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Faculty Profiles

Brett Buchanan

Brett Buchanan 

Associate Professor

School of the Environment



F-322A, Science Building 

Sudbury Campus


705.675.1151 ext 4331705.675.1151 ext 4331

705.675.1151 ext


Since 2014 I have been the Director of Laurentian's new School of the Environment (which includes Archaeology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Études de l'environnement, and Science Communication), as well as Associate Professor of Philosophy. At LU I'm affiliated with the Humanities M.A. and the Ph.D. in Human Studies, programs through which I teach and supervise graduate students. My teaching and research centers on the intersections of contemporary continental philosophy, environmental thought, and animal studies. In 2015 I was a Visiting Fellow at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, where I was able to continue on-going research projects with colleagues in philosophical ethology, and during a six-month sabbatical in 2017 I was a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the École normale supérieure in Paris.

Professionally, I sit on a number of scholarly boards and committees, including Wilfrid Laurier University Press's "Environmental Humanities" book series, Environmental Humanities journal, and Rowman & Littlefield International's "Ecotones" book series. I have previously served as Secretary and V-P of The Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture (EPTC). At Laurentian I am a founding core member of the research Centre for Evolutionary Ecology and Ethical Conservation (CEEEC), and I have led and co-organized several colloquiums/workshops, including Thinking Extinction (Sudbury, 2013) and Field Philosophy (Paris, 2017).

Within the community, I currently serve as an executive board member with reThink Green and Cinefest Sudbury, and have served on the board of the Laurentian Child and Family Centre, as well as coached some of my kids's sports teams. 


Academic Appointments

2014- present: Director, School of the Environment, Laurentian University

2017: Visiting Researcher, Department of Philosophy, École Normale Supérieure (Paris, France)

2011- present: Associate professor, Laurentian University

2013 - present: Adjunct professor, York University

2007 - present: Core faculty member, Humanities MA, Laurentian University

2007 - present: Associate faculty member, Human Studies PhD, Laurentian University

2015: Visiting Fellow, Curtin University (Perth, Australia)

2006 - 2011: Assistant professor, Laurentian University

2004 - 2006: Instructor, York University

On The Web



My research interests concern the intersections of continental philosophy, philosophies of nature and the environment, animal studies, and the phenomena of endangered animals and species extinction. To this end I have two principle research projects on the go:

(i) philosophical ethology, including the translation of writers Dominique Lestel and Vinciane Despret (Angelaki and University of Minnesota Press's "Posthumanities" series). For information on these publications, please see the Publications tab above; 

(ii) an examination of the social and cultural legacies of Sudbury's regreening history;

(iii) an examination of multispecies communities, endangered animals, critical ecologies, and notions of resilience, particularly with a view to regional disturbances in northern Ontario.

Together with colleagues in the School of the Environment and in the Centre for Evolutionary Ecology and Ethical Conservation (CEEEC), I host and hold various research events during the academic year.


  • Emmett Turkington (MA, Humanities), "Blubbering On: Whale Narratives, Whale Agency"


  • Patrick Gamsby (PhD, Human Studies), "The Black Sun of Boredom: Henri Lefebvre and the Critique of Everyday Life" (co-supervisor)
  • Kaila Levola (MA, Humanities), "Wildlife (Re)framed: Rethinking Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education"
  • Sergio Fortunato (MA, Humanities), "Plato and Pedagogy"



Fall 2017: PHIL 2217: Environmental Ethics

Winter 2018: ENVI 3056: Animal Studies


Fall 2016: PHIL 2217: Environmental Ethics

Winter 2017: 6-month sabbatical


Fall 2015: PHIL 2217: Environmental Ethics

Winter 2016: PHIL 3217: Philosophy of Nature and the Environment


Administrative leave (Director, School of the Environment; Chair, Department of Philosophy)


Fall 2013: PHIL 3476: Existentialism

Fall 2013: PHIL 3217: Philosophy of Nature and the Environment (theme: species extinctions)

Winter 2014: PHIL 4007: Honours Seminar (theme: philosophy and biopolitics)



  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Grant, Co-applicant (R Wang PI), 2016 ($24, 675)
  • 40 Under Forty, Sudbury 2015
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Aid to Small Universities Grant, Co-applicant (G Crozier PI), 2014-2018 ($120, 000 CDN)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant, Collaborator (G Crozier PI), 2014-2016 ($62, 869 CDN)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Grant, Principal Investigator (PI), 2013-2014 ($42, 984 CDN)
  • Laurentian University SSHRC Research Support Fund, PI, 2013-2015 ($5,000 CDN)
  • Laurentian University Research Fund Grant, PI, 2012 ($1,500 CDN)
  • Laurentian University Research Fund Grant, PI, 2008 ($1,400 CDN)
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Hochschulsommerkurs, Friedrich Schiller Üniversität Jena, Jena, Germany, 2002 (€1,000+ board)
  • The John T. Richardson Fellowship, DePaul University. Karl-Eberhards Üniversität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, 2002 ($6,500 USD)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Grant, PI, 2000-2004 ($72,100 CDN)
  • Ontario Graduate Student Scholarship, PI, 1999 ($12,500 CDN)


Selected publications:


Edited Journals/Books: