My Research

 The majority of my current research focuses on a variety of harmful speech phenomena, namely, microaggressions, slurs, and hate speech. My dissertation project, “Words that Hurt?: Microaggressions, Slurs, & Hate Speech and the Degradation of Democratic Values” concerns the ongoing “free speech” debates in scholarly and popular literature. My goal is to offer a systematic response to so-called 'free speech' advocates who have offered criticisms of the recently developing work on microaggressions and the like, as well as recent attempts to reduce certain types of harmful speech on university campuses and elsewhere. While these critics are skeptical about the ability of these types of speech to produce any significant or enduring harm, my dissertation develops a comprehensive account of harm that when applied to the debate helps to illuminate the moral damage caused by speech phenomena such as microaggressions, slurs, and hate speech. In addition to this work, I am currently undertaking a broader project (co-authored with Lauren Freeman) to refine how microaggressions are understood theoretically and practically. We are developing our conception in the book manuscript we are currently writing, Microaggressions in Medicine

Journal Publications

"Editor's Introduction"(with Arianna Falbo), APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy, Special Issue (Arianna Falbo & Heather Stewart, eds.), forthcoming 2021.

“Hearing Queer Voices in the Clinic: On the Prevention of Clinical Microaggressions for Better Communication and Care.” Forthcoming in Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine, 2019. 


"Understanding Aristotle’s Notion of the Mean: A Case Study in Anger.” Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory, and Sociocultural Hermeneutics (Special Issue: Contemporary Philosophical Debates on Values). 2019.

“’Why Didn’t She Say Something Sooner?’ Doubt, Denial, Silencing, and the Epistemic Harms of Responses to the #MeToo Movement.” South Central Review, Special Issue on #MeToo, Moving Forward, 36(2): 68-94, 2019.

“Institutional Failures in the Rise of #MeToo: The Perpetuation of Epistemic and Other Harms to Survivors in Academic Contexts.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Forum on #MeToo, 38 (1): 215-223, 2019.

“When Urban Masculinity Manifests in Violence: On Finding Practical Solutions to End the Practice of Dogfighting,” forthcoming in Journal of Urban Affairs (Special Issue on “Animals in the City,” ed. Laura A. Reese), 2019.

“Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine.” (with Lauren Freeman) Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 28(4): 411-449. 2018.

“Parents of Pets?” A Defense of Interspecies Parenting and Family Building.” In Analize: Journal of Gender Studies, Special Issue: Analysing Love. 11(25). 2018. 

"In Defense of Fanon’s Conception of the Struggle to the Death.” Humanities Bulletin, Vol. 1 No. 2: 85-102. 2018.

“Uncovering Gender in Hegel’s ‘Ethical Order’ in The Phenomenology of Spirit.” Episteme International Undergraduate Journal. XXVII (2016): 7-24.

“Suspended Animation as a Medical Intervention: Opting for an “Opt-In” System.” Rutgers Journal of Bioethics. Vol. 7: Iss 1(2016): 46-55.

"Dissolving Dualism in Medicine: Reuniting the Body and Mind through Patient Narratives." Res Cogitans: Vol. 6: Iss. 1. Article 15. (2015). 


"Review of Just Words: On Speech and Hidden Harm (Mary Kate McGowan), in progress for APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy. 


"Review of Culture, Identities, and Technology in the Star Wars Films (Carl Silvo and Tony M. Vinci, eds.)" In progress for Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy.


“Review of Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs (David Sosa)" in progress for Radical Philosophy Reviews.


“Book Review: Histories of the Transgender Child (Julian Gill-Peterson)" forthcoming in LSE Reviews.

“Book Review: Genderqueer and Non-Binary Genders (Christina Richards, Walter Pierre Bouman,

and Meg-John Baker, eds.) Dosis. Fall 2018: Special Issue on Gender, Health, Embodiment.

“Review of Institutional Corruption: A Study in Applied Philosophy (Seumas Miller)" Philosophy in Review. Vol 38, No. 4. 2018. 

“Review of Beyond the Binary: Thinking About Sex and Gender (Shannon Dea)” Hypatia Reviews Online. June 20, 2018. 


“Book Review: Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America (Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, eds.)" Dosis. 1.1. Special edition: Sickness and Health in the Era of Trump.” 28 February 2018.

“Book Review: Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from the Hunger Games to Campus Rape (Kelly Oliver)” Dosis. 18 October 2017. 


“Review of Poverty, Agency and Human Rights (Diana Tietjens Meyers)” Hypatia Reviews Online. 2017.


“Book Review: The Minority Body (Elizabeth Barnes)” MedHum Fiction Daily Dose. 5 October 2016.

“Book Review: The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander)” MedHum Fiction Daily Dose. 25 May 2016.

Book Chapters 

"From Fighting for Our Lives to Fighting for Our Respect: Minimizing Microaggressions as a Worthwhile Pursuit for LGBTQ+ Scholarship and Activism." (Edited Collection by Jack Simmons on Lexington Press), 2020. 

"The Politics of Recognition and Epistemic Injustices in Medicine: Problems for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Patients and Why We Should Be Worried" (with Lauren Freeman). In Recognition Theory and Epistemic Injustice, (Paul Giladi and Nicola McMillan, eds., Routledge Press), 2020.

"Intersectionality in the Screening of Sexual Violence: Precious and the Complex Overlaps of Race, Gender, Class, and Disability for Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violation." In Screening #TimesUp: Exploring Rape Culture In Hollywood Film (Lisa Funnell and Ralph Beliveau, eds.), 2020.

“How Words Can Hurt: A Standpoint Epistemological Reply to Critics of the Microaggression Program.” With Lauren Freeman. In Philosophy and Microaggressions. Routledge, 2020.

“Immortal Technique and the Radical Reimagining of Masculinity on the Street.” In Misogyny, Toxic Masculinity, and Heteronormativity in Post-2000 Popular Music (Nicola Puckey, ed.) Palgrave MacMillan Press, 2020. 

“Epistemic Microaggressions and Epistemic Injustices in Clinical Medicine.” With Lauren Freeman. In Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives (Ben Sherman and Stacey Goguen, eds.) Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019. 

“Dissent and Resistance in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” In Ethics and Science Fiction (James Okapal, ed.) Forthcoming, tentatively Spring 2020. Interested Publisher: McFarland.

Professional Blogs & Other

"How to Support Graduate Student Teaching in the Time of COVID-19" (with Arianna Falbo and Emma McClure), APA Blog, May 2020.

"Graduate Studies in the Time of Coronavirus: Seeking Empathy and Community" MLA Grads Blog, April 2020. 

"Supporting Grad Students During COVID-19" (with Emma McClure and Arianna Falbo, APA Blog, April 2020.

"Reflections on Being a First-Generation and/or Low-Income Graduate Student" (with Arianna Falbo), APA Blog,  March 10, 2020.

“Microaggressions and the Continued Problem of Bi-Erasure,” forthcoming for Art/iculation Magazine, Special Issue: Queer and Now, 2019.

"Western University Researchers Release Report Advocating for More “Time to Attach” for People Who Provide Permanency to Children." IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, May 22, 2019.

"Time to Attach: An Argument in Favour of EI Attachment Benefits" (co-author), completed for Adopt4Life: Ontario's Adoptive Parents Association and Adoption Council of Canada, May 2019. 

“Microaggressions in Medicine and the Harms to Patients.”
University of Louisville Health Science Campus, Celebrating Diversity Newsletter, Summer 2019 Special Edition: Microaggressions, April 2019.

“Bisexual Microaggressions in Medical Contexts.” Bisexual Resource Center Blog. March 23, 2019. 


Reposted at IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics Blog, March 27, 2019.

“Shifting Perspectives: A Victim-Centered Account of Microaggressions in Medicine, and Beyond.” (With Lauren Freeman). International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (IJFAB) blog. February 2019. 

“Adoptive Parents and Unequal Parental Leave Time.” Impact Ethics. Oct 9, 2018. 

“Adoptive Parents in Canada Face Discrimination in EI Benefits” Time to Attach. September 13, 2018. 

“Embodying Trauma: Acute and Accumulated.” Dosis Fall 2018: Special Issue on Health, Gender, Embodiment. October 17, 2018. 

“Feminist Epistemologies in A Woman Under the Influence.” Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities. Vol. 8: Iss. 2. Spring 2016. May 2016. Web. 

© 2019 by Heather Stewart.