Dr. William Wilkerson

Emeritus Professor


1301 Ben Graves Drive
Frank Franz Hall
Room 104
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Dr. Wilkerson received his B.A. in Humanities from Willamette University in Oregon in 1990, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University in 1997. He has published over a twenty articles in philosophy of mind, twentieth century European philosophy, and gay and lesbian philosophy in journals including Philosophic al Psychology, Continental Philosophy Review, Journal of Social Philosophy, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy and Epoché. He co-edited, with Jeffrey Paris, New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation; authored a book on sexual identity entitled Ambiguity and Sexuality; and co-edited (with Shannon Mussett) a collection of essays on the work of Simone de Beauvoir called Beauvoir and Western Thought from Plato to Butler. He works primarily in the European philosophical tradition, studying how we find meaning both in the world and in our own lives. He also has research and teaching interests in political philosophy, Marxism, feminist philosophy, and gender studies. When he is not thinking about these things, he enjoys gardening, woodwork, cooking, and reading books that have plots.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Purdue University, 1997
  • B.A., Humanities, Willamette University, 1990

Honors & Awards

  • Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Member, 2009-2010
  • Liberal Arts Research Incentive Grant, 2006
  • UAH Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award, 2003
  • Student Government Assoc. Outstanding Liberal Arts Faculty Award, 1999-2000
  • NEH Summer Seminar Participant, St. Louis, Summer 1999
  • UAH Mini-Grant for Research, Summer 1998
  • Andrews Fellowship, Purdue University, 1992-94


  • Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
  • Pluralists' Guide to Philosophy


  • Political philosophy
  • Marxism
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Philosophy of gender

Recent Publications

  • Simone de Beauvoir Engages the Philosophers: Essays on Beauvoir's Engagement with Western Thought. Co-editor with Shannon Mussett. SUNY Press.

  • Ambiguity and Sexuality: A Theory of Sexual Identity. Palgrave-Macmillan, May 2007. Paper edition, March 2010.

  • New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation, co-editor with Jeffrey Paris, September 2001. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

  • "Defining Sexual Orientation" for The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings, 6th Edition. Raja Halwani and Nicholas Power, eds. Rowman and Littlefield.

  • "Introduction to Beauvoir's 'Merleau-Ponty and Pseudo-Sartreanism'" for Simone de Beauvoir: Political Writings" edited by Margaret A. Simons and Marybeth Timmerman, forthcoming from University of Illinois Press.

  • "A Different Kind of Universality: Beauvoir and Kant on Ethical Universals" in Simone de Beauvoir Engages the Philosophers: Essays on Beauvoir's Engagement with Western Thought.

  • "Is it a Choice? Sexual Orientation as Interpretation" in Queer Philosophy: Proceedings of the Society for Lesbian and Gay Philosophy 1998-2008, Raja Halwani, Carole Quinn and Andy Wible, editors. Rudopi Press. Abridged version of the paper of the same title that appears in Journal of Social Philosophy.

  • "The Paradox of Time and the Will in Kant, Existentialism and Derrida" in 2009 SPEP Proceedings, Philosophy Today, Fall 2010.

  • "Neo-Liberalism, Bio-Discipline and Cultural Critique, Commentary on Ladelle McWhorter's Feminism, Reprogenetics, and Foucault's Analysis of Neoliberalism" for 2009 Spindel Conference Proceedings in The Southern Journal of Philosophy.

  • "Time and Ambiguity: Reassessing Merleau-Ponty's Criticism of Sartrean Freedom" forthcoming in Journal of the History of Philosophy, April 2010.