Florentien Verhage Associate Professor of Philosophy

Florentien Verhage


Professor Verhage joined the Department of Philosophy in 2008. She is also a core faculty member in the Women's and Gender Studies Program.

Professor Verhage’s research is concerned with intersubjective encounters, broadly construed. Her particular interest in the phenomenological philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty lies in his ability to make sense of such intersubjective encounters in terms of the close social, cultural, and political connections between subjects. In addition to exploring such encounters through a traditional phenomenological framework, Professor Verhage is concerned with letting this framework be challenged and unsettled by setting it in opposition to and letting it collaborate with contemporary work in feminist phenomenology, chicana theory, critical race theory, post-colonial theory, and borderland theory (as inspired by the work of Gloria Anzaldúa). A major objective of this interdisciplinary work is to develop a “phenomenology in and of the margins,” which is a project that attends to a double crisis: the crisis of the subject who is marginalized and silenced, and the crisis of phenomenology trying to heed her call.


  • Ph.D. Philosophy, McGill University (2009)
  • M.A. Philosophy of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex (2001)
  • B.A/M.A. Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Maastricht (1999)


Phenomenology (esp. Merleau-Ponty), 20th Century Continental Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Chicana Theory, Critical Race Theory, Post-Colonial Theory



  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Introduction to Continental Philosophy:Being in the World
  • Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Personal Identity


  • Existentialism: Meaning and Existence
  • Postmodernism: Power, Difference, Disruption
  • The Unruly Body: Philosophy, Science, Culture (cross-referenced with WGS)
  • The Second Sex: Beauvoir on the Power of Gender (crosslisted with WGS)


  • The Self and the Social World: Intersubjectivity (cross-referenced with WGS)
  • Perception and HUman Experience: Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology
  • Seminar on Living Philosopher: Linda Alcoff – Knowledge and Identity (Capstone Course)

Selected Publications


  • “Living With(out) Borders: Oppression as Intimate Experience,” Emotion Space and Society 11 (2014): 96-105. Reprinted in Intimacy and Embodiment, a special issue of Emotion, Space and Society 13 (2014): 111–120.
  • “The Body as Measurant of All: Dis-covering the Other,” Symposium 12 (2008): 166-182.

Book Chapters

  • “'I Must be Surprised, Disoriented:' Merleau-Ponty on Language as Disruptive Movement” for Understanding Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Understanding Modernism, edited by Ariane Mildenberg (Series: Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism; Bloomsbury: forthcoming).
  • “Philosophy Comes to Life: Elaborating an Idea of Feminist Philosophy,” in Feminist Philosophies of Life, edited by Chloe Taylor and Hasana Sharp (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press: 2016), 146-162.
  • “The Vision of the Artist/Mother: The Strange Creativity of Painting and Pregnancy,” in Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering, edited by Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline Lundquist (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013): 300-319