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Brubaker, David (full)
Arts & Sciences
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
Gate House

    Philosophy helps us to accurately describe our experiences and connections with life. My guiding interests are color perception, techniques for handling differences of opinion, the origins of morality, and cross-cultural comparisons concerning art and philosophies of art. Today, we have a global art scene with numerous  artists guided by different philosophies and traditions. Opportunities for global participation are growing. My interests have led to fieldwork in Yunnan, art at Dunhuang and writing on Chinese ink-wash painting, as a Distinguished Professor in the Art Department at Wuhan Textile University, in central China.

    The classroom is a laboratory for discussion and creative exploration. In the philosophy of art, I like to dialogue on standards for art evaluation and the interpretations that art provides. Ethics provides a place for debates on happiness, respect, compassion, medical care, and use of force. In recent times, the moral status of animals and the relationship between gender and care have become familiar topics. Logic gives patterns for connecting ideas and is excellent practice for creative problem solving. The main task is to create lines of investigation that provide opinions and to develop skills for evaluating them. 



    Ph.D Philosophy of Art, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
    M.F.A. Painting, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
    B.A. Architecture and Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME


    Books (English)
    Unification: Jizi and His Aer in Contemporary China
    Forthcoming, Springer-Verlag, 2014

    Chapters (English)
    “Natural Beauty and Literati Strokes: Shitao, Merleau-Ponty and the Practice of Painting”
    Chapter in Subversive Strategies in Chinese Contemporary Art, eds. Mary Wiseman, Liu  Yuedi,
    Brill (2011): 247-270.

    “ ‘Place of Nothingness’ and the Dimension of Visibility: Nishida, Merleau-Ponty & Huineng”
    Chapter in  Buddhism and Merleau-Ponty,
    eds. Jin Park and G. Kopf (Lexington 2009): 155-179

     “Care for the Flesh Gilligan, Merleau-Ponty and Corporeal Styles”
    Chapter, Feminist Interpretations of Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
    eds Olkowski & Weiss,Pennsylvania State University Press (2006): 228-256.

    “The Roots of Agency: Merleau-Ponty, Flesh and Foucault,”
    Chapter, Interrogating Ethics: Embodying the Good in Merleau-Ponty, ed. Hatley, Duquesne
    University Press (2006): 163-184

    Chapters (Chinese) 
    “Jizi and Li Gang: Contemporary Ink Painting and Guidance for Philosophers”
    Aesthetics & Art: Tradition and Presence, XuZhou Conference, ed. Gao Jianping, CAASS (2013)

    “Jing Hao and Vital Images: Perceptible Things in Play with Sensuous Existence”
    International Conference Volume: “Jing Hao: A Starting Point for Today,” Jiyuan, China (2012)

    “Li Gang and Vital Ink Painting,” Exhibition Catalogue, Today Museum
    Transmission & Imitation, Collection of Ink Painting by Li Gang,  China Youth Press, 2012: 22-35.

    “Nomadic Realisms and Spiritual Roots:  Chinese Art and Global Balance”
    Forthcoming, Songzhuang Academic Forum, chief ed. Wang Liu, 2013

    “Natural Beauty and Literati Strokes: Shitao, Merleau-Ponty and the Practice of Painting”
    30th Anniversary Volume, China National Academy of Painting, Beijing (2011)

    “Merleau-Ponty and East Asian Aesthetics: Formless Form and Looking Without Seeing” in
    Aesthetics and Culture, East and West, eds. Gao Jianping and Wang Keping (2006): 404-425.

    Articles (English)
    “Faith and Flesh: Iqbal, Merleau-Ponty, and Changing Paradigms”
    Philosophy, Culture and Traditions, Vol. 7 (2011): 157-193.

    “Aesthetic Self-Creation & Betweenness of the Visible: Nishida, Watsuji and Merleau-Ponty
    Journal of Faculty of Letters, Univ. Tokyo, Aesthetics (2009): 27-43. 

    “Painting from the Heart: Beauty, Moore and Merleau-Ponty’s Wholes of Visibility”
    in Analecta Husserliana XCII (2006): 103-111

    “Problem of the World: Flesh, Soul, Place” Analecta Husserliana, LXXIX (2004): 167-182

    “Merleau-Ponty’s Eye and Mind: Re-Thinking the Visible”  Journal of Contemporary Thought, 17 (2003): 89-101 

    ‘Dwelling in Nature: Ethics, Form and Postmodern Architecture”
    Analecta Husserliana LXXIII (2001): 73-83  

    “Merleau-Ponty’s Three Intertwinings” Journal of Value Inquiry, 34 (2000): 89-101

    “Art and Reenchantment of Sensuous Human Activity” Analecta Husserilana (2000): 137-149

    “Documentary Images and Shared Encounters” Film & Philosophy 3 (1996): 77-86

    “André Bazin on Automatically Made Images” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51 (1993)

    Art Reviews (English) 
    “Paradigms of Singularity: Gregorio on Acceleration and Existence,” Art in Asia, Nov-Dec 2011

    “Soul and Intimate Embodiment: Sung Tae Park’s Cassiopeia Series,” Art in Asia, Jan-Feb 2011  

    “Creating Reality: Chinese Artists in Balance and Transformation,”
    Nomadic Reality, Wang Chunchen curator, Art Gate Gallery, NY, Jan-Feb 2011

    Art Reviews (Chinese)                                                                                 
    “Refreshing Chinese Painting: Jizi’s Tao of Ink Art” Kuart Special Issue: 50-57, Beijing (Dec 2010)

    “Lonely Angels” Photographs by Liu Jin, Visions, Beijing (Nov 2008)

    “Natural Beauty  and Literati Strokes” Social Science, Beijing (Nov 2010)

    “Ink Painting and Chinese Aesthetics:  Painters (Jizi, Li Gang) Help Philosophers”
    Academic Exhibition “Return to the Territory,” Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, May 2012.

    “Jizi and Li Gang: Bold Ink & Strong Aesthetics in Chinese Contemporary Painting”
    CASS ”Aesthetics& Art: Tradition & Presence International Conf., Xuzhou, 5-20-12

    “Nomadic Realisms and Spiritual Roots:  Chinese Art and Global Balance”
    Songzhuang Art Festival & Academic Forum, Songzhuang, Beijing, October 2011

    “Contemporary Art of Global Value: Traditional Chinese Painting Joins Chinese Aesthetics,” China National Academy of Painting, 30th Anniversary, Academic Forum National Museum, October, 2011

    “Free-Trade and Tathata: Thich Nhat Hanh and Engaged Buddhism,”
    East-West Philosophers Conference 2011, University of Hawai’i, May  2011

    “Beauty of Literati Strokes: Shitao and Merleau-Ponty”
    International Congress of Aesthetics, Peking University, Beijing 2010

    “Aesthetic Creativity and Qi in the Zhongyong: Extensiveness of Field and Limits of Pragmatism”
    Asian Studies Development Program, National Conference, University of Hawai’i, Hawai’i, 2010

    “The Beauty of Literati Strokes”, XXII World Congress of Philosophy, Seoul, 2008

    “Roots of Agency: Flesh, Foucault and Merleau-Ponty”
    Viet Nam National University, Hanoi 2008

    “Faith & Flesh: Westernization, Islamic Resurgence, Philosophy”
    World Congress of Philosophy, Istanbul 2003

    “Emptiness & Visibility in Doc Film: Trinh Minh-Ha and Claude Lanzmann”
    International Assoc of Philosophy and Literature (IAPL), Rotterdam, 2001

    “Problem of the World: Flesh, Soul, Place”
    51st International Congress of Phenomenology, Rome 2001

    “Merleau-Ponty’s Eye& Mind: Cézanne, Formlessness, and the Postmodern,”
    International Congress of Aesthetics, Tokyo  2001

    Associate Editor, Timezone8 Beijing for the following texts:
    Jerome Sans interviews with Ma Yansong [architect] and Liu Xiaodong [painter].

    Reader for Academic Presses
    Bert Cardullo, trans. and ed., Andre Bazin, On Global Cinema, University of Texas Press (2013)
    Maurice Hamington, Embodied Care: Jane Addams, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Feminist Ethics, University of Illinois Press (2004).


    2011 “Gallery One” New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, CT
    2010 “First International  Print Biennial,” Liaoning,  China
    2009 “First Biennial Footprint International” Juror’s Award, Center Printmaking
    2008 105th Annual Juried Exhibition, New Haven Paint and Clay Club, CT
    2006 “Paintings and Etchings” Old-Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, CT
    2005 “Prints and Paintings” Golden Street Gallery, New London CT
    2004  “Art of New England” Regional Juried Show, Lyme Art Association,
    2002  “Art in the Park: Contemporary Landscapes” New Caanan Society Arts

    Academic Employment

    Full-Time Faculty
    2007- Present  University of New Haven, Lecturer, Philosophy
    1991   University o Wisconsin Milwaukee, Philosophy, Visiting Associate Lecturer
    1987-1988   School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Philosophy, Visiting Lecturer         
    Adjunct Faculty
    2002 Connecticut College, Film Studies, Visiting Assistant Professor
    1992-2007  University of New Haven,  Visual Arts and Philosophy
    1992-2007  University of Connecticut/Stamford,  Philosophy

    Teaching Experience

    Aesthetics: Plato, imitation, Aristotle moral education, Zhongyong self-creation, natural beauty (Shitao), Japanese (Watsuji, D.T.Suzuki), beauty-sublime (Kant), knowledge (Goodman), experience (Dewey), French (Sartre,  Merleau-Ponty).

    Ethics:  egoism, moral relativism, determinism; virtue (Plato, Aristotle, Confucius), sentiment (Hume), reason-duty (Kant), utility (Mill), social being (Marx), care (Gilligan), justice (Rawls).

    Nature of Self:  Buddhism emptiness; Dao & undifferentiated; Confucius self-cultivation & social harmony; Plato, Aristotle on soul; Descartes & Kant on reason; Marx & species being; Freud & instinct; Sartre & freedom; neuroscience (Dennett).

    Introduction :  appearance and reality; mind and body problems of interaction;  wisdom and scientific knowledge (Kuhn); personhood; Artificial Intelligence and robots as persons;  ethics;  art and beauty; freedom-determinism, justice.

    Logic: arguments, non-arguments, validity, strength, fallacies, Venn diagrams, sentence logic, truth-tables, tautology, consistency, natural deduction.

    Continental Philosophy and Existentialism:  Kant and Enlightenment; Hegel sense and absolute; Kierkegaard and the subjective; Marx and natural life; Nietzsche v. reason; Husserl; Heidegger; Sartre; Foucault;

    Philosophy of Film: Bazin and phenomenology; Kracauer realism; documentary 0truth (Flaherty-Cinema Verité); auteur theory; narrative fiction and reference; digital editing and truth; interpretation; genres.

    Religion: many religions and pluralism; three arguments for theism; suffering and evil; religious experience (Daoism, Zen, Iqbal); faith (Kierkegaard): evidence v. faith; religion as illusion and wish fulfillment (Freud).

    Visual Arts and Art History                                                                                                                                               
    Introduction to Studio Art:  introduction to drawing (still-life, figure, architectural, landscape); painting with oil, 3-D design with paper-board; printmaking (linoleum cut).

    Introduction to Printmaking: solar plate polymer (water-based) etching, i  composition, exposure, dry-point, inking, wiping, chine collé, printing, drying.

    Color & 2-D Design:  hue, value, space, line, size, shape; principles  balance, transparency, simultaneous contrast, perspective, rotation, repetition, pattern.

    Art History I and II: survey Paleolithic period to 1400, and 1400 to present.  Including Lascaux, Egypt, Shang, Minoan, Greece & Rome, Han, Tang, Islamic art, Song, Renaissance, modern, postmodern.

    Modern & Contemporary Art III: Style since 1789, Neoclassical, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism (Neo & Post), Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Cubism, Expressionism, Pop, China today.

    Film History: American Cinema 1895-2000.  Social history through documentary, narrative fiction. Hollywood, comedies of 30s-40’s, experimental and postmodern genres.