I am Dean of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Before coming to BU in 2015, I was University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, where I also served as the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies. I was on the faculty at KU for 27 years and taught for 2 years at Occidental College.
My research spans social and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, feminist theory, and philosophy of social science. My dissertation was in the philosophy of game theory on common knowledge. Early in my career I was greatly influenced by Susan Moller Okin’s work on gender and justice, which led me to deeper study of feminism, and then to the social psychology and economics of oppression and social exclusion. This work culminated in a book, Analyzing Oppression, which I published in 2006 with Oxford University Press, and which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and won the Byron Caldwell Smith Award in 2007.
I have also co-authored a book, Capitalism For and Against: A Feminist Debate (Cambridge University Press, 2011) with Nancy Holmstrom, in which I defend capitalism as a positive force for women, affording us a way out of traditional roles and norms, and providing a path out of poverty for the world’s poor.
My current research focuses on the concept of self-ownership in political philosophy, and on topics in higher education, connecting to my work as dean. I am deeply committed to the innovative power and democratic mission of higher education, which can only succeed if it is diverse and inclusive. I write a regular blog on such topics here.
I am the Vice President of Amintaphil, the American Section of the Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, and serve on the Executive Committee of the American Philosophical Association.
I co-directed the Mentoring Project with Louise Antony for six years, and now lend moral and financial support; I am past co-editor of Hypatia.
I have served from 2001-2008 as the director of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (now Department), and was the Associate Dean for Humanities from 2008-2013.
For more information about my teaching, research and service, see my curriculum vitae.
I am married to an economist, Neal Becker, and we have three sons.