Kathryn Belle

Kathryn Belle

Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Study

242 Sparks Building
Office Phone: (814) 865-1652


  1. M.A., Philosophy, University of Memphis, 2001
  2. Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Memphis, 2003


Kathryn Sophia Belle, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty in African American Studies, as well as in Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her primary research and teaching interests lie in Continental philosophy (especially Existentialism and Phenomenology), African American/Africana Philosophy, Black Feminist Philosophy, and Critical Philosophy of Race. Some of the major figures she writes about and teaches include Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Frantz Fanon, Anna Julia Cooper and Richard Wright. She has published articles on race, assimilation, feminism, intersectionality, and sex and sexuality in contemporary hip-hop. Under the name Kathryn T. Gines she co-edited an anthology titled Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2010) and is author of Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question (Indiana University Press, 2014). Professor Belle is the founding director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers (CBWP), the former director (2010-2016) of Cultivating Underrepresented Students in Philosophy (CUSP), and a founding co-editor (2013-2016) of the journal Critical Philosophy of Race (CPR).

Professor Belle is currently at work on two book manuscripts: 1) In Critical Intersectional Approaches to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (working title) she critiques analogical approaches to identity and oppression while exploring intersectionality and multiplicity as more viable alternatives. She is especially attentive to women of color scholarly engagements with Beauvoir and this classic text, e.g., Loraine Hansberry, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Debora King, Oyewonke Oyewumi, Chikwenye Ogunyemi, Mariana Ortega, Stephanie Berruz, Kyoo Lee, and Alia Al-Saji. This manuscript is in its final stages and will be submitted in 2019. 2) In The Ethics of Buddhism at the Intersections of Race and Black Feminism (working title) Belle argues that Buddhism provides tools for ethical literacy and leadership to analyze and address oppressive systems (e.g. caste, racism, colonialism, sexism, heterosexism) on multiple levels. She shows how recovering past and present interconnections between Buddhism, race discrimination, and caste discrimination provides a more inclusive analysis of race/racism and offers a corrective to the concealed presence of Black Buddhists. This project brings together her expertise in Critical Philosophy of Race and Black Feminist Intersectionality to revisit Buddhism and the race question historically and in the twenty-first century. This is a newer project in its early stages.