Schrift, Alan D. 1955-
Schrift, Alan D. 1955-
Born 1955. Education: Brown University, B.A. (with honors), 1977; Purdue University, M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1983.
Office—Department of Philosophy, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112. E-mail—[email protected]
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, department of philosophy, fellow, 1978-79, David Ross research fellowship, summer 1980 and 1981-83, graduate instructor, 1980-82, visiting assistant professor, 1983-85; Indiana University, Kokomo, department of philosophy, adjunct assistant professor, 1984; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA, assistant professor, 1987-92, associate professor, 1992-98, professor, 1998-2006, F. Wendell Miller professor of philosophy, 2006—, department chair, 1994-2000, 2003-07, founding director of the Grinnell College Center for the Humanities, 1999-2007; Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, visiting assistant professor, 1985-87; Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium, taught at the Institute of Philosophy, 1994.
American Philosophical Association, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Nietzsche Society (U.S.), Friedrich Nietzsche Society (Great Britain), North American Nietzsche Society (member of program committee, 1990-93, 2004-05; program committee chair, 1998-2004).
American Council of Learned Societies, travel grant, 1984, fellowship for studies in modern society and values, 1985-86; National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1987, 1997, Summer Research Stipend, 2001, Summer Institute on Ethics and Aesthetics at the University of California at Berkeley, 1992; Pew Foundation grant to develop integration of foreign language texts into non-foreign language courses, 1989; Oregon Humanities Center, University of Oregon at Eugene, external fellow, 1991; Western European Studies travel grant for research in Europe, 1991-95; Rosenblum Fund for Interdisciplinary Projects in the Arts, 1998; Mellon Summer Research Grant, 2004, 2006; Associated Colleges of the Midwest Faculty Career Enhancement grant, 2005; Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title, 2006, for Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers. Also recipient of research grants and fellowships from Grinnell College, including a research grant from the College Grant Board, 1987; curriculum development and travel grants from the Noun Program in Women's Studies, 1988 and 1995; a Harris faculty fellowship, 1990-91; and research grants from the Committee for the Support of Faculty Scholarship, 1996-99, 2001-2005.
(Editor, with Gayle L. Ormiston) The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1990.
Nietzsche and the Question of Interpretation: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction, Routledge (New York, NY), 1990.
(Editor, with Gayle L. Ormiston) Transforming the Hermeneutic Context: From Nietzsche to Nancy, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1990.
Nietzsche's French Legacy: A Genealogy of Poststructuralism, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995.
(Editor) The Logic of the Gift: Toward an Ethic of Generosity, Routledge (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor) Why Nietzsche Still? Reflections on Drama, Culture, Politics, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
(Editor) Modernity and the Problem of Evil, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2005.
Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2006.
Contributor to various collections and journals, including the Journal of the History of Philosophy, Philosophy Today, New Nietzsche Studies, symploke, and International Studies in Philosophy. Editor of International Studies in Philosphy, 1998-2004; member of editorial boards of the Journal of the History of Philosphy, Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française, and New Nietzsche Studies; advisory board member of symploke.
Alan D. Schrift is a writer, educator, and philosopher. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Brown University, then continued his education at Purdue University, earning his master's degree in 1980, followed by his doctorate in 1983. Schrift has taught at several institutions of higher learning, including Purdue, as well as Indiana University, Clarkson University, and the Katholieke Universiteit, in Leuven, Belgium. As a member of the faculty at Grinnell College in Iowa, Schrift serves as the F. Wendell Miller professor of philosophy, department chair, and the founding director of the Grinnell College Center for the Humanities. Schrift's particular areas of research and academic interest include Nietzsche and contemporary French philosophy, as well as general European philosophy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Over the course of his career, Schrift has contributed to various collections and academic journals, including the Journal of the History of Philosophy, Philosophy Today, New Nietzsche Studies, symploke, and International Studies in Philosophy. He is the author of several books, and has served as editor on a number of additional works.
Why Nietzsche Still? Reflections on Drama, Culture, Politics, for which Schrift served as editor, was published in 2000. The book is an anthology, collecting various points of view regarding the assertion that in post postmodern philosophy, Nietzsche no longer has a place, and that in the overall spectrum of modern philosophical thought, his ideas are no longer relevant. The fifteen contributors to the anthology universally agree that this is not the case, and that Nietzsche is as relevant in modern-day philosophical thought as he was during his own time. The essays address a number of goals, striving to show how Nietzsche's ideas regarding culture and drama continue to influence the ways in which we understand political meanings within these areas. They go on to show how these political ideas fit into world perspectives at the dawning of the twenty-first century, making them current and relevant long after Nietzsche first conceived of them. Finally, the essays address the fresh research and philosophical discourse being conducted related to Nietzsche's work, and how these new ideas are building on his original foundations. Robert Burch, writing for the Review of Metaphysics, concluded that "with respect to its three aims, this anthology succeeds best with regard to the first and third. Although it succeeds with the second too, it remains unclear, when disassociated from Nietzsche's own dramatic response to the specter of nihilism through the willing of eternal return and amor fati, what post-Nietzscheanism is being ‘endorsed and enacted’ beyond an open-ended value accorded to Nietzschean critique per se." Journal of European Studies contributor Paul Bishop observed that "what makes this collection of essays interesting is the way that, presumably unintentionally, the same concepts or quotations are referred to on several occasions, but used or interpreted differently." Silke-Maria Weineck, reviewing for German Politics and Society, remarked that Schrift's own essay contribution to the volume is "a much more nuanced reflection on the contemporary scene of Nietzsche contestations especially in contemporary France, a well-balanced and quietly thoughtful piece that does an excellent job of summing up the stakes—or at least those stakes that can be or in any case have been phrased in terms of left vs. right and humanism vs. anti-humanism."
In his work Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers, Schrift offers readers a basic overview of the major philosophical ideas of the French philosophers of the twentieth century, including how these concepts flowed one into the next and providing a selection of biographies of the pertinent figures related to each philosophy. Schrift's approach is more historical than philosophical in nature, focus- ing less on the actual development of each concept than on the chronology that shows how French philosophy evolved. He states that the very nature of working through the concepts in the French language, and the structure built into the academic process in France, impacted the ways in which French philosophy developed. In turn, this concept is reflected in the way in which Schrift chose to structure his book, including his timeline of important historical events interwoven with significant occurrences in both the philosophical and academic worlds. This sets the stage for the rest of the book, including a brief introduction to the basic foundations of philosophy and its progress in twentieth-century France, followed by biographies of leading philosophers working in France during the period, and a series of appendices. Eric Matthews, in a review for the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Web site, remarked that "the value of this book is certainly not as an introduction to twentieth-century French philosophy for those with little or no previous knowledge of it. The review of the developments in actual philosophical ideas and arguments in Part One is much too brief and cursory to help such readers." He went on to state that its true value "is as a rich scholarly resource for those who do already have some acquaintance with the texts, placing these texts and their authors, and the whole activity of philosophising which they embody, in their cultural and institutional context." J.K.A. Smith, writing in Choice, "highly recommended" the book, stating that it "should be a required textbook in every course in Continental philosophy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June, 2001, H.I. Einsohn, review of Why Nietzsche Still? Reflections on Drama, Culture, Politics, p. 1807; June, 2006, J.K.A. Smith, review of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers, p. 1839.
French Studies, January, 2000, Judith Still, review of The Logic of the Gift: Toward an Ethic of Generosity, p. 120; July, 2007, Ian James, review of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy, p. 396.
German Politics and Society, summer, 2001, Silke-Maria Weineck, review of Why Nietzsche Still?, p. 139.
German Studies Review, February, 2002, Rod Stackelberg, review of Why Nietzsche Still?, p. 146.
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, summer, 1991, Gary Shapiro, review of The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur, p. 277; summer, 1991, Gary Shapiro, review of Transforming the Hermeneutic Context: From Nietzsche to Nancy, p. 278.
Journal of European Studies, September, 2000, Paul Bishop, review of Why Nietzsche Still?, p. 343.
Journal of Modern History, March, 1996, review of Nietzsche and the Question of Interpretation: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction, p. 114.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2006, review of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy.
Review of Metaphysics, March, 1991, Richard E. Palmer, review of The Hermeneutic Tradition, p. 649; March, 1991, Richard E. Palmer, review of Transforming the Hermeneutic Context, p. 649; March 2003, Robert Burch, review of Why Nietzsche Still?, p. 676.
Grinnell College Web site,http://www.grinnell.edu/ (March 25, 2008), faculty profile.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,http://ndpr.nd.edu/ (March 25, 2007), review of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy.