Sanem Soyarslan, assistant professor of philosophy, has received this year’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in the Humanities from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in recognition of her exceptional scholarship, teaching and service.
An expert in early modern philosophy with a focus on the work of Baruch Spinoza, Soyarslan has an M.A. in Political Science from Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), an M.A. in Philosophy from Boğaziçi University in Turkey and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duke. She was appointed to the philosophy faculty at NC State University in Fall 2013.
Soyarslan teaches a variety of courses, including Introduction to Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, History of Ethics and an annual first-year seminar on Emotion and Reason for the University Honors Program. She also supervises a number of philosophy majors in Research and Writing in History of Philosophy. In the words of one of her peer reviewers, she is “a gifted teacher with a contagious enthusiasm … and a genuine desire to help students learn to do philosophy.”
In the area of scholarship, Soyarslan’s achievements are impressive. As a Masters student in Turkey, she published a Turkish translation of Etienne Balibar’s book Spinoza et la Politique (Spinoza ve Siyaset, Istanbul: Otonom Publishing, 2004). Since coming to NC State, she has published six sole-authored essays on important topics concerning Spinoza’s epistemology, moral psychology and ethical theory. Five of these appeared in the form of articles in professional journals, including the very prestigious British Journal for the History of Philosophy and European Journal in Philosophy. The other essay appeared as a chapter in a highly-regarded book, Essays on Spinoza’s Ethical Theory (edited by Kissner and Youpa, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2014).
Soyarslan has also given numerous scholarly presentations and is now preparing an invited chapter on Spinoza and Descartes for a book on the history of humility in the Oxford Philosophical Concepts series.
External reviewers of Soyarslan’s scholarship say that she “has produced a substantial body of work of high quality on important topics” and that she is “a superb scholar of Spinoza, one of the best of her academic generation.”