Laura T. Di Summa – (Di Summa-Knoop)

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, William Paterson University of New Jersey



Ph.D. in Philosophy:  CUNY, The Graduate Center, New York. Thesis: The Art of Telling About the Self. Memoirs in Literature and Film. Advisor: Prof. Noël Carroll. Committee: Douglas Lackey, Nickolas Pappas, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Pipolo.

AOSs: Aesthetics (Philosophy of Art, Film & Literature), Ethics, History of Philosophy, Continental Philosophy

AOCs: Applied Ethics, Cognitive Science (Cognitive Psychology), Philosophy of Mind.


MA in Philosophy: Concordia University, Montreal. Thesis: Naturalizing Artifacts. The Case of Art in Naturalized Epistemology. Advisor:  Prof. Murray Clarke.


MA in History of Philosophy: University of Turin, Italy. Thesis: The Perception of Virtual Objects Advisors: Prof. Pietro Kobau and Prof. Maurizio Ferraris.


BA in Philosophy: University of Turin, Italy. Thesis: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. The case of photography Advisor: Prof. Pietro Kobau.


Language skills

English, Italian (fluent), French (proficient), Spanish (intermediate), Ancient Greek and Latin (translation)



  • Under contract. Co-editor with Noël Carroll & Shawn Loht. The Palgrave Handbook for the Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Naturalizing Artifacts. The Case of Art in Naturalized Epistemology. VDM Verlag, Berlin.

    Peer-Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters

  • Clouds of Sils Maria: True Selves and Fictional Characters,” in Metacinema: Representations of Filmic Self-Reference. Ed. David LaRocca.  Bloomsbury (book chapter)
  • “Film Criticism and Analytic Approaches: Bridging a Divide,” (Special Issue of Projections)
  • “Fashion as Play,” in Philosophy Compass (article)
  • “The Autobiographical Documentary” (forthcoming in The Palgrave Handbook for the Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures, Carroll, Di Summa-Knoop & Loht eds.)
  • Black Mirror: The Not So Fearful Consequences of Technology,” in Film and Philosophy, Vol.23.
  • “Naturalized Aesthetics and Criticism: On Value Judgments” Projections, Vol. 12, Issue 2, Winter 2018, 19-27.
  • “Style, Not Costumes: David Bowie and Fashion,” in Metaphysical Stardust: David Bowie and the Problem of Personal Identity Between East and West. Baldini, Goretti, Flannery, He eds. Nanjing School of Arts of Nanjing University: 31-35 Exhibition catalogue.
  • 2017. “Contemporary Lives: On the Nature of Filmic Autobiographies,” Auto/Fiction, 2:1, 54-65.
  • 2017. “Critical Autobiography: A New Subgenre?” Journal of Aesthetics and Culture Vol. 9: 1. Published online 08/10/2017
  • 2016. “Identity and Strategies of Identification: A Moral and Aesthetic Shift in Architecture and Urbanism,” The Journal of Aesthetics and PhenomenologySpecial Issue: Urban Aesthetics Vol. 3 No.2: 111-123.
  • 2016. “Eating Out as Eating in: The Intimate Call of the Contemporary Restaurant Scene,” The Journal of SomaestheticsVol. 2 No.1: 49-58.
  • 2016. “Art Today and Philosophical Aesthetics: A Missing Dialogue,” Culture and Dialogue, Issue 4.2: 246-262.
  •  2015. “The Dialogue of Philosophical Aesthetics: A Response to Naturalist Definitions of Art,” in Naturalizing Aesthetics (Ewa Chudoba & Krystyna Wilkoszewska eds.), 2015. Krakow: Institute of Philosophy of Jagellonian University: 71-86.
  • 2015. “ ‘It is Like it is Always Right Now: Boyhood and the Fiction-Nonfiction Divide’,” Film and Philosophy, Vol. 20, No.1: 48-62.
  • 2014. “Casablanca and Integrity. An Ethical Puzzle,” in Film and Philosophy, Vol. 19, No. 1: 115-126
  • 2014. “Philosophical Aesthetics: A Naturalist Perspective,” in The Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, Vol. 1, No. 2, November: 191-207.
  • 2014. “The Decline of Hollywood Narratives. How the Internet is Shaping the Creation and Appreciation of Film,” in International Conference on Philosophy and Film eProceedings (Susana Viegas & Maria Teresa Teixeira eds.), Vol. 1: 160-173.


  • 2015. “American Food 2.0.” Translation of written, displayed text, web, and event content for the US Pavilion, Expo Milan.
  • 2011. With Douglas Lackey. Tommaso Campanella, “Philosophical Poetry”, The Philosophical Forum, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, Winter: 264-268.
  • 2011. Antonio Rocco, “Alcibiades, The Schoolboy”, The Philosophical Forum, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, Winter: 497-506.


  • Review of The Adventures of the Man in Gold: Paths Between Art and Life. A Philosophical Tale, by Richard Shusterman and Yann Toma. Newsletter of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer 2018.
  • 2016.  Review of The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity, by Sandra M. Gilbert, Gastronomica, Vol. 16, No. 2, Summer: 107-108.


  • “Why Fashion is More than a Mere Consumer Object,” Aesthetics for Birds

Literary and Art Publications


Cross Magazine (an independent six-monthly magazine issued in English and Italian, distributed in Europe, on contemporary art and literature) Contributor. Selected Articles:

  • “Outdoor Rooms,” co-author: Gianluigi Ricuperati, Creative Director at Domus Academy, Milan.
  • “Non-directional biography of external spaces,” co-author: Mauro Sargiani


Cluster (a quarterly issued in English and Italian, distributed in Europe and U.S on architecture) Contributor. Selected Articles:


L’Indice (A monthly journal on Literature, issued in Italian). Selected Reviews:

  • Sybille Bedford, Jigsaw: An Unsentimental Education
  • Gayatri Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present


Invited Talks and Presentations

  • (forthcoming), ASA, American Society of Aesthetics Western Division in Berkeley. Invited Paper: “Rosy Technology: A Lighter Take on Black Mirror” (title is provisional)
  • 2018, October, BSA, British Society of Aesthetics. Analytic Aesthetics and Film Studies. Paper: “Bridging a Divide: Analytic Aesthetics and Criticism.”
  • 2018, October, ASA, American Society of Aesthetics Annual Meeting in Toronto. Chair: Film and Television Panel.
  • 2018, July. Film-Philosophy Conference in Gothenburg. Paper: “Beauty and Disability: A Motion Pictures Perspective.”
  • 2018, June. ESA European Society of Aesthetics Meeting in Maribor. Paper: “Fashion as Play.”
  • 2018, May. Love and Friendship in the Movies, Princeton University. Paper: “That Old Egyptian Custom (Costume?). Fashion and All That Heaven Allows”
  • 2018, April. ASA American Society of Aesthetics Eastern Division in Philadelphia. Paper: “Fashion as Play.”
  • 2018, March. Naturalized Aesthetics of Film: A Workshop on Murray Smith’s “Film, Art, and The Third Culture,” CUNY, The Graduate Center, New York City. Paper “Naturalized Aesthetics and Criticism: On Value Judgments.”
  • 2017, December. Colloquia in New Media: Interdisciplinary Directions, William Paterson University. Paper: “A Lighter Shade of Black: Philosophy and Black Mirro.r
  • 2017, July. International Conference on Moving Image and Philosophy in Porto. Paper: “Technology and TV series: A Turn in Science Fiction.”
  • 2017, May. ESA European Society of Aesthetics Meeting in Berlin. Paper: “The Aesthetic of Moral Values.”
  • 2017, April. APA Pacific Division Meeting in Seattle. Invited Panel: Author Meets Critics. Discussion of Robert Sinnerbrink Cinematic Ethics with Amy Coplan and Thomas Wartenberg.
  • 2017, March. Lecture Series, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Invited Paper: “Cinempathy and Time.”
  • 2016, July. IGEL International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature in Chicago. Paper: “Critical Autobiography: A New Subgenre?”
  • 2016, March. ASA American Society of Aesthetics Eastern Division in Philadelphia. Invited Panel in collaboration with SCSMI with Paloma Atencia Linares and Dirk Eitzen: “Fiction, Nonfiction, and Film.”
  • 2016, January. Film-Philosophy: Prospects, Directions, and New Perspectives. Tel Aviv University. Paper: “Engaging with Fictional Characters: The Case of Birdman and Clouds of Sils Maria.
  • 2015, June. SCSMI The Society for the Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image Conference in London. Paper: “It is Like It is Always Right Now” Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and the Fiction Nonfiction Divide.”
  • 2015, May. Canadian Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting in Ottawa. Paper: “Art Today: A Challenge to Philosophical Aesthetics.”
  • 2014, July. ASA American Society for Aesthetics, Rocky Mountains Division Meeting in Santa Fe. Paper: “Exposing Contemporary Lives. On the Divide Between Literary and Filmic Autobiographies.”
  • 2014, May. Film and Philosophy International Conference in Lisbon. Paper: “The Decline of Hollywood Narratives. How the Internet is Shaping the Creation and Appreciation of Film.”
  • 2014, January. The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture: Mindful Bodies in the Arts of Eating. International Conference, Florida Atlantic University. Paper: “Eating Out as Eating In. The Intimate Call of the Contemporary Restaurant Scene.”
  • 2013, July. International Congress of Aesthetics in Krakow. Paper: “Is a Naturalist Definition of Art a Challenge to Philosophical Aesthetics?”
  • 2013, July. Beyond Film. International Film and Philosophy Conference in Amsterdam. Paper: “The Philosophical and Cognitive Achievement of Cult. The Ethical Puzzle of ”
  • 2013, June. Canadian Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting in Victoria, BC. Paper: “Memoir: A Nonfictional Narration of Identity.”
  • 2013, April. ASA American Society for Aesthetics, Eastern Division Meeting in Philadelphia. Comments on: Louise Hanson “How to Establish the Relevance of Ethical Value to Artistic Value.”
  • 2012, CUNY Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference “Principles of Uncertainty.” Paper: “A New Dimension of Authenticity. Finding the Self in Autobiographical Narratives.”
  • 2010, CUNY Philosophy Graduate Student Conference. Comments on: Sarah Jansen “Plato and Popular Entertainment.”
  • 2010, AAIS XXX Annual Conference. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Paper: “Federico Fellini: How Many Lies to Life Writing.”


Courses Taught

Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Literature, Philosophy of Motion Pictures, Philosophy and Biochemistry of Food (with Jill Smith-Carpenter), Art and Public Policy, History of Ancient Philosophy, History of Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Modern to Postmodern, Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy, Media Ethics, Critical Thinking.

Teaching Interests: Autobiography and the Self, Narrative Theories in Literature and Film, Aesthetic Psychology, Feminist Aesthetics, Contemporary Perspectives on the Artworld, Continental Philosophy.

Professional Service

2018-present: Co-organizer of the ASA Eastern Meeting in Philadelphia with John Dyck and Michel-Antoine Xignesse.

2017-present: Curriculum Committee, William Paterson University

2014-present: Member of the New York University, Food and the City Working Group

2013-present: Referee. The Philosophical Forum, Film and Philosophy

2010-present: Managing editor. The Philosophical Forum. Blackwell Wiley

2010-2012: Executive Committee, CUNY, The Graduate Center

2010-2011: Graduate Student Council Member. CUNY, The Graduate Center

Download a PDF copy of my CV

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