Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz

Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz

Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz

Assistant Professor

Phone: (717) 871-7199

Additional Information


  • B.A. University of Texas – Pan American (Edinburg, Texas), 1999 (Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Political Science, & Psychology)
  • M.A. University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon), 2005
  • Ph.D. University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon), 2007

Areas of Specialization

  • Ethics
  • Latin American Philosophy
  • Social & Political Philosophy


Before his arrival at Millersville University, John taught a range of courses in the Department of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University.  These courses focused on interdisciplinary, multicultural, and critical American/Popular Culture studies, working across and between Black Studies, Native American Studies, Chicano/a Studies, Latin American Studies, and Women’s Studies.  Among the courses he taught were: the US & Mexico Borderlands through Film, Mexican American Social Thought, Mexican Culture, Latino/a Cultural Studies & Philosophy, Chicano Literature, Third World Cinema, History of Mexican Americans, Introduction to Ethnic Studies, and Human Rights in the Americas.  Having arrived at Millersville University in August 2012, John continues to build on these critical frameworks.  He teaches courses on Ancient Philosophy, Social & Political Philosophy, Ethical Theories, Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, Latin American Philosophy, and Gender Utopia and Human Nature.



John’s current research engages moral problems related to human rights in terms of immigration, warfare, femicide, justice, and violence.  He is also interested in concerns in the philosophy of education related to student activism and the mission of the twenty-first century university, the work of Gloria Anzaldúa and other figures whose writings bear on the philosophical development of chicanismo, and studies in American selfhood as witnessed in literature and film from the 1950s to the present.  His latest research project focuses on 19th century social contracts and dueling practices in New Orleans as these are contrasted and contested by communal practices of fiesta like Mardi Gras today. 


Community Involvement

Since the mid- 1990s, John has volunteered for human rights organizations dealing with immigration policy and public health issues among Latino communities in Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio.  As an enthusiastic resident of downtown Lancaster, he contributes towards activities related to ending sexual slavery and other forms of human trafficking, and he also participates in campaigns to provide local children in need with free prescription eyeglasses.



“Octavio Paz and the Universal Problem of Mexican Solitude,” American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues (June 2012).  [Awarded the American Philosophical Associations’s 2011 Prize for Best Essay in Latin American Thought.]



  • “Moral Crises and other Cancers of Political Philosophy in the Americas,” Invited Presentation, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 11 January 2012.
  • “Existentialist Philosophies of Education,” Conference Presentation, Radical Philosophy Association Conference, Canisius College, 11 October 2012.
  • “University Education and the Values of Student Protest,” Invited Presentation for the Philosophical Society and Department of Philosophy, Millersville University, 28 September 2012.
  • “Immigration, Drugs, and Terror in the Americas,” Invited Presentation, Great Decisions Series on Foreign Policy, University of Findlay, 2 May 2012.