Project Description

RESEARCH AREAS:

  • Bioethics

  • Social and Political Philosophy

  • Feminist Philosophy

CONTACT:

HEATHER STEWART

Doctoral Student
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Heather Stewart is a doctoral student in philosophy, focusing primarily on the areas of applied ethics (bioethics and psychiatric ethics), feminist philosophy (epistemology and ethics), social and political philosophy, and queer theory. Before coming to Western, Heather completed an MA in Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and BA degrees in Biology and Philosophy. Heather is interested in doing philosophy that is applied and interdisciplinary, and which engages those outside of the discipline. To this end, Heather is currently involved in a research project that aims to improve clinical experiences for trans and gender non-conforming patients in medical settings, as well as a project that studies microaggressions within the context of clinical medicine. Broadly, Heather is interested in the way philosophy can contribute to larger social justice projects and to improving the lived experiences of vulnerable populations.

The majority of my current research time is going towards a large project on the topic of “microaggressions.” This work, co-authored with Dr. Lauren Freeman (University of Louisville) is both theoretical and practical. The theoretical aspect of the work is two fold. First, we offer a critique of the existing literature on microaggressions, particularly as they have been conceptualized in the social sciences. Then, the positive component of the project, is to offer a new conceptualization of microaggressions, accompanied by a new taxonomical framework for classifying microaggressions. We situate this work in particular within the domain of clinical medicine. Thus, the practical part of the project involves understanding what types of microaggressions are most prominent in clinical encounters, and how they affect physician-patient relationships (especially confidence and trust) and clinical outcomes.

Articles:

“Book Review: Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from the Hunger Games to Campus Rape (Kelly Oliver).” Dosis. 18 October 2017. https://medhumdosis.com/2017/10/18/book-review-hunting-girls/. Web.

“Review of Poverty, Agency and Human Rights (Diana Tietjens Meyers).” Hypatia Reviews Online. 2017. http://hypatiareviews.org/reviews/content/7. Web.

“Uncovering Gender in Hegel’s ‘Ethical Order’ in The Phenomenology of Spirit.” Episteme International Undergraduate Journal. XXVII (2016): 7-24.

“Book Review: The Minority Body (Elizabeth Barnes).” MedHum Fiction Daily Dose. 5 October 2016. https://medhumdosis.com/2016/10/05/book-review-the-minority-body/. Web.

“Suspended Animation as a Medical Intervention: Opting for an “Opt-In” System”. Rutgers Journal of Bioethics. Vol. 7: Iss 1(2016): 46-55.

“Book Review: The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander).” MedHum Fiction Daily Dose. 25 May 2016. https://medhumdosis.com/2016/05/25/book-review-the-new-jim-crow/. Web.

“Dissolving Dualism in Medicine: Reuniting the Body and Mind through Patient Narratives,” Res Cogitans: Vol. 6: Iss. 1. Article 15. (2015).

“Review of Institutional Corruption: A Study in Applied Philosophy (Seumas Miller). In Progress for Philosophy in Review. 2018.

“Review of Beyond the Binary: Thinking About Sex and Gender (Shannon Dea).” Forthcoming in Hypatia Reviews Online. 2018.

“Book Review: Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America (Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, eds.). Dosis. 1.1. Special edition: Sickness and Health in the Era of Trump.” 28 February 2018.https://medhumdosis.com/2018/02/20/book-review-nasty-women-edited-by-samhita-mukhopadhyay-and-kate-harding/. Web.

Book Chapters

“Epistemic Microaggressions and Epistemic Injustices in Clinical Medicine.” With Lauren Freeman. In Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives (Ben Sherman and Stacey Goguen, eds.) Forthcoming on Rowman and Littlefield International.

MA Thesis

“Institutional Uptake: Extending Theories of Uptake Beyond the Interpersonal.”

Invited Talks

Invited to Comment on Taylor Rogers’ “Unintelligibility and Epistemological Resilience.” 2018 Central APA, Chicago, IL (upcoming).

“Microagressions at the Bedside: The Seemingly Small Things Clinicians Do That Erode Patient Trust”, (with Dr. Lauren Freeman) University of Kentucky Bioethics Conference, University of Kentucky, September 2016.

Invited Commentary on “Techniques of Relatedness in Practice: Lessons from Community Mental Health.” 2018 Canadian Philosophical Association Congress, Montreal Quebec. June 4-7, 2018 (upcoming).

Invited Commentary on “The Epistemology of Ignorance and Prenatal and Natal Care for Pregnant Women in Provincial Jails in Ontario and Nova Scotia.” 2018 Canadian Philosophical Association Congress, Montreal, Quebec. June 4-7 2018 (upcoming).

Conference Presentations

Overcoming Epistemic Violence Online” accepted for presentation at the 2018 Conference on the Global Status of Women and Girls, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, March 2018.

“Shared Responsibility for Societal Appearances: On the Collective Effort To Restrict Hate Speech” accepted for presentation at the 5th Annual Bowling Green State University Graduate Workshop in Applied Philosophy: Broadening the Scope of Moral Consideration, Bowling Green, OH, November 2017.

“Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine: A Critique of Beauchamp and Childress’ Principle of Non-Maleficence” (with Dr. Lauren Freeman), American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, Baltimore, MD, January 2017 (paper given by co-author).

“Gender Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine: A Feminist Critique of Beauchamp and Childress’ Principle of Non-Maleficence (with Dr. Lauren Freeman). The Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies, FEMMSS 6: Inside, Outside, and Across Disciplines: Gender, Race, and Concepts of Difference, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, October 2-4, 2016.

“Gatekeepers and ‘Deceivers’: Doubt, Denial, and Epistemic Injustice Towards Trans Patients in the Clinic”, The Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies, FEMMSS 6: Inside, Outside, and Across Disciplines: Gender, Race, and Concepts of Difference, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, October 2-4, 2016.

“Contribution, Responsibility, and Social Norms: In Defense of the Social Connection Model” (with Dr. Avery Kolers), 9th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference (RoME), University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO, August 11-14, 2016.

“Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine: A Critique of Beauchamp and Childress’ Principle of Non-Maleficence” (with Dr. Lauren Freeman), Kentucky Philosophical Association 2016 Meeting, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY, April 16, 2016.

“Denial of Identity and Experience: An Analysis of Epistemic Injustices Towards Trans Persons in Health Care”, Michigan State University 17th Graduate Philosophy Conference: Starting from the Actual: Working Against Oppression and Marginalization, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, March 18-19, 2016.

“Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine: A Critique of Beauchamp and Childress’ Principle of Non-Maleficence” (with Dr. Lauren Freeman), Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology 2016 Meeting, Louisville, KY, March 10-12, 2016. [Presented as part of an Invited Symposia on Issues in African American Psychology].

“Denial of Identity and Experience: An Analysis of Epistemic Injustices Towards Trans Persons in Healthcare”, QueerCon 2016: Social Justice Warriors, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, February 26, 2016.

“In Defense of Fanon’s Conception of the Struggle to the Death,” Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 18th Annual Building Bridges Graduate Conference, “Resistance: Lives of Dissent and Revolt”, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Carobondale, IL, November 2015.

“Uncovering Gender in Hegel’s ‘Ethical Order’ in The Phenomenology of Spirit”, SoCal Philosophy Conference, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, October 2015.

Dissolving Dualism in Medicine: Reuniting the Body and Mind Through Patient Narrative, Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, April 2015

“Restricting the Use of Forced Medications in Psychiatric Practice, University of Louisville Thesis Defense, University of Louisville, April 2015.

Dissolving Dualism in Medicine: Reuniting the Body and Mind Through Patient Narrative, Southern Regional Honors Conference, Greenville, SC, March 2015.

“Dissolving Dualism in Medicine: Reuniting the Body and Mind Through Patient Narrative”, Kentucky Honors Roundtable, Kentucky State University, 2015.

“Caring for the Monster: Analysis of the Emotional Investment in the Character Norman Bates, SoCal Philosophy Conference, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, October 2014.

“Perspectives in German Expressionism” [Poster Presentation], National Collegiate Honors Conference, Denver, CO, November 2014.

“German Expressionism: The Art of Escape”, Southern Regional Honors Conference, Savannah, GA, March 2014.

“German Expressionism: The Art of Escape”, Kentucky Honors Roundtable, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, 2014.

“The Incompatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Freedom: The Impacts of Affirming the Existence of a Higher Power on Free Will and Moral Responsibility”, Kentucky Honors Roundtable, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY, 2013.

Project Title: Improving Clinical Medicine

Role: Co-Investigator; Visiting Scholar

Project Members: Dr. Lauren Freeman & Heather Stewart (researchers); Jade Montanez (research assistant).

Brief Description:

This project out of the University of Louisville aims to improve health care outcomes for trans and gender non-conforming patients by improving their clinical experiences and fostering communication between these populations and health care providers. We will be conducting a series of focus groups with trans and gender non-conforming individuals to learn about their experiences in clinical settings, what (if anything) goes wrong in these encounters, and how they feel the clinical experience could be improved for members of their communities.

Fall/Winter 2017-2018, University of Western Ontario (teaching assistant), WS 1020: Introduction to Women’s Studies

Spring 2017, University of Colorado, Boulder (teaching assistant), Phil 3140: Environmental Ethics

Fall 2016, University of Colorado, Boulder (teaching assistant), Phil 1000: Introduction to Philosophy

Spring 2016 University of Louisville (Guest Lecturer), Philosophy of Mental Illness, Ethics, and Medical Ethics

Fall/Spring 2014-2015, University of Louisville (supplemental instructor), Biology 262: Anatomy and Physiology II