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.


  Kris Paul is one of the founders of 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?

White 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?

  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?

  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...
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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 »

"Think About Who Your Neutrality Hurts"

blacks and whiteWhite 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...
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How Can We Have Hope That Justice Will Prevail?

Lagash  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 »

William James and Social Justice Science Fiction

Pauline_Hopkins  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 »

The Counter Revolution of 1776? What Do We Really Celebrate on the Fourth of July?

3-american-revolution-soldier-general-aloysius-patrimonioBy 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 »

On the Relevance of Orwell's '1984'

RTX10HMJ-e1371065156826By 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...
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Books for feminist men

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...
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Remembering the Love of Occupy

Bill RitcheyDocuments 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...
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