Joseph Orosco

Associate Professor
Director of the Peace Studies Program

Joseph OroscoDr. Orosco joined the OSU Faculty in fall 2001. He received his Ph.D and M.A in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside, and his B.A in philosophy from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  His primary area of interest is in social and political philosophy, particularly democratic theory and global justice. He teaches classes in American Philosophy and Latino/a and Latin American thought, with an emphasis on Mexican culture, history, and immigration to the United States.
Orosco is director of the Peace Studies program and teaches about issues of peace and nonviolence. Students can receive a Peace Studies certificate through the program.

Orosco has written on the political theory of various figures, including Josiah Royce, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Cesar Chavez. In 2008, his first book, “Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence,” was published by University of New Mexico Press.

He serves as a faculty advisor to MEChA and the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez and is a founding member of the OSU Faculty and Staff for Peace and Justice.  For several years, he produced “Engage: Conversations in Philosophy, the podcast program of global culture, engaged philosophy, and transformative concepts.”  He is currently the co-editor of the Journal for Philosophy in the Contemporary World, and serves on the editorial boards of the Transactions of the Charles Pierce Society, the Inter-American Journal of Philosophy, and the Review Journal of Political Philosophy.

He has been a guest on National Public Radio’s “Philosophy Talk” and is a frequent speaker on issues of peace, nonviolence and the life of Cesar Chavez at venues around the country.

When he’s not doing philosophy, he enjoys travel, listening to Afro-Cuban music, practicing West African drumming, and salsa dancing.

Angela Davis, MLK, and the "Intersectionality of Struggles"

By Joseph Orosco (April 6, 2017) In an interview in her new collection, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Angela Davis is asked about being a pioneer in developing the concept of intersectionality. She responds: There were many pioneers of intersectionality but I do think it is important to acknowledge an organization that existed in New York in the late sixties and...
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Forget Orwell: Fight Club is the Novel to Make Sense of Life Under Trump

By Joseph Orosco (February 7, 2017)   Sales of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four are booming across the country and websites are publishing lists of dystopian literature that might help to make sense of life under the Trump administration. Eliana Johnson and Eli Stokols have provided us with what might be called the Bannon syllabus–a guide to the works that seem...
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Finding Hope in Dystopia: Children of Men

By Joseph Orosco (January 27, 2017) This academic term, the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures teamed up with the Allied Studies for Another Politics! and the Spring Creek Project to host a film and discussion series called “Finding Hope in Dystopia”.  The idea behind the series was to create a space for discussion about how to find hope for transformative...
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Trump and the Habits of White Utopia (or How Mexican Philosophers Help Get me Through Election Day)

  By Joseph Orosco (November 10, 2016)   In the late 1980s, Mexican anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla published his book Mexico Profundo, or Deep Mexico. In it, he argued that the lives and experiences of ordinary Mexicans living in rural areas and poor urban neighborhoods in Mexico continue to be rooted in Mesoamerican civilizations. Their understandings of work, community obligation,...
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It's Not Just Bad Cops, It's the System

By Joseph Orosco (July 7, 2016) The criminal justice system that is. In the aftermath of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, there are calls for widespread police reform, ranging from mandatory body cameras, better training to the establishment of civilian oversight committees and the election of pro-reform officials. It’s not clear that these reforms that focus on...
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Farmworker March Has Important Lessons about Nonviolence and People Power

By Joseph Orosco (March 16, 2016) Fifty years ago this month, a small group of activists left Delano, California and began a march to Sacramento to raise national awareness about the plight of farmworkers.Read More »

How NOT to think about the Bundy Militia in Eastern Oregon

NM_Natl_Guard_June67_Ray_Cary-e1421891393486  By Joseph Orosco (January 5, 2016) So far in the analysis of the Bundy militia in Eastern Oregon, I haven’t seen anyone point out that the closest historical precedent to this incident happened fifty years ago in Northern New Mexico.Read More »

INTERVIEW: Kris Paul

  Kris Paul is one of the founders of 350Corvallis.org in Corvallis, Oregon.Read More »

INTERVIEW: Bart Bolger

  Bart Bolger is the current chair of the Veterans for Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132 in Corvallis, Oregon.Read More »

Is it Ethical to Colonize Mars?

Juan_Ginés_de_Sepúlveda  By Joseph Orosco (November 4, 2015) Adam Frank, thinking about the success of Matt Damon’s new film The Martian, asks whether it would be moral to explore and colonize Mars. One of his concerns has to do with how we will treat any possible life forms that we encounter there, even at the microbial level.Read More »

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Significance of the Fourteenth Amendment

As part of OSU’s Constitution Day 2015 celebration, Anarres Project co-director Joseph Orosco discusses the significance of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution according to W.E.B. Du Bois.  For Du Bois, the promise of these Reconstruction amendments was the possibility of building a richer more deliberative and participatory democracy in the United States.  Du Bois thought that...
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Anarchism and the Walking Dead

fear-850x560  By Joseph Orosco (October 9, 2015) Fear the Walking Dead just finished its first highly rated season on the AMC cable network. FWD is a spin-off from the wildly successful series The Walking Dead which will soon begin its sixth season. Set in the same zombie apocalypse universe as TWD, FWD takes place in Los Angeles (instead of Georgia...
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Interview: Christina Allaback and Trek Theatre

  Christina Allaback is the Artistic Director for Trek Theatre, a new theater company out of Eugene, Oregon that seeks to bring Star Trek:  The Next Generation episodes to live public performances.Read More »

Should Benton County be Renamed?

bentonWhite Supremacy and Manifest Destiny in one of Oregon’s Most Liberal Counties By Joseph Orosco (September 1, 2015)Read More »

OSU's Confederate Legacy: Should Arnold Dining Hall Be Renamed?

BL_Arnold  By Joseph Orosco (August 19, 2015) Late last week, based on recommendations from a university-wide committee, President Gregory Fenves of the University of Texas at Austin ordered the removal of a prominent statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis from the Main Mall. He explained that taking the statue away was in the interest of “fostering an inclusive environment” and...
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Should Corvallis Rename Avery Park?

lead_960  Making #blacklivesmatter in Oregon By Joseph Orosco   (July 3, 2015) Since the horrid massacre in Charleston, a seismic shift has occurred across the country in regard to the nation’s white supremacist history.Read More »

Is Rachel Dolezal a "Saltapatras"? What Latin America Can Teach us about so called 'transracial' Identity.

mestizo  By Joseph Orosco Is Rachel Dolezal Black or is she a white person “passing” as Black?Read More »

Let's get rid of the phrase "Preaching to the Choir"

By Joseph Orosco A few weeks ago, I listened to Walidah Imarisha and Gabriel Teodros share their writing from the new speculative fiction collection Octavia’s Brood. They both spoke about using science fiction as a vehicle for sparking the imagination to think about liberation and a socially just future. During the Q & A, someone asked whether or not their...
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Remembering the Rodney King Uprising Twenty Three Years Later

Sides-LA-Riots-3_525April 29, 2015 marks twenty three years since the beginning of one of the largest urban uprisings in US American history.  For several days after a Simi Valley jury let the Los Angeles police officers who beat and tasered Rodney King go free, residents throughout LA county expressed frustration, anger and sadness; marched, walked, and fought back against systems of...
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The Continuing Relevance of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Student Voices

MartinLutherKingJr2  By Joseph Orosco In Winter of 2014, I taught a seminar on the political philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  The class takes a historical view of King’s work, tracing his thinking from the period of the Montgomery Bus Boycott until his final works dealing with the Vietnam War and the Poor People’s March.  I asked students, at the...
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Why I Have a Hard Time Saying #JeSuisCharlie

jeBy Joseph Orosco This “heat map” shows the enormous use of the hashtag #jesuischarlie since Wednesday’s horrific attack by Al Qaeda in Yemen militants.Read More »

Are Yoga Pants a Symbol of Class Warfare?

men  By Joseph Orosco I was walking to class today–an abnormally warm, sunny day for Oregon in October–and I was struck that almost every student I passed looked like they were dressed for going the gym.  The fashion on campus these days seems to be some version of yoga pants/leggings and tank tops for women, and tank top-athletic shorts for...
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Why US Americans Ought to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

  By Joseph Orosco We are currently halfway into National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM). I asked my students in two classes if they knew anything about it and most had no notion of when it started or when it ended in the calendar. They got the general idea that it was about honoring the contribution of Latin@s to US American...
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Is the Oregon Country Fair Radical?

fair  By Joseph Orosco A few weeks ago, Anarres Project co-founder Tony Vogt and I were interviewed by a reporter for a local alternative newsweekly.  Toward the end of our conversation, she asked us if there was something about Oregon, or Corvallis in particular, that is hospitable to a project such as AnarresRead More »

From East LA to Ferguson: The long line of violent police response to communities of color

  By Joseph Orosco The protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the past month have captured the nation’s attention, including many commentaries on the Anarres blog.  The on going tension draws attention to various issues:  continued racial inequality and white supremacy in the United States, and increasing militarization of civilian police forces across the country.Read More »

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