Dwayne Tunstall


Dwayne Tunstall
Assistant Professor

Mackinac Hall B-3 211
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Fax: (616) 331-2601

MAK B-3 211
Ext.: 13415 (voice-mail)

Professor Tunstall's CV


Professor Dwayne Tunstall earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2007. He is the author of Yes, But Not Quite: Encountering Josiah Royce’s Ethico-Religious Insight (Fordham University Press, 2009). Even though he has written a monograph on Royce’s ethico-religious insight, he recognizes that Royce’s social and political philosophy is a culturally antiblack one. Despite Royce’s problematic social and political philosophy, though, he thinks that other aspects of Royce’s philosophy are worth promoting (e.g., Royce’s epistemology, moral philosophy, ontology, and philosophy of religion). He promotes these worthwhile aspects of Royce’s philosophy in his role as President of the Josiah Royce Society.

Professor Tunstall is also the author of Doing Philosophy Personally: Thinking about Metaphysics, Theism, and Antiblack Racism (Fordham University Press, 2013). In this book, he explores how Gabriel Marcel’s religious existentialism, when coupled with Gordon’s Africana existentialism, can provide valuable resources for constructing a religious humanism that is opposed to anti-black racism. He also explores the importance of extra-philosophical commitments to philosophical inquiry using Gabriel Marcel and Lewis Gordon as case studies.

Professor Tunstall’s research explores how Africana philosophy, existential phenomenology, moral philosophy, religious ethics, and classical American philosophy can complement one another when thinking about issues of moral agency, personal identity, race, and the legacy of Western modernity. His research has led him to write and publish more than fifteen articles, book chapters, and book reviews on a variety of topics, including aesthetics, Africana philosophy, pragmatism, religious ethics, and social and political philosophy. These publications have appeared in several academic journals, including Contemporary PragmatismC. L. R. James JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion, Philosophy and Social CriticismPhilosophy TodayThe Pluralist, and Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.

Professor Tunstall also has research interests in poststructuralism (especially Michel Foucault), social ontology, and postcolonial theory. His interest in poststructuralism and postcolonial theory led him to be a co-editor of a volume on Orientalist Writers for The Dictionary of Literary Biography with his colleague and friend, Dr. Coeli Fitzpatrick. Their selection of Orientalist writers to be featured in this volume has been influenced by Edward Said’s Orientalism.  However, they admit that Said’s genealogy of Orientalism excludes entire traditions of Orientalist writings and scholarship (e.g., 19th century Nordic Orientalism and German Orientalism). Accordingly, they included some entries on these excluded Orientalist traditions in their volume.

Professor Tunstall’s latest research project is a multidisciplinary comparative study of Josiah Royce’s concept of wise provincialism and William Henry Ferris’ romantic black nationalism. The central research question of this study is: Did any of Royce’s contemporaries take up Royce’s concept of wise provincialism, or a concept functionally similar to it, and enact it on the societal level? He will argue that Ferris did so in his roles as a historian of Negro history and as the literary editor of the United Negro Improvement Association’s Negro World from 1919 to 1923. He doesn’t intend to claim that Ferris explicitly adopted Royce’s concept of wise provincialism unless he can uncover adequate evidence for such a claim. Rather, he will explain how Ferris’ romantic black nationalism, as embodied in his two-volume The African Abroad, or His Evolution in Western Civilization, Tracing His Development Under Caucasian Milieu (1913) and during his tenure as the literary editor of the Negro World, is functionally similar to how Royce envisions wise provincialism operating in a society. He also will investigate how Ferris’ romantic black nationalism can be cosmopolitan in the same sense as Royce’s wise provincialism.






Page last modified July 3, 2013