Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Meet the Professor: Fernando Zapata Fernando Zapata joins W&L as a DeLaney Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy.

DSC3749-800x533 Meet the Professor: Fernando ZapataFernando Zapata, DeLaney Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy

Fernando Zapata, a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy, joined Washington and Lee University in fall 2021. Zapata holds a B.A. in philosophy from Queens College, City University of New York; a master’s degree in philosophy from Stony Brook University, and a doctorate in philosophy from the program for Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal (SPEL) Philosophy at Binghamton University. Prior to arriving at W&L, he taught at Hunter College in New York, New York.

Zapata’s research interests are in the history of philosophy, particularly the American philosophical tradition, social and political philosophy, and ethics. He’s currently working in American Philosophy, rethinking narratives in the American philosophical tradition to make it more inclusive of persons and works missing from the American canon, and trying to apply the insights of American Pragmatism to pressing social issues.

Keep reading for more info about Zapata:

Q: Why did you choose to work at W&L?

I was first attracted to Washington and Lee University by the opportunities to teach small classes and pursue research on topics that I care about. The friendliness of the faculty, staff and administration was a draw as well.

Q: Aside from teaching, what’s something that you’re passionate about? What do you do for fun?

I am deeply interested in thinking critically about humor and comedy, and I enjoy laughing when I can.

Q: What is your favorite movie or book? Why?

I do not have a favorite book, but favorites, and among them is Melville’s “The Confidence-Man” because it is a sharp meditation on human behavior in a market society.

Q: As a student, what was the best piece of advice you were given?

The best advice that I received as a graduate student is to treat academic research and writing like a job on a farm.

Q:  What’s something not many people know about you? 

I was a singer in a noisy garage band, my first career choice.