The Department of Philosophy
325 John Watson Hall, Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
Meena Krishnamurthy is an Associate 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. She is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy.
Professor Krishnamurthy is a political philosopher who works on race, democracy, social movements, and political psychology. Her work is largely about the role of the political emotions in motivation to end racial injustice. It explores how civil rights activists 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.
She is currently finishing up a book, The Emotions of Nonviolence (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming). This book revisits King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” not to mine yet another argument for, or about, civil disobedience, but to uncover a novel account of how moral emotions motivate nonviolent action; and reciprocally, how nonviolent action channels these emotions. Krishnamurthy has also started work on a new book, How Empathy Works. It shows that an understanding of empathy and its mechanisms (including its limitations) is essential for the preservation and protection of liberal democracy.
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 book and King’s views on dignity and anger here at the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps 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.