Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz

Assistant Professor in Philosophy

Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz

Contact Information


Office: McComsey Hall
Phone: (717) 871-7199



Dr. John Kaiser Ortiz’s teaching, service, and publications stand at the crossroads/borders between social and political philosophy, human rights, and ethics.

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. Recent courses taught in the Department of Philosophy include: Narratives of Slavery & the Black Civil Rights Movement, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Native American Philosophy, Literature, and Film, Karl Marx & Charles Dickens, Moral Problems in Medicine, Modernity/Americanity/Coloniality: Latin American Philosophy from 1450 to the Present, and Philosophy of Law. Presently, he serves as the elected departmental representative to the faculty union council (APSCUF), is a committee member on the Millersville University Institutional Review Board, and is faculty advisor to the Millersville University Philosophical Society.

His publications have appeared in philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, The Pluralist: The Journal of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, the Inter-American Journal of Philosophy, and Comparative Philosophy. His essay “Octavio Paz and the Universal Problem of Mexican Solitude” was awarded the American Philosophical Association’s Best Essay in Latin American Thought Prize and was published in the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy (2012).

His current research focuses on trans-Atlantic existentialism, cultural violence, the dialectical and contractual nature of dueling practices, the importance of fiesta/festival for community, the borderlands through film (including national identity narratives during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema), the intersections and departures between Chicanismo and Mexicanidad, literary and philosophical testimonio of immigrant experience in New York, New Orleans, and the pan-Caribbean as urban criticism, and problems related to public transportation, public health, and medical ethics.


“Octavio Paz and the Universal Problem of Mexican Solitude,” American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, volume 11, number 2 (Spring 2012): 1-5. http://www.apaonline.org/?hispanic_newsletter
Awarded American Philosophical Association’s Best Essay in Latin American Thought Prize

“Hazel Barnes and Octavio Paz: Two Existentialist and Pan-American Philosophies of Education,” Comparative Philosophy: An International Journal of Constructive Engagement of Distinct Approaches toward World Philosophy, volume 6, number 1 (2015): 60-77.

“Gloria Anzaldúa and the Problem of Violence Against Women,” philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, volume 6, number 2 (Summer 2016): 195-213.