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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy

Meet faculty and staff in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Denver.


Jere Surber

  • Jere Surber

    Jere Surber

Professor, Department Chair
Sturm Hall 263
Phone: 303-871-2759

Areas of expertise/Research interests

  • modern and contemporary continental thought (German idealism, phenomenology, existentialism, poststructuralism, speculative realism)
  • Critical theory and philosophy of culture
  • philosophy of language and semiotics
  • contemporary continental thought concerning religion and theology
  • Aesthetics and philosophy of art
  • philosophy and popular culture (literature, film and video games)
  • history of philosophy
  • Asian philosophy

Current research and projects

I have recently completed a book, What is Philosophy?: Embodiment, Signification, Ideality. My next major project will be a book on the metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics of video games.

Ongoing research projects involve the themes of science, system and the absolute in German idealist philosophy, and a critique of speculative realism.

Professional Biography

After an undergraduate education mostly in the sciences and mathematics, I worked for several years in classics (Greek and Latin).

After a period at the Pennsylvania State University studying classics and philosophy, I had the opportunity to study under Professor Gottfried Martin in Germany at the University of Bonn, where I wrote my dissertation on the problem of language in German idealist philosophy, especially Hegel. This has remained one of my major research and publication areas.

Besides publishing numerous translations, essays and books in this area, I also published in the areas of contemporary ethics and aesthetics. Beginning in the '80s, I expanded my interests in continental philosophy to include phenomenology, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, critical theory and poststructuralism. What resulted was the book Culture and Critique.

More recently, I have worked on such figures as Deleuze, Badiou, Zizek and on speculative realism. Some of the results of this work will figure in my forthcoming book, What is Philosophy?: Embodiment, Signification, Ideality.

Over the last decade, I have also published a group of essays in Open Court Publishing Company's "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series, dealing with philosophy and rock music. I am now engaged in planning a course and book on philosophy and video games. Also, outside my academic interests, I have, for a long time, been a multi-instrumentalist in various Celtic-rock and bluegrass bands in the Denver area.

I have served as an editorial consultant and reviewer for several professional publications and in various capacities in scholarly societies> Most recently, I was vide president and program chair of the Hegel Society of America.

I have also been a visiting professor at such institutions as Katholieke Universiteit-Leuven, Johannes Gutenberg Universität-Mainz, Oxford University (Mansfield College), the University of Tromso (Norway) and the University of Delaware.


PhD, philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University/Rheinische Universität-Bonn
MA, classics, The Pennsylvania State University
BA and MA, philosophy, psychology and psychology, Texas Christian University