: Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir” Feminist Phenomenology Futures. Eds. Helen Fielding and Dorothea Olkowski (Indiana University Press, 2017, 203-217).

“Sedimented Attitudes and Existential Responsibilities” Body/Self/Other: The Phenomenology of Social Encounters, eds. Luna Dolezal and Danielle Petherbridge (SUNY Press, 2017, 75-102.)

“De-Naturalizing the Natural Attitude: A Husserlian Legacy to Social Phenomenology” Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Vol. 47 (2016), 1-16.

“The Silverman Network” Between Philosophy and Non-Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Hugh J. Silverman (1945–2013), eds. Peter Gratton, Donald A. Landes, and Leonard Lawlor (SUNY Press, 2016, 181-193).

"The Normal, the Natural, and the Normative: Implications of Merleau-Ponty's Work for Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Disability Studies" Continental Philosophy Review Volume 48, Issue 1 (2015), 77-93.

“Body” 3,000 word entry for the International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Editor-in-Chief Hugh LaFollette (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2015), 1-9 (DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee806).

Forthcoming Publications

“Phenomenology,” Handbook of Feminist Philosophy, edited by Kim Q. Hall and Ásta Sveinsdóttir (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Recent Conference Presentations

Conference Director for the Diverse Lineages of Existentialism II: Critical Race, Feminist, and Continental Philosophy (DLE II) conference, co-sponsored by George Washington University, American University, and George Mason University, Washington, D.C., June, 2019.

“Beauvoir's Critical Phenomenology of Women's (Limited) Agency Under Patriarchal Disciplinary Regimes,” Invited Lecture, St. John’s College, Annapolis, November 2019.

“Exercising Privilege to Combat Habits of Complicity,” Invited talk for the “Habit and Social Experience” Workshop, University College Dublin, December 2018.

“Translating Lived Experience Across Multiple ‘Worlds of Sense,’” Keynote Presentation for the “Translation in Medicine. How to Deal with Incompatible Information and Multiple Meanings?” conference, sponsored by the IMGWF: Institut Fur Medizinegeschichte Und Wissenschaftsforschung Der Universitat Zu Lübeck, International Research Centre for Cultural Studies, Vienna, Austria, November 2018.

“Living Between-Worlds: Decolonizing and De-Pathologizing Multiple Worlds of Sense” Invited talk for the 43rd International Merleau-Ponty Circle conference, “The Normal and the Abnormal,” University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, November 2018.

“Exercising Privilege to Combat Complicity: Beauvoirian Lessons for the 21st Century,” The 25th International Conference of the Simone de Beauvoir Society, l’Université Paris-Diderot in Paris, October 2018.

“Cultivating a Critical Natural Attitude,” Keynote Presentation for “Toward a Phenomenological Ethics” conference, Université Laval, Québec, CA, September 2018.

Classes Taught

Disciplining Bodies (proseminar)

Feminist Ethics: Theory and Policy Implications (graduate seminar)

Feminist Phenomenology (graduate seminar)

Nonnormative Bodies (proseminar)

Queer(ing) Philosophy (graduate seminar)

Philosophy of Race and Gender

20th Century Continental Philosophy