Gail Weiss

Gail Weiss

Gail Weiss

Professor of Philosophy

Core Faculty


Email: Gail Weiss
Office Phone: (202) 994-4297

Professor of Philosophy

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

Queer Philosophy and LGBTQ Policy (graduate seminar)

Introduction to Existentialism

Judith Butler (proseminar)

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


Philosophy and Literature

Contemporary Theory in the Human Sciences


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

“Feminist Phenomenology,” The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy, edited by Kim Q. Hall and Ásta Sveinsdóttir (Oxford University Press, 2021, 63-71).

“Strength in Old Age” Philosopher’s Magazine, Forum on Getting Old, Ed. Jean Kazez, Issue 91 (4th Quarter 2020), 99-103.

“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

"Sedimented Attitudes and Existential Responsibilities" (translated into German) Phänomenologie und Kritische Theorie, edited by Alexis Gros, Jochen Dreher, and Hartmut Rosa (Suhrkamp Verlag, forthcoming 2022).

Recent Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Invited Speaker for a Book Panel on Perry Zurn’s Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry U. of Minnesota Press 2021) sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, American University, Washington D.C., November 2021.

“Toward a Critical Phenomenology of Normalcy” (virtual) Keynote for “Confronting Discrimination: Phenomenological & Genealogical Perspectives” an international interdisciplinary conference hosted by the University of Innsbruck, Austria, October 2021.

“Shared Space yet Unshared Worlds: A Critical Phenomenology of the Clinical Encounter” (virtual) Keynote Presentation for the 45th Annual Conference of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle (IMPC), hosted by University of Western Ontario, Canada, October 2021.

“The Question of the Normal” (virtual) Co-Director’s Address to the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) 59th annual conference, September 2021.

"Translating Lived Experience Across Multiple ‘Worlds of Sense’: Depathologizing and Decolonizing the Clinical Encounter," invited (virtual) presentation for UCLA Department of Anthropology Weekly Phenomenology Workshop led by Dr. Jason Throop, May 2021.

"Translating Lived Experience Across Multiple ‘Worlds of Sense’: Depathologizing and Decolonizing the Clinical Encounter," invited talk presented (virtually) to the Ryerson University Department of Philosophy as part of their Philosophy Speaker Series, April 2021.

"Translating Lived Experience Across Multiple ‘Worlds of Sense’: Depathologizing and Decolonizing the Clinical Encounter," Keynote Presentation for “Embodied Voices: Phenomenological, Hermeneutical, and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Health,” sponsored by Duquesne Women in Philosophy (DWiP), Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) and Graduate Students in Philosophy (GSIP), Duquesne University, February 2021

"Translating Lived Experience Across Multiple ‘Worlds of Sense’: Depathologizing and Decolonizing the Clinical Encounter," (virtual) Keynote Presentation for the inauguration of the Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) program at the University College Dublin’s Department of Philosophy, April 2021.

"Beauvoir as Critical Phenomenologist: Reading The Second Sex in the #MeToo Era" Invited Speaker, Boston Phenomenology Circle (BPC) 2021 Symposium on “Phenomenology and Ethics,” Co-Sponsored by Boston University and Boston College, April 2021.

“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 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.

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

Recent Conference and Conference Panel Organization 

Organizer for two Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) conference panels, “Challenging White Cis Heteronormativity” and “Living With and Beyond Diagnosis,” September 2021.

Organizer for an American Philosophical Association (APA) Eastern Division (virtual) panel, “BLM Futures,” sponsored by the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) January 2021.

Organizer for two Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) conference panels, “Cripping Phenomenology” and “Phenomenology of Illness,” Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2019.

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.

Ph.D. Yale University