Senior Received Drinko Grant, Published Book Review

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Westminster College senior philosophy and economics major Michael Gorman received an undergraduate research grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Gorman's research, "Understanding ‘Literature as Such' within an Ethics of Discomfort: Foucault and Blanchot on Limit-Experience," is conducted under the supervision of Dr. David Goldberg, Westminster associate professor of philosophy.

Although both authors, Michel Foucault and Maurice Blanchot, use the term "limit-experience," it plays a distinct role in each of their respective philosophical systems.  Gorman's project focuses on the relationship between limit-experience and ethics.

"To explicate the role of limit-experience within these ethical systems, I emphasize the ability of literature, through of its interdependence with death, to provide a limit-experience in both systems," Gorman said.  "Through this example and its accompanying theoretical analysis, I seek to provide a more thorough understanding of the similarities and differences inherent to Foucauldian and Blanchodian limit-experience, while clarifying the role this concept plays within their particular ethical frameworks." 

Gorman's book review of Kevin Hart's Clandestine Encounters: Philosophy in the Narratives of Maurice Blanchot was recently accepted for publication in Dialogue, the journal of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.  The inspiration for the research project came while reading Hart's book and writing the review.

Gorman has presented at a number of local, regional, and national conferences on a variety of research regarding Foucault scholarship, often on the limit-experience concept.

Gorman is a son of Mary Novak of Avonmore and a graduate of Kiski Area High School.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  Click here for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

Email Gorman for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Drinko Center Information