Manhattan College Names Mitchell Aboulafia As Chair of the Philosophy Department

Mitchell S. Aboulafia, Ph.D., was recently appointed professor and chair of the philosophy department at Manhattan College effective Aug. 29.

Mitchell S. Aboulafia, Ph.D., was recently appointed professor and chair of the philosophy department at Manhattan College effective Aug. 29.

Photo of Andrew Ryan“The school of arts is delighted that Professor Aboulafia, an eminent scholar-teacher, will be chairing our philosophy department and providing experienced leadership for a discipline that is so central to the College’s liberal arts tradition,” said Richard K. Emmerson, Ph.D., dean of the school of arts.

Aboulafia, a resident of Yonkers, most recently served as director of interdivisional liberal arts at The Juilliard School and was particularly instrumental in helping to expand the liberal arts curriculum, including revamping the core curriculum and adding more than 25 new electives to Juilliard’s catalog. In addition to being a professor of liberal arts and philosophy and director of liberal arts, he was co-director of Juilliard’s new writing and communication center, a state-of-the-art center focusing on a broad range of writing skills.

Before coming to The Juilliard School, Aboulafia was a professor of philosophy at Pennsylvania State University from 2003-2006. He spent nearly a decade at the University of Colorado at Denver working as professor and chair of the philosophy department, director of the graduate interdisciplinary programs in humanities and social science, and co-director of the Center for Ethics and Community. In these roles, Aboulafia’s leadership helped to increase the number of philosophy course offerings, majors and graduate students at the University of Colorado at Denver. His teaching career began at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1978, and during his time at UH, he served as professor of philosophy and the humanities, director for the project for professional ethics and co-convener of the humanities program.

Throughout his 30-year educational career, Aboulafia has published several books, articles, book reviews and essays. His most recent book, Transcendence: On Self-Determination and Cosmopolitanism, was published by Stanford University Press in 2010, and the book addresses the relationship between individual and cultural self-determination. Aboulafia is also co-editor of the journal Contemporary Pragmatism.

After graduating from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a bachelor’s degree, Aboulafia went on to receive both a master’s and a doctorate from Boston College. In 2004, he was selected from among all of BC’s doctoral alumni in philosophy for the Distinguished Ph.D. Award, in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Boston College’s Graduate School.

“After several extraordinary years directing Juilliard’s liberal arts program, I heard about the opportunity to further expand Manhattan College’s philosophy department, and I couldn’t pass it up,” said Aboulafia. “The College has a compelling history, a vital mission and a great future, and I’m honored to be a member of such a community.”