Director of the Peace Studies Program
Dr. 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.
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 »
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...Read moreRead More »
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...Read moreRead More »
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 »
White Supremacy and Manifest Destiny in one of Oregon’s Most Liberal Counties By Joseph Orosco (September 1, 2015)Read More »
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...Read moreRead More »
Making #blacklivesmatter in Oregon By Joseph Orosco (July 3, 2015) (Update 2018: Since this post was first published there have been many developments in regard to Joseph Avery’s namesake in Corvallis. In 2016, a process started at Oregon State to investigate the historical legacy of several buildings on campus, including Avery Lodge, to determine whether the figures...Read moreRead More »
By Joseph Orosco Is Rachel Dolezal Black or is she a white person “passing” as Black?Read More »
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...Read moreRead More »
April 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...Read moreRead More »
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...Read moreRead More »
By 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 »
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...Read moreRead More »
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...Read moreRead More »
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 »
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 »
White and Black Opinion Differs on the Importance of Ferguson for Race By Joseph Orosco and Phoenix Calida The Pew Center for People and Press conducted a survey last week to ask Americans their views on the top news stories and to gauge their reactions to the developments in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. The results are...Read moreRead More »
Finding hope for social justice in the origins of human civilization By Joseph Orosco There usually comes a point in one of the many classes I teach dealing with social justice issues that students will stop and ask: “How can we have hope that justice will prevail?”Read More »
By Joseph Orosco By now, it’s well known that William James was the inspiration behind Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” But he seems to have made a big impact on another writer of social justice science fiction: Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins.Read More »
By Joseph Orosco For a long time, the progressive approach to the Fourth of July has been to follow Howard Zinn’s lead and think of the US American revolution not merely as a revolt of the landed gentry against England, but as also having a component of working class insurgency. Read More »
By Joseph Orosco In the Spring term of 2014, I offered a course titled, “Nineteen Eighty Four and Social Justice.” This timing put the class at three decades after the year 1984; the class itself took place during the months of April, May, and June — approximately the season of the events of the novel. (Click the title to read...Read moreRead More »
Chris Crass has a new essay in response to the recent Isla Vista massacre. In it, he discusses the ways in which men need to begin to confront the cultural violence of misogyny the nurtures the world views of young men such as Elliot Rodgers. Chris calls on men to engage with feminist theory, in particular: “As men, we must...Read moreRead More »
Documents in the New York Times have now revealed extensive surveillance of the Occupy movement using resource networks that were originally created by Homeland Security for preventing terrorist attacks. Local authorities in several major cities were regularly sharing information on individual activists and speculating about the nature of demonstrations and protests. Seems like a good time to remember some of...Read moreRead More »
The recent release of Cesar Chavez: An American Hero, and the premiere of the documentary Cesar’s Last Fast at the Sundace Film Festival, give us new opportunities to reflect on the lessons of Chavez’s life of activism. While his charismatic leadership turned him into a powerful force for justice, an unyielding grip on his position of authority ultimately weakened the...Read moreRead More »
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The majority of avocados in the US come from one single state in Mexico: Michoacan. In recent years, drug cartels have started to terrorize the avocado producers there, murdering them, stealing farms, and exacting protection money from the ones that remain. Many farmers have now formed armed vigilante groups, called autodefensas, that have begun to fight back against the cartels. ...Read moreRead More »