Marjolein Oele

Associate Professor

Department Chair • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4369 Kalmanovitz Hall 138


Marjolein Oele is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. She was trained as an MD at the Free University of Amsterdam, has a Master's Degree in Philosophy and received her PhD in Philosophy in 2007. Her primary research interests are in Twentieth Century and Contemporary European Philosophy, and in Ancient Philosophy (mainly Aristotle). She is the author of numerous articles that intertwine topics and figures in Continental Philosophy with Aristotle’s philosophy. Her forthcoming publications include the article "Openness and Protection: A Philosophical Analysis of the Placenta’s Mediatory Role in Co-Constituting Emergent Intertwined Identities" and the co-edited volume Ontologies of Nature: Continental Perspectives and Environmental Reorientations in production with Springer.

She currently holds the NEH Chair (2016-2017) at the University of San Francisco, which has supported her in finishing up her monograph with the title E-Co-Affectivity: The Power of Pathos in Living Interfaces. The manuscript E-Co-Affectivity seeks to articulate and unlock the meaning, depth, and complexity of affectivity in living beings, ultimately focusing on the very materiality of the interfaces that co-generate and co-constitute those living beings. What is innovative about this book is thinking through the concrete, living places where affectivity happens and integrating natural science in its investigations of material interfaces. Accordingly, the book applies conceptions of the middle voice to grasp nutrition and growth in plants, and it examines the philosophical significance of material interfaces such as bird feathers, the human placenta, human skin, and soil. Prof. Oele just started a new book project, preliminarily entitled Loss, which continues her attempt to integrate personal experiences as well as natural science and themes in European Thought in her philosophical writings. The book will discuss, among other things, loss of health, homelessness, death of loved ones, and miscarriage.

As part of her service to USF, she is currently the Director of Faculty Research (DFR) in the College of Arts and Sciences at USF, in which capacity she organizes the writing program, writing retreats, faculty salons, and faculty development cafés. She also facilitated a year-long Faculty Learning Community on Student Engagement in 2015-2016, which led to the co-authored publication "Examining Assumptions about Student Engagement in the Classroom: A Faculty Learning Community’s Year-Long Journey.” Her newest challenge will be taking on the task of Chair of the Philosophy Department, which she starts in August 2017.

In terms of service to the profession, Prof. Oele is, together with Gerard Kuperus, the co-founder of the Bay Area Continental Philosophy Association (BACPA) and she is also part of the executive board of the successful Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition (PACT) since its founding in 2009. Prof. Oele has also been active in the Ancient Philosophy Society, both as a member of its executive board, its program committee and as organizer of workshops and as host one of its annual meetings.

Department Chair, Philosophy
Director of Faculty Research (DFR), College of Arts and Sciences
PhD, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago
MA, Philosophy, University of Amsterdam
MD, Free University of Amsterdam
Twentieth Century and Contemporary European Thought
Ancient Philosophy

Oele, M. and Kuperus, G., eds. (Forthcoming Fall 2017). Ontologies of Nature: Continental Perspectives and Environmental Reorientations. Dordrecht: Springer.

Oele, M. (2017). “Openness and Protection: A Philosophical Analysis of the Placenta’s Mediatory Role in Co-Constituting Emergent Intertwined Identities.” Configurations, 25(3).

Oele, M., DiGiammarino, P., Keiffer, M., LaVigne, M., Nicely, M. and Nosek, M. (2017). “Examining Assumptions about Student Engagement in the Classroom: A Faculty Learning Community’s Year-Long Journey.” In Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, 6(1), Article 14, 110-119.

Oele, M. "Philosophy and Friendship." In In Praise of Speaking, Reading, Writing, Teaching, Discussing: Festschrift for Adriaan Peperzak's 80 Birthday, ed. C. Hanley, Baltimore, MD: Loyola University in Maryland Press. (forthcoming)

Oele, M. "Aristotle on Physis: Analyzing the Inner Ambiguities and Transgression of Nature." In Companion to Ancient Philosophy, eds. E. Sanday & S. Kirkland. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. (forthcoming)

Oele, M. “Priam’s Despair and Courage: An Aristotelian Reading of Fear, Hope and Suffering in Homer’s Iliad.” In: Logoi and Muthoi: Further Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature, ed. William Wians, Albany, NY: SUNY Press. (forthcoming)

Oele, M. (2013). "Review of Aristotle on the Nature of Truth by C.P. Long." In Classical Philology, 108(3), 163-168.

Oele, M. (2012). "Passive Dispositions: on the Relationship between Pathos and Hexis in Aristotle." Ancient Philosophy, 32(2), 1-18.

Oele, M. (2012). "Attraction and Repulsion: Understanding Aristotle's Poiein and Paschein." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 33(1), 85-102.

Oele, M. (2012). "Heidegger's Reading of Aristotle's Concept of Pathos." Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, 16 (2), 389-406.

Oele, M. (2010). "Suffering, Pity and Friendship: an Aristotelian Reading of Book 24 of Homer's Iliad." Electronic Antiquity (special edition: The Passions of Achilles: Reflections on the Classical and Medieval Epic), 14(1), 51-65.

Oele, M., co-translator (German to English). (2010). "The Structure and Meter of Greek Comedy" by B. Zimmermann. In Brill's Companion to the Study of Greek Comedy, ed. G.W. Dobrov. Boston: Brill, 455-469.

Oele, M., Kuperus, G. and Bartlett, A. (2009). "Aesthetic Sensibility and Political Praxis: Foucault, Lyotard and the Darfur Crisis." Radical Philosophy Review, 12 (1-2),137-155.

Oele, M. (2007). "Being Beyond: Aristotle's and Plessner's Accounts of Animal Responsiveness." In Phenomenology and the Non-Human Animal: At the Limits of Experience, ed. C. Lotz & C. Painter. Dordrecht: Springer, 29-37.

Oele, M., ed. and co-translator (English to Dutch). (2007). "Aanspraak" and "Filosofie en Vriendschap" by A. Peperzak. In Aanspraak en Bezinning. Kampen: Klement.

Oele, M. (2005). "Diogenes of Sinope." In Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Ancient Greek Philosophy But Didn't Know Who To Ask, ed. P. O'Grady. Aldershot: Ashgate, 139-142.

Awards & Distinctions

NEH Chair in the Humanities, USF, 2016-2017

Post-Sabbatical Merit Award for Exceptional Research Productivity, USF, 2015