Lintott encourages awareness, self-reflection

By Ally Kebba

Contributing Writer

Originally from Sea Girt, N.J., just a few hours from campus, Dr. Sheila Lintott has always been familiar with the University. As an undergraduate student she attended Montclair University and went on to earn her Ph.D at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. After hearing of an available position in philosophy of art and aesthetics, she applied, was offered a position in the Philosophy Department at the University and took her place among the ranks of prized professors in Coleman Hall. Her teaching and research interests include aesthetics, the philosophy of art, ethics and applied ethics. She is especially interested in matters of environmental and feminist philosophy, particularly as they intersect.

Lintott had the childhood dream of serving as a Supreme Court Justice. She later came to find interests in nutrition and legal studies, but after just one philosophy course, she knew she was hooked.

“The questions were so fascinating and I loved that there was room for argument and discussion, that there weren’t easy answers or the illusion of easy answers,” Lintott said.

She enjoyed the freedom of being able to question conventional answers and the challenge of thinking in new and unusual ways.

Lintott welcomes the difficulties that come with teaching an introductory philosophy course.

“It is challenging, but really fun, enjoyable and satisfying, probably because its challenging. I think people are naturally philosophical regardless of whether they’ve been encouraged to ask questions. Everyone wonders about morality, the existence of a god, what makes something ‘true’ … philosophy has something for everyone to relate to and find personally interesting,” she said.

Lintott identified Feminist Philosophy as her favorite course to teach because she feels that it allows her to correct many misconceptions and stereotypes that people harbor about feminism and feminists. She appreciates the openness she finds in the students who select the course and their ability to delve deep into real-world issues.

Lintott proudly considers herself to be a feminist and defines that as someone who believes that men and women deserve equal respect, rights and treatment and is willing to stand up and say so. She works to rid common misunderstandings people have about feminists.

“Feminism is in the interest of both men and women,” she said.

Outside of the classroom, Lintott encourages students to be more self-reflective and aware of societal issues. She leads a reading group which discusses the book “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape” and works on the advisory board of the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Gender Studies coordinating committee. Recently she has supported the stand against degrading party themes headed by the chapter presidents of the seven sororities on campus.

Her students appreciate Lintott’s involvement in issues beyond the classroom.

“As a first-year female at Bucknell, it has been a huge help to find a professor who is aware of gender issues on campus and is willing to discuss ways to improve campus climate. I feel it is important to unpack rape culture and double standard issues through discussion, and her willingness to facilitate these usually taboo discussions offers great encouragement,” Kate Albertini ’14 said.

Lincott reciprocates by explaining that her favorite part of the University is the people.

“There are so many people here who are just incredibly creative and ambitious in both teaching and research,” she said. “It creates a really inspiring and motivating environment, a good climate, good intellectual air to breathe.”

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