Award-winning professor contributes book chapter, credits King's teaching
January 24, 2020
Congratulations to Dr. Kimberley Baltzer-Jaray, Sessional Instructor for Philosophy, Women’s Studies, and Social Justice & Peace Studies, who has a chapter called “Camus and the History of Modern Western Philosophy” published in the new volume, Brill’s Companion to Camus: Camus Amongst the Philosophers, now available in hardback and e-book format.
Dr. Baltzer-Jaray says teaching courses in Philosophy, Social Justice & Peace Studies (including and currently Women’s Studies) and Religious Studies helped her write the chapter. She has been a part-time faculty at King’s since 2013, most recently winning the Teaching Award of Excellence in 2019. Read more at https://www.kings.uwo.ca/about-kings/media-and-communications/newsroom/2019-kings-award-for-excellence-in-teaching-announced/.
“My time at King’s has been incredibly interdisciplinary and that has benefitted my research and perspective immensely. That and the faculty in these programs, many who are now dear friends, have been incredibly supportive of my work and have offered valuable advice. I also have had many bright and engaged students who opened my eyes to new viewpoints,” says Dr. Baltzer-Jaray.
“Giving Camus a proper place and respect in the history of ideas is beyond rewarding,” she says. She sought to “paint a truthful portrait of him and tried to show how Camus has a rightful and significant place in the history of philosophy.”
Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44. Dr. Balter-Jaray says Camus “was not the archetypal philosophical voice and he was not offering the standard ideas or in the standard way. My hope is it gets people talking about his ideas. I want it to open doors for other figures like him - the outsiders and rebels, those who aren’t the traditional academic thinkers and yet who belong and deserve to be taught alongside the old classics of Western Philosophy.”
In the abstract for the chapter, Dr. Baltzer-Jaray wrote “there are two interrelated themes that Camus brilliantly explores and utilizes in his existential writings: the absurd and the alienation it produces.” She explains because Camus wrote literature, his ideas were more accessible.
The chapter stems from a paper “Absurdism: The Second Truth of Philosophy”, which Dr. Baltzer-Jaray presented at an Albert Camus Society meeting in London, England in November 2013. The paper, discussing Camus in the context of the history of Modern Philosophy, was eventually published in the Camus Society Journal. The paper was well-received and Dr. Baltzer-Jaray was invited to contribute to the Brill’s Companion to Camus.
Dr. Baltzer-Jaray saw it as “the perfect moment to expand on what I had started in 2013.” She said much of the research had already been done through her philosophical education and teaching background. She also expanded and added to her notes from her 2013 paper. “It was just a matter of assembling it into an argument thread and sorting out the texts to use,” she says.
For more information on Brill’s Companion to Camus: Camus Amongst the Philosophers, please visit https://brill.com/view/title/55182.