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.

Lessons from what Cesar Chavez did right — and wrong

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...
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Blood Avocados, Drug Cartels, and the Crisis of Democracy in Mexico

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. ...
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What the climate justice movement can learn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King JrBy José-Antonio Orosco and originally published in the Times of Trenton guest opinion column on January 20, 2014. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize. One of the most striking aspects of his acceptance speech is the hope he expressed in humanity’s ability to overcome war. This was no mere idealism on his part. Less...
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