Jina Fast

SHIFT Assistant Professor of Applied Ethics and the Common Good
Dr. Jina Fast holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and women's and gender studies from Temple University. As a feminist epistemologist, queer theorist, and critical philosopher of race, her work centers theories produced by and through the experiences and work of marginalized folks across disciplines. Dr. Fast's work has been published in the Journal of Critical Race InquiryAtlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, & Social Justice, and Hypatia among others. Currently, she is at work on two books. Her first book, titled Decolonizing Existentialism and Phenomenology: The Liberation of Philosophies of Freedom and Identity, will be published in December 2023 by Rowman and Littlefield International, while her second, an edited collection titled The Marcusean Mind, will be published in August 2024.

In Decolonizing Existentialism and Phenomenology, Dr. Fast analyzes the history of decolonial existentialist and phenomenological theory in the work of figures such as Simone de Beauvoir, Richard Wright, Franz Fanon, Lewis Gordon, Audre Lorde, Sylvia Wynter, and Jamaica Kincaid to reimagine and rewrite the philosophical canon. Phenomenology and existentialism study the structures of consciousness as experienced from the perspective of the subject, yet their methods have been markedly tied to the subjective lived experiences and perspectives of White Europeans and Americans. By centering the experiences of peoples of the African diaspora, gender marginalized people, and queer peoples, Africana existentialist and phenomenologist philosophers in the 20th and 21st centuries have been able to generate new frameworks for understanding structures of meaning and consciousness within oppressive colonial orders, thus challenging histories of existentialism and phenomenology that bracket social markers of identity and experiences of social identity. This text represents a study of philosophers seeking to decolonize hegemonic discourses and structures that impede the development of the selves and projects of colonized peoples.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course employs an intersectional philosophical approach to the study of human sexuality. Specific topics include ethical, epistemological (knowledge), and political questions related to sexual orientation, lust, casual sex, adultery, love, sexual orientation and practice, different types of relationships, and the intersectionality of sexual identity and orientation with other identities such as race, gender, and disability status. As we consider these questions, we will challenge assumptions regarding human sexuality, consider the importance of sexuality and friendship to the good life, and discuss what, if any, is the appropriate role of the state in human sexual behavior. Keywords:Ethics, Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, Relationships

  • Is race biological? Does the gendered brain exist? How are our social and natural sciences structured by social norms? How do our institutions of medicine, agriculture, technology, psychology, etc. function through and as colonial practices? We often take for granted that race and gender are socially constructed in terms of political meaning. In this course, we will learn to think about the social role in the construction of science and scientific claims through exploring the intersections and interplay of gender, race, sexuality, science and medicine. In our readings, lectures and discussions, we will investigate the roles of science, medicine and technology in defining and redefining sex, gender, race, and sexuality; uncover the ways cultural beliefs about social identities shape science, medicine, and technology; and study the efforts by feminist philosophers, philosophers of race, and queer theorists to reveal and challenge the cultural norms that influence scientific knowledge and institutions. Keywords:Philosophy, Race, Ethics, Science, Medicine