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Ofelia Schutte: September 2013

posted Sep 4, 2013, 7:55 AM by Peggy DesAutels

Ofelia Schutte
University of South Florida

Ofelia Schutte is currently Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of South Florida.  Earlier, she chaired the Women’s Studies Department at USF, and earlier still she taught philosophy for over twenty years at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  It was there that, a year or so after receiving her Ph.D. at Yale with a specialization in Nietzsche and post-Kantian German philosophy, she expanded and developed her research interests to include Latin American philosophy and feminist theory.

Already in her dissertation and first book, Beyond Nihilism: Nietzsche without Masks, she had initiated a feminist reading of Nietzsche’s work.  Her second authored book, Cultural Identity and Social Liberation in Latin American Thought, brought attention to the history of progressive social thought and activist movements linked to them throughout much of twentieth-century Latin America.  Her research and leadership in professional organizations (Fulbright and Bunting scholar, Hypatia associate editor for over a decade, Chair of APA Committee on Hispanics/Latinos, and many others) have earned her widespread recognition as a senior Latina feminist philosopher and one of a handful of Latina/o philosophers launching the current field of Latin American philosophy in the United States.  In service to the latter goal she co-edited the recently published Blackwell Companion to Latin American Philosophy.  A native of Cuba, she has also participated in numerous Women’s Studies conferences there and looks forward to seeing one of her papers on Cuban women writers published in the island, for the first time, in 2014.

Ofelia’s commitment to philosophy’s pluralism, including philosophy in the continental tradition, and her defense of feminist and Latina/o issues in the profession have been unwavering.  She contributed gladly to Linda Alcoff’s edited collection Singing in the Fire.  “There have been so many obstacles to overcome along the way,” she says, “but this only makes us more motivated and determined to achieve real parity and inclusiveness in philosophy, as in other life matters.”  Papers from a symposium on her work on Latin American and Latina feminist philosophy appear in the Fall 2012 issue of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in the Profession.