Joyce Mullan (jmullan)

Joyce Mullan

Teaching Assistant Professor

College of Arts and Letters

Morton 108
(201) 216-8245


  • PhD (2003) New School for Social Research (Philosophy)
  • MA (1998) New School for Social Research (Philosophy)
  • MA (1988) New School for Social Research (Political Science)
  • BA (1978) San Francisco State University (Political Science)


My research interests have been in Ancient and Enlightenment Ethical and Political Theory with an emphasis on Feminist, Comparative  and non-violent approaches.  I am also interested in Environmental Ethics, Animal Rights, and Ecofeminism.

General Information

Works in Progress:

“Frank Speech: From the Melian Dialogue to Socrates’ Defense.”
Hannah Arendt, in her Human Condition, wrote of speech and the beginnings of Rhetoric, initially as a way of facing up to whatever happened or we might nowadays say, ‘telling it like it is’. Only later does it become a form of persuasion preferable to force. In between and with the rise of democracy we also see a desire for Parrhesia, free speech or saying everything as well as Isegoria, the equal right of anyone in the assembly to speak (and thus contribute to the common good).
If we examine the literature and history of the classical period, we find much written and said about Frank speech whether it be Athenian ambassadors telling Spartans why they had a right to their empire before the onset of the Peloponnesian War or as we will examine more closely, in the Melian Dialogue Athenian envoys telling the weaker Melians to save themselves and not be seduced by false notions such as honor or false hopes. But, even in Plato’s Socrates and especially in his Gorgias, we see the value of speaking frankly. Plato’s Socrates often praising a discussion partner for speaking openly and honestly to see what ideas really have value and are worth holding. He was condemned to death, however, for speaking the truth according to Xenophon.
We see, in the classical period, a devolution in language take place, as well. A devolution where Thucydides recounts language changed meaning and a consequent demoralization also came about. We acknowledge also an awareness that not everyone was allowed to speak frankly or even speak at all. Though, they could and did make some very loud noises at times.
Michel Foucault broke new ground in discussing Parrhesia as Frank speech in his Lectures in the 1980s at Berkeley, especially as speaking freely at some risk to the speaker. Though he had a lot of valuable things to say, he does not take into account, Hegemons trying to bully agreement from weaker parties by claiming a monopoly on the truth either.


I have taught introductory and advanced courses in Philosophy, Political Science, Intellectual History, and Humanities at NJIT, Adelphi, Rutgers, and St. John’s University in the New York/New Jersey area, as well as at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Chicago’s Graham School.

I have taught the History of Political Theory, History of Ethics, Contemporary Moral Issues, Environmental Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Existentialism, Women and Philosophy, Science Fiction and Philosophy, Non-Violence and Philosophy, and Violence, Terrorism and War among other philosophy and humanities classes. I have also taught Introduction to Politics, American Government, The European Union, America and the World in Political Science Departments.

Institutional Service

  • Freshman Experience Subcommitte to rename that Program Member
  • Hiring Committe for new Teaching Assistant Professor of Music and Technology Member
  • Search Committee for OUA Director Member
  • First Year Reading Group Chair
  • Bot Nom and Corporate Gov Member
  • Freshman Experience Book Meeting Chair
  • Ethics Bowl 2020 Member
  • Freshman Experience Book meeting Chair
  • CAL 103 Reader Committee Member
  • Freshman Experience Committee Member
  • Ethics Bowl Chair
  • Pinnacle Scholar Roundtable Chair
  • Constitution Day event Member

Professional Service

  • New York Society for Women in Philosophy Member
  • Northeastern Political Science Association Co-Chair
  • Northeastern Political Science Association Chair
  • Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Chair of Panel on the Religion of Socrates and Plato
  • Northeast Political Science Association Chair of Panel on Environmental Politics


Prelaw Advisor, 2014-2021

Honors and Awards

Dean's list of outstanding students 3 years at my Alma Mater (SF state).

Professional Societies

  • APT – Association of Political Theory Member
  • APA – American Philosophical Association Member
  • NY SWIP – New York Society for Women in Philosophy Member
  • SAGP – Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Member
  • NPSA – Northeast Political Science Association Member

Selected Publications

“The Double Meaning of Strife in Hesiod,” Politeia: Essays in Honor of Anthony Preus. SUNY Press (forthcoming) (Festschrift in honor of Anthony Preus, Director of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy)
“To Whom do we owe the Truth in Fanon and Gandhi,” Review Journal of Philosophy and Social Science, (Volume XXXIV, No.1, 2) 2009
“Humanity and Humanitas in Rousseau and Kant,” Conference Proceedings, Misery and Dignity of Humanity, Seneca Institute, University of Madrid, July 2006
Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, by Teresa Morgan (Ancient Philosophy) Book Review, Winter, 2000

CONFERENCES (partial list):
“Frank Speech: From the Melian Dialogue to Socrates’ Defense.”
Fall 2022, SAGP & NPSA
“The Political Meaning of Work in Plato and Xenophon’s Socrates,” Fall 2021, SAGP & NPSA
“Changing Ideals of Arȇte in portrayals of Odysseus during the Peloponnesian War,” (updated), Conference on the Heritage of Western Greece, Summer, 2021
“Hesiod’s double tale of strife in his Works and Days,” Conference on the Heritage of Western Greece, NPSA, SAGP, 2019
“Thucydides’ Letter to the Future,” NPSA, Fall 2018
“Thinking what you are doing: Cleon’s argument in the Mytilenian debate,” SAGP & NPSA, Fall 2017
“The Women Speak up: Speaking truth to Power in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, SAGP & NPSA, Fall 2016, MPSA, Spring 2018
“Ruling and being ruled, Haemon’s Double Bind,” SAGP & NPSA, Fall 2015
“What the Athenians said about the Spartans in the Melian Dialogue,” SAGP & NPSA, Fall 2014
“Changing Ideals of Arȇte in portrayals of Odysseus during the Peloponnesian War,” SAGP & NPSA, Fall 2013
“Simone Weil on Human Rights,” NPSA, Fall 2012 and Felician Conference on Philosophy, Spring 2013
“Nature and the Natural, a genealogy,” CAL Humanities Forum, Fall 2012
“The Modernity of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Descartes," discussant, NPSA, Fall 2012
“Power and Justice in Euripides’ Hecuba,” NPSA, Fall 2011
“Rousseau and Kant on the ‘Ways of the World’,” NPSA, Fall 2010
“Piety and the Political in Ancient Greece,” SAGP and NPSA, Fall, 2009
“Callicles’ Double Standard and Athenian Foreign Policy,” NPSA, November, 2008
“From Animal Gods to Animal Sacrifice: the place of animals in Ancient Greek Cosmology,” SAGP, October 2008
“To whom do we owe the Truth in Fanon and Gandhi,” APT, October, 2007
“Subjectivity and Subjection in Rousseau,” APSA, September 2007
“The Black Rousseau (Frantz Fanon) and Rousseau,” MPSA, April 2007
“Women and Political Violence,” WPSA, March 2007
“Minding your own business in Thucydides, Socrates, and Plato,” NPSA, Fall 2006
“Meno’s Manliness and traditional Greek Arête,” MPSA, Spring 2006
“The Argument from Expediency in the Mytilinean Debates,” NPSA, Fall 2005
“Womanly Aretai and the Greek Polis,” MPSA, Spring 2005
“Humanity and Humanitas in Rousseau and Kant,” Conference on the ‘Misery and Dignity of Humanity in European Thought’, Autonomous University of Madrid, Seneca Institute, 2004
“Emigration and Patriotism in Rousseau,” MPSA, April 2004
‘Just War Tradition in Hindu, Islamic and Christian Thought’, discussant, MPSA, April 2004
“What Virtue should be taught?” International Civic Education Conference, November 2003
“Perspectives on the History of Political Thought,” Chair, APT, October, 2003
“Facets of Machiavelli,” Discussant, MPSA, Spring 2003
“Thucydides’ ‘Mytilinean Debate’ and Plato’s Gorgias,” SAGP, October, 2000
(APT – Association of Political Theory, MPSA – Midwestern Political Science Association, NPSA – Northeastern Political Science Association, SAGP – Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, WPSA – Western Political Science Association)

“From the Bride of Frankenstein to Holograms: how the advance of technology has helped and hindered our dreams and phantasms of a significant other,” Conference on Technologies of Frankenstein: 1818-2018, CAL, Stevens Institute of Technology, March 2018.
“Voting Rights: Are they protected by the Constitution?” Constitution Day, Stevens, September 2017
“Water Rights and Climate Change,” follow up to Mini-conference, Spring 2016
“Ecofeminism and Climate Change,” Mini-conference at Stevens in connection with UN Climate Change Conference, December, 2016
“The Painted Ladies of Times Square,” Constitution Day, Stevens Institute of Technology, Fall 2015
“Corporations and the Constitution, Rights & Duties,” Constitution Day, Stevens Institute of Technology, October 2014
“Does Stevens still need Feminism?” Stevens Philosophy Club, November 2014
“From Animal Gods to Animal Sacrifice…,” Adelphi University, Spring 2009
‘Women and Political Violence’, Felician College, Fall 2008


Philosophy i
Global and International Ethics, Fall 2021
Knowledge, Nature, Culture, Fall 2011 to Fall 2021
Science and Metaphysics, periodically from 2010 to 2019
Environmental Ethics, periodically from Spring 2010 to Summer 2020
Existentialism and Contemporary Philosophy, Fall 2016, Spring 2010
Philosophy of Education, Fall 2016-Spring 2018
Women Philosophers of the Twentieth-Century, Fall 2015, Fall 2016
Philosophy and Feminism, Spring 2017, Spring 2014
American Political Theory (Graduate class), Fall 2015, (Undergraduate) Summer 2007
International Politics, Winter, 2015, Spring 2013
National Government, Fall 2013
Troy and the Trojan War, Fall 2010 and Spring 2011
Introduction to Politics, Fall 2010
Civilizations II, 2007 to 2016
Civilizations I, 2008, 2015
Cultures and Values, Fall 2008
Making of Modern Thought, 2007 - 2011
Ancient Political Theory, Summer 2008
America and the World, Fall 2007
Ethics and Values in Policy Making, Spring 2007
Introduction to Political Theory, Spring 2007
Classical Political Theory, Summer 2008
Contemporary Political Theory, Fall 2008
Modern Political Theory, Fall 2010 and 2001
Violence, Terrorism, and War, Fall 2006
Women and Philosophy, Fall 2016, Spring 2006
Philosophers of Non-Violence, Spring 2005
Plato’s Republic, Fall 2004
Reflections on Making War, Spring 2004
Great Writers of the late Nineteenth Century, Fall 2003
Western Culture and the Arts, I and II, 2004-2006
Ethics (several sections) 2002-2018
Introduction to Philosophy, 2002-2010
Great Ideas, II Spring 2002
Philosophy and Science Fiction, Fall 2002
Logic, Spring 2003
Critical Thinking, Fall 2003
Metaphysics, Fall 2001