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Robert Switzer

Brief Biography

Robert Switzer is an associate professor at The American University in Cairo's (AUC), Department of Philosophy. He received his BA and MA from the University of Toronto (1982, 1983), and his PhD from The Pennsylvania State University (1989). 

Previously, Switzer has also been a member of the faculty at The University of Alabama (Huntsville), Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), John Cabot University (Rome) and the Collegium Phenomenologicum (Perugia, Italy). Switzer’s activities at AUC have taken many forms, from co-organizer of two conferences to his role as performer/director of "An Evening of Poetry and Music" (April 1998), honoring the memory of Tom Lamont. He has served as the director of the Core Curriculum and founding dean of Undergraduate Studies and The Academy of Liberal Arts (2011-2017), as interim dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (2017-2019), as well as in numerous other roles including department chair (2002-2004 and 2010-2011), acting director of the Center for American Studies (2006-07) and chair of the Provost’s Commission on Liberal Education (1995-1998).

Research Interest

Switzer's research interests are mainly centered in the history of philosophy and recent continental thought but also range from the ethics of economic development to the philosophy of music. Recent publications include: 

Ambient Soundscapes: Towards a Phenomenology of Musical Space, The Journal of Phenomenological Inquiry, A Tactile Cogito: Corporeity, Animality and Affect in Merleau-Ponty, in Davis and Hamrick, eds., Merleau-Ponty and the Art of Perception, (Albany: State University of New York Press), and Raging Discordance:’ Heidegger-Nietzsche on Truth and Art, in Babich, Denker and Zaboroski, eds., Neu Interpretation Zu Heidegger’s Auseinandersetzung mit Nietzsche, Amsterdam: Rodopi Press. 

In addition, Switzer was guest editor of the 2009 volume of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics on The University and Its Discontents.