Rocío Zambrana (Assistant Professor)
I specialize in Continental Philosophy, with focus on Kant and German Idealism (especially Hegel) and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. I am interested in the problem of normative authority and practices of justification; forms of rationality and rationalization; the entanglement of recognition and misrecognition; the idea of immanent critique; and the nature of conceptual change.
My current research seeks to reconstruct G.W.F. Hegel’s account of normative authority, and pursues the consequences of Hegel’s insights for notions of critique and justification within the Frankfurt School tradition. Two book projects grow out of my current research.
In my first book project, Hegel’s Theory of Determinacy, I aim to show that Hegel carries the legacy of Kant’s idealism forward, albeit in a new direction. Hegel’s theory of determinacy is a theory of normativity that supports the view that norms are radically revisable given that they gain and lose authority throughout history. Hegel’s emphasis on negativity, however, should not be read as merely stemming from an interest in the ways in which authority fails, is contested, and prompts revision of the most significant commitments of a society. Negativity must be traced to his theory of form that is most prominently elaborated in the Science of Logic. The inseparability of form and content established formally in the Logic accounts for why determinacy is the result of social practices, anchored in material existence, and fundamentally pragmatic. But it also entails that, for formal reasons, normative authority is ambivalent and precarious.
In a second book project, tentatively entitled Normative Ambivalence and the Crisis of Critique, I will elaborate the implications of normative ambivalence for critical and justificatory practices as understood within the Frankfurt School tradition. Norms for critique—such as freedom or alienation—are socio-historical institutions. As such, they are subject to contestation and revision in light of new material conditions. Yet they are at the same time reversible: they retain the possibility of reverting to their opposite and generating both positive and negative effects even when enjoying normative authority. I seek to develop the notion of dialectical reversibility, which I will argue provides the appropriate framework for analyzing neoliberal capitalism and the need for rethinking critique in the neoliberal context.
Beyond German Idealism (esp. Kant and Hegel) and Critical Theory (esp. Adorno, Habermas, Honneth, and Fraser), I explore these topics via the work of Rousseau, Marx, Nietzsche, Lukács, Foucault, Derrida, Hannah Arendt, and classical and contemporary American Pragmatism.
Expression in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy, special issue of Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 27:2 (2006).
"Paradoxes of Neoliberalism and the Tasks of Critical Theory," Critical Horizons 14:1 (2013).
"Kant's Hyperbolic Formalism," Idealistic Studies 42:1 (2012).
"El legado de Hegel," translation of "Hegel's Legacy" by Martha Patiño, Revista Universitas Philosophicas 59 (2012).
"Hegel's Legacy," in "Continental Philosophy: What and Where Will It Be?" The Southern Journal of Philosophy 50:2 (2012).
"Hegel's Logic of Finitude," Continental Philosophy Review 45:2 (2012).
“Hegel’s Hyperbolic Formalism,” Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 61 (2010).
Anayra Santory, Luis A. Avilés, Bairá Soto, Joyce González, Roxana Román, Rocío Zambrana, “Disparidad de género en la niñez: El caso de Puerto Rico y El Salvador,” in Memorias del Cuarto Congreso Nacional Sobre las Mujeres, Humacao, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, April 10 and 11 2003.
Review of Karin de Boer's On Hegel: The Sway of the Negative (London: Palgrave, 2010), in The Owl of Minerva 43 (2012).
"Pippin’s Hegel,” review of Hegel’s Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 31:2 (2010).
Review of Songsuk Susan Hahn, Contradiction in Motion: Hegel’s Organic Concept of Value and Life (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 59/60 (2009).
My teaching interests are in 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-Century Continental Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of History, and Modern Philosophy.
Past and future graduate seminars include: Autonomy (Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche); Kant's Critique of Pure Reason; Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; Hegel’s Science of Logic; Freedom in Kant and Post-Kanian Idealism; Marx; Immanence and Transcendence in Frankfurt School Critical Theory; Critique and Capitalism: The Frankfurt School, Adorno’s Negative Dialectics; Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action; Hegel and Derrida.
Past and future undergraduate seminars include: Recognition, Self, Society; Critical Theory; Kant's Critique of Pure Reason; Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; Marx; History of 19th Century Philosophy; Logic; Recognition and Misrecognition in Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx; Idealism and Materialism.
Immanent Critique: New Directions - an international conference on notions of critique and social justice in Critical Theory today. 19-20 April 2013, Knight Library Browsing Room. For more information, visit: http://philosophy.uoregon.edu/