Dr. Jason Kemp Winfree


I think a philosophical life matters. It makes us deeper, not necessarily better. I mean by that that philosophy can cultivate our capacities to experience the world, enriching how we value, enjoy, suffer, understand ourselves, and relate to others. It is the mark of an intellectually and spiritually stunted society to think that everything has to be useful, and the mark of a truly one-dimensional culture to think that what is useful has to be economically profitable.

My primary philosophical interests concern the intersection of three mutually determining issues: normalization, exclusion, and excess. My research considers how processes of normalization structure and regulate our values, discourses, and knowledge. It also addresses how those processes require the exclusion of ways of being resistant to productive assimilation (i.e., ways of living, experiencing, thinking, desiring, creating, questioning, and valuing). Most importantly, though, I'€™m interested in how those same ways of being say something about the character of our existence that breaks with the kind of prosaic life sanctioned by the social order. In this way, my work brings together ontological and ethico-political considerations, as well as concerns pertaining to the scope and limits of critical theory. My approach is phenomenological, hermeneutical, and/or genealogical as warranted by the specific phenomena at issue.

Jason Kemp Winfree

Contact Information

Building Location: Science 1
See Building #9: Map

Office Location: S 103A - See Map

Phone: (209) 664-6669

E-mail: Jwinfree@csustan.edu

I'm currently completing a book on the issue of community in the work of Georges Bataille. The book aims to clarify the terms, stakes, and critical limits of that issue as a point of interest in recent continental philosophy. Some paper titles from the last few years also give a sense of my interests: Wonder and the Elemental: Suffering Beyond Ethics€ (Comparative and Continental Philosophy, 2013), €œSacred Violence and the Death of God: Bataille'€™s Lucid Fanaticism€ (Philosophy Today, 2012), and €No More Beautiful Days: Situating Agamben's Coming Community (Epoch©: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, 2011).


B.A., Hiram College (Religious Studies), June 1991
M.A., Vanderbilt University (Religion), December 1993
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University (Philosophy), August 2001

Areas of Specialization

  1. 20th Century Continental Philosophy (esp. Phenomenology, Deconstruction, Existentialism, Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot, Bataille, Nancy, Benjamin)
  2. 19th Century Continental Philosophy (esp. Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche)

Areas of Competence

  1. Philosophy of Literature
  2. Philosophy of Language
  3. Philosophy of Art
  4. Social and Political Thought


Edited Book

The Obsessions of Georges Bataille: Community and Communication, co-edited with Andrew J. Mitchell (SUNY Press, 2009)


  • Wonder and The Elemental: Suffering Beyond Ethics,€ forthcoming in Continental and Comparative Philosophy
  • Sacred Violence: Bataille'€™s Lucid Fanaticism, in Philosophy Today, forthcoming.
  • €œNo More Beautiful Days: Situating Agamben'€™s Coming Community,€ Epoch©: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, forthcoming.
  • Language, Animality, Sovereignty: On the Conditions of Community after the End of History, in theory@buffalo, 15, animal.machine.sovereign.
  • €œSolitude, Violation, Alterity: Juan Rulfo'€™s Wastelands, SubStance, vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 (Issue 119)
  • The Contestation of Community, in The Obsessions of Georges Bataille: Community and Communication (SUNY Press, 2009)
  • €œFragments €”of the Philosophy of History,€ Idealistic Studies, 2008
  • Genealogy, History, and the Work of Fiction, in Styles of Piety: Practicing Philosophy after the Death of God, ed. S. Clark Buckner and Matthew Statler (Fordham University Press, 2006)
  • €œThe Expiation of Authority: Towards a Genealogy of Community,€ Epoch: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 10, no. 1, 2005
  • On the Lineage of Oblivion: Heidegger, Blanchot, and the Fragmentation of Truth,€ Research in Phenomenology, 2005
  • €œBefore the Subject: Rereading Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy,€ Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Spring 2003
  • €œCrossing the Line: Heidegger, Blanchot, and the Lineage of Nihilism,€ Heidegger Conference Proceedings, 2002
  • €œBearing the Writing of the Subject, Parallax 2002 (On Kant'€™s Critique of Judgment)
  • €œThe Repetition of Eternal Return, or the Disastrous Step: From Deleuze to Blanchot,  Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 2001
  • €œConcealing Difference: Derrida and Heidegger'€™s Thinking of Becoming,€ Research in Phenomenology, 1999


  • Jean-Luc Nancy, €œThe Confronted Community,€ in The Obsessions of Georges Bataille
  • Marc F. Meurice, €œAn Alteration of the Sense of His Blood,€ in The Obsessions of Georges Bataille

Book Reviews

  • Caring for Indifference: A Review of Charles E. Scott'€™s Living with Indifference,€ Research in Phenomenology, Vol. 38, No.1, 2008

Conference Presentations | Lectures:

  • Method, Dramatization, Representation: Bataille'€™s Sovereign Literature, SPEP, Rochester, NY, November 2, 2012
  • Wonder and the Elemental: Suffering Beyond Ethics,€ PACT, September 28, 2012, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
  • €œEcstatic Atheism: Bataille's €˜Community€™ with Nietzsche,€ SPEP, November 5, 2010, Montreal, Quebec
  • The Fate of Community: On the Conditions of Communication,€ Just Theory Lecture Series, April 15, 2010, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, Comparative Literature
  • €œSolitude, Violation, Alterity: Juan Rulfo's Deserts,€ CSU Stanislaus Philosophy Speakers Series, February 2009
  • €œSolitude, Alterity, and Violation in Juan Rulfo's Deserts, American Academy of Comparative Literature, April 2008, Long Beach, CA
  • Recasting the Revaluation of Values: Unavowable Filth, An Interdisciplinary Symposium: The Sacred and the Debased: Humanity, Community and Cruelty in the Work of Georges Bataille, Occidental College, Los Angeles, February 2008
  • Nondetermination and Exposure, CSU Stanislaus Philosophy Colloquium, September 2007
  • Nondetermination and Exposure: Photography and the Communication of Pain, Plenary Roundtable Session, International Association of Philosophy and Literature, June 2007, Cyprus
  • The Contestation of Community, American Philosophical Association, Spring 2007, San Francisco
  • Georges Bataille as Curator,€ Philosophy, Art, and the Uncanny, Staffordshire University, May 2003
  • €œThe Expiation of Authority: Towards a Genealogy of Community, American Philosophical Association (Pacific), April 2003
  • €œWriting at the Threshold of Common Sense, International Association of Philosophy and Literature, June 2002 (On Kant and the Idea of a Universal History)
  • Crossing the Line: Heidegger, Blanchot and the Lineage of Oblivion, North American Heidegger Conference, Southern Connecticut State University, May 2002
  • €œCrossing through the Crossing: Writing and Displacement in Heidegger'€™s Beitrge zur Philosophie,€ Participant's Conference of the Phaenomenologicum Collegium, Citti di Castello, Italy, Summer 2000
  • €œGenealogy, History and the Work of Fiction: Cormac McCarthy and Enlightenment Thought,€ International Association of Philosophy and Literature, SUNY-Stony Brook, May 2000
  • €œThe Repetition of Eternal Return, Society for Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy, University of Oregon, September 1999
  • €œHeidegger and the Memory of Nietzsche, Heidegger Conference, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, April 1999
  • €œHeidegger'€™s Performative Discourse,€ Participant'€™s Conference of the Phaenomenologicum Collegium, Perugia, Italy, Summer 1998
  • €œOn Time and Love in Nietzsche and Levinas,€ Tennessee Philosophical Association, Fall 1996

Book Project

Towards a Genealogy of Community, a treatment of the issue of community in contemporary continental discourse with special attention to the way this issue exhibits different and conflicting lineages, problems, and conceptions of philosophy

Courses Taught:

CSU Stanislaus

Introduction to Philosophy
Philosophical Inquiry
Honors Critical Thinking Seminar
Classics of Western Philosophy
Philosophical Reading and Analysis
Introduction to Continental Philosophy
Philosophy through Literature
Advanced Studies in the History of Philosophy (Seminars on Hegel, Nietzsche, Bataille, Levinas)
Philosophy of Language
Cognitive Phenomenology
Professional Ethics
Philosophy of Art
Senior Seminar