PHIL 3380-050: Contemporary Continental Philosophy

This summer marks the twelfth year of the Summer Institute in Continental Philosophy. The Summer Institute is a unique initiative of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities, as it is both a course designed for undergraduate students interested in majoring in philosophy and a lecture series open to the public.


May 6, 2024 – August 7, 2024

Professor: Devin Zane Shaw, Ph.D.


Thursdays, 6:30pm–9:20pm

Room: Anvil Office Tower AOT 910/911

Office Hours: By appointment

Summer Institute 2024: Emancipatory Futures 


Course Description

This year in the Summer Institute we will explore how several philosophers have explored the meaning and potential of emancipatory futures. The idea of an emancipatory future, while often dismissed by defenders of the status quo as utopian, has played an important role for philosophers who have sought to justify revolutionary social and political struggles. During this semester, we will engage with three books that touch on this theme: Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Manon Garcia’s We Are Not Born Submissive, and Glen Sean Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks. Therefore, the emancipatory futures in question—and the themes of freedom, collective action, and political struggle—will take on concrete dimensions of thinking about feminist futures beyond patriarchy, and the futures of Indigenous resurgence and decolonization.



Prerequisites: 9 prior credits in Philosophy or permission of the instructor.

Enrolment Requirements: Douglas students who have met the prerequisites can enrol directly.

PHIL 3380: Contemporary Continental Philosophy is open to all post-secondary students with 9 credits in Philosophy (or suitable equivalents) and may transfer as third-year credit to universities across British Columbia, including UBC and SFU. Students currently enrolled in a BC post-secondary institution do NOT need to apply for admission to ϼ in order to take this course. Students may apply to enroll into PHIL 3380 by completing and submitting the enrolment form and accompanying documents to Don Reimer, Associate Registrar (, as per instructions on the form. All applications will be reviewed by the instructor. Please contact Dr. Shaw with any questions.

Keynote Address

June 20th, 2024 


NW N2203


“Towards an anti-imperialist fish science: 

moving beyond ‘braiding’ knowledges to fishy refraction”

Zoe Todd, Simon Fraser University



This talk applies a Critical Indigenous Studies lens to the popular frameworks of ‘braiding’, ‘weaving’, ‘ethical space’ and ‘two-eyed seeing’ mobilized by provincial, federal, academic, and NGO bodies in fish conservation in so-called Canada today. Drawing on Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s (2015) concept of the ‘white possessive’, Audra Simpson’s (2014) articulations of anthropology’s evacuation of Indigenous sovereignty from western imperialist anthropology; Glen Coulthard’s (2014) critiques of ‘settler politics of recognition’; and Jessica Kolopenuk and Kim TallBear’s work in Indigenous Science and Technology Studies — I propose an alternate anti-imperialist fish science and metaphysics, grounded in quantum mechanics and Indigenous sovereignties.


Zoe Todd is a fish philosopher, artist, and troublemaker working towards establishing better ways to honour our obligations to fish.


A reception will follow the Keynote Address

Required Readings

These required textbooks are available at the ϼ Bookstore:

  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex. Trans. Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier (New York: Vintage, 2011). ISBN: 9780307277787
  • Manon Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women’s Lives (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021). ISBN: 9780691223209.
  • Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014). ISBN: 9780816679652.


Additional readings may be supplied on Blackboard in PDF format.


Course Evaluation

Course Evaluation

1a) Two essays, each worth 35% of the final grade. Essays must follow accepted academic conventions and must each be around 3000 words in length. Each essay must directly address material found in the course texts and must demonstrate some degree of familiarity with secondary literature on its topic. A short essay proposal (no more than 250 words) must be submitted and approved for each essay before students may proceed with their writing. 

  • First essay is due no later than June 13th, at the beginning of class.
  • Second essay is due July 25th, at the beginning of class.

1b) A short essay proposal (~250 words), worth 5% of the final grade, must be submitted and approved for each essay before students may proceed with their writing.

  • First essay proposal is due no later than June 6th, at the beginning of class.
  • Second essay proposal is due no later than July 18th, at the beginning of class.


2) Research discussion, worth 20% of the final mark. This interview should be scheduled with the instructor sometime between August 1st and August 15th. It has no pre-set questions and will generally focus upon philosophical questions which arise out of student’s completed essay work. 


Late Assignment Policy

I will accept at no penalty any work that is submitted after the deadline but before I finish grading the submissions from this class that were handed in on time. I only accept late work submitted after I have completed grading on-time submissions for full credit when we have made prior arrangements. I grade late work as I can fit it into my schedule and at a minimum with a 10-percent penalty. If an assignment is handed in more than two weeks overdue without prior arrangement, I may refuse to grant any credit, but I will assess this on a case-by-case basis.


May 9Beauvoir, The Second Sex, “Introduction” 
May 16

Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive, chapters 1 and 2

Charlotte Sabourin, ϼ

May 23Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive, chapters 3 and 4
May 30

Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive, chapters 5 and 6

Jaime Yard, ϼ

June 6

Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive, chapters 7 and 8

Willow Verkerk, UBC

June 13

Beauvoir, The Second Sex, “Independent Woman”

Garcia, We Are Not Born Submissive, chapter 9 and conclusion

Edrie Sobstyl, ϼ

June 20Keynote Address: Zoe Todd
June 27Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, Introduction
July 4Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, chapter 1
July 11Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, chapter 2
July 18

Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, chapter 3

Jakub Burkowicz, ϼ

July 25

Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, chapters 4 and 5

Bill Angelbeck, ϼ

Aug 1Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks, chapter 5 and Conclusion


The Summer Institute for Continental Philosophy is directed by four ϼ faculty, philosophers who have specialized in this area of Philosophy:

Dr. Devin Zane Shaw completed his PhD at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of three books, Philosophy of Antifascism: Punching Nazis and Fighting White Supremacy (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020), Egalitarian Moments: From Descartes to Rancière (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Freedom and Nature in Schelling's Philosophy of Art (Bloomsbury, 2010). He has also published articles in the area of political philosophy. 

Dr. John Bruin received his PhD from Guelph/McMaster with a dissertation on Husserl which was subsequently published by the University of Ottawa Press in 2001 under the title Homo Interrogans. Dr. Bruin has also published articles on Heidegger.

Dr. Robert Nicholls (retired) completed his PhD at the University of Waterloo in 1988 with a dissertation entitled Sense and Existence: Heidegger 1925-29. Dr. Nicholls has published essays on Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, as well as in the areas of literary theory, philosophy of education and Eastern philosophy.

Dr. Mano Daniel (retired) completed his doctorate at the University of Waterloo with a dissertation on the work of Hannah Arendt. He co-edited the book Phenomenology of the Cultural Disciplines, and  has written papers in the areas of  environmental sustainability; philosophy of biography; philosophy and public policy; and the nature of apology.


Past Summer Institutes


2023Living ExistentialismGuest Speaker: T Storm Heter is author of The Sonic Gaze: Jazz, Whiteness and Racialized Listening (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022), and executive editor of Sartre Studies International. He is professor of philosophy at East Stroudsburg University, where he teaches courses in Africana Philosophy, Jewish Philosophy, and Philosophy of Hip-Hop.
2022Philosophy and Social MovementsGuest Speaker: Dr. Joan Braune is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Gonzaga University, where she is active in the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies. 
2021Marx and Marxism 
2020Literatures of Commitment: Writings of Jean-Paul Sartre (Cancelled Due to Covid)Scheduled Guest Speaker: Glen Sean Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene), associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Political Science at UBC, and author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (2014).
2019Interpreting NietzscheGuest Speaker: Robert B. Pippin, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago.
2018Existentialism and PsychologyGuest Speaker: Andrew Feldmar, Practising Existential Psychotherapist, Vancouver, BC
2017After Heidegger: a Survey of Continental PhilosophyGuest Speaker: Professor Alan Schrift, F. Wendell Miller Professor of Philosophy at Grinnell College, Iowa
2016Heidegger's Nietzsche VolumesGuest Speaker: Professor Patricia Glazebrook, Director of the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Washington State University.
2015Heidegger's Essays: Basic WritingsGuest Speaker: Professor Raj Singh, Philosophy, Brock University
2014Marcuse: One-Dimensional ManGuest Speaker: Professor Andrew Feenberg, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
2013Heidegger's Being and TimeGuest Speaker: Professor Jeff Mitscherling, Philosophy, University of Guelph
2012Sartre's Being and NothingnessGuest Speaker: Professor Bruce Baugh, Philosophy, Thompson Rivers University