Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-frvt8 Total loading time: 0.333 Render date: 2022-10-04T00:07:05.254Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Foreigners in Philosophy and Openness to Dislocation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020


Because of political, economic, technological, and other developments, foreigners who come as students or academics to practice philosophy in a country, geography, and culture other than their own are increasingly prevalent in academic philosophy today. Yet this reality is insufficiently discussed and is under‐thematized, so that it remains opaque even to foreigners themselves. This article seeks first to dissipate that opacity by developing an account of what it is like to be a foreigner in philosophy. I offer an understanding of foreignness through a cluster of interrelated experiences, and I describe “existential dislocation” as the core experience that characterizes the foreigner. Next, the article follows some consequences of these descriptions and analyses. I address considerations of equality in the academy, and then I examine the significance of “existential dislocation” for the philosophical enterprise and propose that it occasions revitalizing possibilities for the discipline.

Cluster on Foreigners in Philosophy
Hypatia , Volume 33 , Issue 2 , Spring 2018 , pp. 343 - 358
Copyright © 2018 by Hypatia, Inc.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Alcoff, Linda Martín. 2006. Visible identities: Race, gender, and the self. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Elizabeth. 1995. The democratic university: The role of justice in the production of knowledge. Social Philosophy and Policy 12 (2): 186219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Elizabeth. 2012. Epistemic justice as a virtue of social institutions. Social Epistemology 26 (2): 163–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1987. Borderlands/la frontera: The new mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute.Google Scholar
Ayala, Saray. 2015. Philosophy and the non‐native speaker condition. American Philosophical Association Newsletter in Feminism and Philosophy 14 (2): 29.Google Scholar
Bamford, Rebecca. 2015. Long journeys part 5: Rebecca Bamford. The philosophers’ cocoon. (accessed October 1, 2017).Google Scholar
Brown, Jill, ed. 2014. Navigating international academia: Research student narratives. Rotterdam, Boston, and Taipei: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown, Robert J. 2008. Dominant stressors on expatriate couples during international assignments. International Journal of Human Resource Management 19 (6): 1018–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruya, Brian. 2015. The tacit rejection of multiculturalism in American philosophy Ph.D. programs: The case of Chinese philosophy. Dao 14 (3): 369–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canagarajah, Suresh. 2004. Multilingual writers and the struggle for voice in academic discourse. In Negotiation of identities in multilingual contexts, ed. Pavlenko, A. and Blackledge, A.Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Czarniawska, Barbara, and Sevón, Guje. 2018. The thin end of the wedge: Foreign women professors as double strangers in academia. Gender, Work & Organization 15 (3): 235–87.Google Scholar
Derrida, Jacques. 2005. The politics of friendship. Trans. George Collins. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Dotson, Kristie. 2012. How is this paper philosophy? Comparative Philosophy 3 (1): 329.Google Scholar
Fricker, Miranda. 2007. Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haour‐Knipe, Mary. 2000. Moving families: Expatriation, stress and coping. New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
Honig, Bonnie. 2003. Democracy and the foreigner. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
InterNations. 2015. What expats struggle with. (accessed September 26, 2017).Google Scholar
InterNations. 2016. Common expat problems. (accessed September 26, 2017).Google Scholar
Johansson, Marjana, and Śliwa, Martyna. 2014. Gender, foreignness and academia: An intersectional analysis of the experiences of foreign women academics in UK business schools. Gender, Work & Organization 21 (1): 1836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Longino, Helen E. 2002. The fate of knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lugones, María. 2003. Pilgrimages/peregrinajes: Theorizing coalition against multiple oppressions. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
Merritt, Deborah J. 2008. Bias, the brain, and student evaluations of teaching. St. John's Law Review 82 (1): 235–87.Google Scholar
Ortega, Mariana. 2016. In‐between: Latina feminist phenomenology, multiplicity, and the self. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
Rancière, Jacques. 2004. The philosopher and his poor. Trans. John Drury, Corinne Oster, and Andrew Parker. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roca‐Varela, María Luisa. 2010. Intralingual false friends: British English and American English as a case in point. In CamLing 2010: Proceedings of the Sixth Cambridge Postgraduate Conference in Language Research, ed. Cummins, Chris, Elder, Chi‐Hé, Godard, Thomas, Macleod, Morgan, Schmidt, Elaine, and Walkden, George. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Institute of Language Research.Google Scholar
Romanowski, M. H., and Nasser, R. 2015. Identity issues: Expatriate professors teaching and researching in Qatar. Higher Education 69 (4): 653–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rubin, Donald L. 1992. Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates’ judgments of nonnative English‐speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education 33 (4): 511–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sang, Katherine, Al‐Dajani, Haya, and Özbilgin, Mustafa. 2013. Frayed careers of migrant female professors in British academia: An intersectional perspective. Gender, Work & Organization 20 (2): 158–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schutte, Ofelia. 1998. Cultural alterity: Cross‐cultural communication and feminist theory in north‐south contexts. Hypatia 13 (2): 5372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schütz, Alfred. 1944. The stranger: An essay in social psychology. American Journal of Sociology 49 (6): 499507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmel, Georg. 1971. The stranger (1908). Trans. Donald N. Levine. In On individuality and social forms, ed. Levine, Donald N.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 2010. Can the subaltern speak? revised version, from the “History” chapter of Critique of Postcolonial Reason. In Can the subaltern speak? Reflections on the history of an idea, ed. Morris, Rosalind C.New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Torres, Myriam N. 2002. Reflecting on the games of academia: A view from “the porch.” In The politics of survival in academia: Narratives of inequity, resilience, and success, ed. Jacobs, Lila, Cintrón, José, and Canton, Cecil E.Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
Truman, Sean D., Sharar, David A., and Pompe, John C. 2011. The mental health status of expatriate versus U.S. domestic workers. International Journal of Mental Health 40 (4): 318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Usunier, Jean‐Claude. 1999. Food consumption and the expatriation experience: A study of American expatriates in France. European Advances in Consumer Research 4: 352–60.Google Scholar

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Foreigners in Philosophy and Openness to Dislocation
Available formats

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Foreigners in Philosophy and Openness to Dislocation
Available formats

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Foreigners in Philosophy and Openness to Dislocation
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *