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Photograph of Perry Zurn

Perry Zurn Provost Assoc Professor Department of Philosophy & Religion

Perry Zurn
(202) 885-2964 (Office)
CAS - Philosophy and Religion
Battelle Tompkins - 112
Office Hours (Fall 2022)
Tuesdays 3:00-5:00 and by appointment
Additional Positions at AU
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy
Affiliate Faculty, Honors Program
Faculty Fellow, Complex Problems
Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, Philosophy, DePaul University
MA, Philosophy, Miami University

Languages Spoken
English, French, Latin
Perry Zurn is Provost Associate Professor of Philosophy at American University, and affiliate faculty in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies, the Honors Program, and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center. Zurn will be a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University ('23-'24) and a visiting scholar at The Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania ('23-'25). He researches primarily in political philosophy, critical theory, and transgender studies, and collaborates in psychology and network neuroscience. He is the author of Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry (2021) and How We Make Each Other: Trans Poetics at the Edge of the University (Duke, under contract), as well as the co-author of Curious Minds: The Power of Connection (MIT Press, 2022). He is also the co-editor of Trans Philosophy: Meaning and Mattering (forthcoming 2024), Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (2020), and Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition (2016), as well as the co-editor and co-translator of Intolerable: Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980 (2021). He is currently writing two books, one on the philosophy of gender and another on the term "cisgender".

Zurn is the author or coauthor of 85+ additional publications in philosophy, political theory, trans studies, and network science, and has given 180+ talks at local, national, and international venues. His theoretical essays have appeared in venues such as Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, and Theory & Event. And his scientific collaborations have appeared in venues such as Nature Human Behavior and Nature Neuroscience. Zurn’s work has been featured in 50+ podcast, radio, and television shows, as well as in mainstream news outlets such as The Guardian. And his work has been generously funded by the American Philosophical Association, the Center for Curiosity, the Hypatia Diversity Fund, the Lee Somers Fund, and the Mellon Foundation. Zurn is the co-founder of the Trans Philosophy Project and the associated Thinking Trans // Trans Thinking Conference. Zurn’s previous appointments include Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, SSNAP Fellow at Duke University, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Curiosity in the School of Social Policy and Practice.

Zurn is also committed to the work of diversifying the academy generally and philosophy specifically. He served as the sophomore cohort Program Manager for the McNair Scholars Program at DePaul University (2011-2015), member and chair of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy’s Committee on the Status of Women (2015-2018), member of the American Philosophical Association’s Diversity Institute Advisory Panel (2015-2018) and Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession (2018-2022), associate chair and chair of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on LGBT People in the Profession (2017-2022), and now serves as the co-chair of FEAST (Feminist Ethics and Social Theory) (2023-present) and as a member of American University's President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion (2018-present). He also currently serves on the advisory boards of philoSOPHIA: Society for Continental Feminism and Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI).