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, “The Moral and Political Status of Microaggressions” develops a more robust understanding of why the phenomenon of microaggressions matters morally and politically. In the dissertation, I develop a conceptual understanding of microaggresion by way of Wittgensteinian family resemblance. I then defend this understanding of microaggression, as well as microaggression theory, against criticisms. I consider microagressions in two different contexts: first, their relation to "free speech" debates on university campuses, and second, their role in the phenomenon of "bi erasure," that is, the invisibility of bisexual people within LGBTQ+ communities and broader society. Through these examinations, the dissertation helps advance an understanding of the moral and political significance of microaggressions in our social interactions and moral lives. In addition to this work, I am currently undertaking a broader project (co-authored with Lauren Freeman) to redefine how microaggressions are understood theoretically and practically (more specifically, to reorient the focus of microaggression to the perspective of those on the receiving end). We are developing our conception in the book manuscript we are currently writing, Microaggressions in Medicine. This book focuses on the significance of microaggressions in clinical encounters, and how they can impact trust, communication, and care for marginalized patients. 

Journal Publications

“Making Sense of “Microaggression”: On Family Resemblance and Standpoint Epistemology.” Southwest Philosophy Review, forthcoming 2021. 

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

"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.

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

"Power" (with Lauren Freeman). In Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics, in progress.

"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), forthcoming 2021. 

“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, forthcoming 2021. 

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

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. 

© 2020 by Heather Stewart.