The Department of Philosophy
325 John Watson Hall, Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
Meena Krishnamurthy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University. Before this she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in Philosophy and in the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She also held positions at the University of Manitoba and Dalhousie University. She completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University.
Professor Krishnamurthy is a political philosopher who works on race, democracy, and social movements. She is currently writing a book (The Emotions of Nonviolence) and a series of related papers on Martin Luther King Jr.’s political philosophy. Her work is about King’s views on the role of the political emotions in motivation to end racial injustice. It explores how he used the various tactics of the civil rights movement (protest, images, letters, and oratory) to engage these emotions and to overcome some of the barriers to political action. This project is a follow up to her earlier piece on King, “(White) Tyranny and the Democratic Value of Distrust.”
Krishnamurthy is also writing on Indian political thinkers such as B.R. Ambedkar who are concerned with the nature of caste and casteism. She is especially interested in how thinking about caste can inform our thinking about race and racism in the United States. Relatedly, she is a contributing editor of a collection of critical essays on the political philosophy of the Black American Canadian abolitionist, Mary Shadd Cary, who was critical of “caste institutions” in the United States and encouraged emigration to Canada.
You can read more about Professor Krishnamurthy’s research here and some of her work in public philosophy here. You can listen to Professor Krishnamurthy talk about her recent work at the UnMute Podcast and at the Love and Social Justice Podcast. You can also see her give a talk on King’s views on white ignorance here and about Ambedkar and Du Bois’s views on caste here (skip ahead to 26 mins). Krishnamurthy discusses her research, career, and move back to Canada at the Acadames podcast.
Professor Krishnamurthy is deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity within philosophy. She was the editor of the blog Philosopher, which showcased work by philosophers from underrepresented groups in philosophy. She initiated this “Inclusive Bibliography on Race, Gender, and Related Topics“, which is a crowd sourced project. She also contributed to this crowd sourced reading list on “Decolonizing Political Theory.” Krishnamurthy was also an instructor at the Philosophy In an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI Rock), a summer program that helps underrepresented students to see that they have a place in Philosophy.