Education | Appointments | Honors | Professional Activities


As an undergraduate in Philosophy at Mt. Allison University I discovered, much to my surprise, that philosophical issues were being hotly debated in archaeology. I worked on historic period sites for Parks Canada in the 1970s and early 1980s at a time when the New Archaeologists, vocal advocates of scientific practice, were explicitly drawing inspiration from positivist models of explanation and confirmation. Courses in history and philosophy of science offered by Paul Bogaard helped me make the connections, and encouraged me to look for a graduate program that would allow me to explore more systematically the underlying epistemic issues.

I found an ideal venue for doing this in the short-lived Program for the History and Philosophy of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (HPSBS) offered by the Philosophy Department at the State University of Binghamton. HPSBS encouraged practice-grounded philosophical analysis and required students to undertake M.A. training in whatever social science they intended to study as philosophers. So in addition to working with the HPSBS faculty, including a number of visitors to the program (Rom Harré, Dick Boyd), I studied with a group of archaeologists in the Binghamton Anthropology Department who had particularly strong theoretical, philosophical interests; they included Meg Conkey, John Fritz, and Chuck Redman. The HPSBS program also made it possible for me to spend a semester working with Merrilee and Wes Salmon at the University of Arizona, and two terms at Oxford with my thesis supervisor, Rom Harré, at the point when I began writing my dissertation. For additional details, see Interviews.

B.A. Honours (with distinction): Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick (1972-1976) Departments of Philosophy and Sociology
Ph.D. and M.A.: State University of New York at Binghamton (1976-1981) Departments of Philosophy and Anthropology
  • M.A. in Anthropology (May 1979). Thesis: Analogical Reasoning in Archaeology. Advisor: Merrilee Salmon.
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy (January 1982). Dissertation: Positivism and the New Archaeology. Director: Rom Harré, Oxford University.


I held postdoctoral fellowships for the first four years after I’d completed my Ph.D: three years at the University of Calgary and one at Washington University in St. Louis. In both contexts I had an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who were actively working on philosophical issues in archaeology: Marsha Hanen (Philosophy) and Jane Kelly (Archaeology) in Calgary, and Patty Jo Watson (Archaeology) and Red Watson (Philosophy) in St. Louis. In 1985 I joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) where I taught for thirteen years. In 1998 I moved to the U.S. where I have held positions at Washington University in St. Louis, Barnard College/Columbia University in New York and, since 2005, the University of Washington in Seattle. I have been actively involved in developing the distinctive strengths of UW Philosophy in practice-oriented philosophy of science, and I now spend one term a year at Durham University in the U.K. where I have the opportunity to work with the Centers for Ethics of Cultural Heritage and Humanities Engaging Science and Society. I have held a number of research and visiting appointments. Most recently I spent a month at ANU where I was a Visiting Fellow in the School of Philosophy (2014), a term at the Durham Institute for Advanced Study during the year when their focal theme was ‘Time’ (2012), six months at Reading University as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor (2010), and a year at as a Senior Research Fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University (2005-2006).

Teaching Positions

  • Durham University, Department of Philosophy: one-third appointment (Fall terms, 2013-2016).
  • University of Washington: Professor, Department of Philosophy, cross-appointed in the Department of Anthropology (appointed September 2005); Adjunct Professor of Women Studies (appointed Fall 2006)
  • Barnard College, Columbia University: Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, Barnard College; Department of Philosophy, Columbia University (2003-2005)
  • Washington University: Professor of Philosophy, cross-appointed in the Program for Social Thought and Analysis, and affiliated with the Department of Anthropology (1998-2003)
  • University of Western Ontario: Professor of Philosophy (1993-1998); Associate Professor (1989-1993); Assistant Professor (1985-1989); Honorary Professor in the Department of Anthropology (1995-1998)
  • University of California-Berkeley: Visiting Professor, Department of Anthropology (Spring semester 1989)
  • University of Calgary: Instructor, Department of Philosophy (1981-1983, 1984-1985)

Research Positions and Visiting Appointments

  • Australian National University, School of Philosophy: Visiting Fellow (April-May 2014)
  • Durham University, Institute for Advanced Study: Visiting Fellow (Fall 2012)
  • Reading University, Department of Archaeology: Leverhulme Visiting Professor (January-July 2010)
  • Stanford University, Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research: Senior Research Fellow (2005-2006)
  • École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris): professeur invité (May-June 2003)
  • New York University, Applied Philosophy Group: Visiting Scholar (2001-2002)
  • Columbia University, Department of Anthropology: Visiting Scholar (2001-2002)
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford CA: Fellow (1995-1996)
  • University of Denver, Women’s Studies: Leo Block Visiting Professor (Winter/Spring 1995)
  • University of California-Berkeley, Anthropology and Beatrice Bain Research Group: Visiting Scholar (1990-1992)
  • Cambridge University, Clare Hall: Visiting Fellow (Michelmas Term 1990)
  • University of Western Ontario: Faculty of Arts Research Professor (1987-1988)
  • Washington University, Department of Philosophy: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (1983-1984)
  • University of Calgary, Department of Philosophy: University Postdoctoral Fellow (1982-1983 and 1984-1985)
  • Calgary Institute for the Humanities: Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (1981-1982)


I have received the following awards in recognition of my research and professional contributions.

  • 2013 Distinguished Woman Philosopher of the Year, Society for Women in Philosophy
  • 2011-2012 President, Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association
  • 2008 Patty Jo Watson Distinguished Lecturer, Archaeology Division, American Anthropological Association
  • 1996-97 USC Teaching Honour Roll, University of Western Ontario Students’ Council
  • 1995 Presidential Award, Society for American Archaeology, for contributions to the Committee for Ethics in Archaeology

Professional Service


Hypatia, Journal of Feminist Philosophy: senior co-editor for a five-year term when the editorial office was hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington. Currently a member of the Hypatia Board of Associate Editors (2008-2018) and a founding board member and Treasurer of Hypatia Inc. (2008-present). 

Editorial and Advisory Boards (current):

  • Ethics, Policy and Environment: Editorial Board, appointed 2005.
  • Feminist Philosophy Quarterly: Advisory Board, 2014-2019.
  • Histories of Anthropology Annual: Editorial Board, appointed 2003.
  • International Journal of Cultural Property: Editorial Board, appointed 2004.
  • International Studies in Philosophy of Science: Editorial Board, appointed 1996.
  • Journal of the American Philosophical Association: Advisory Board, appointed 2013.
  • Southern Journal of Philosophy: Editorial Board, appointed 2009.
  • Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A: Editorial Board, 2013-2016.

Professional Societies (recent, selected)

American Philosophical Association: President, Pacific Division, 2011-2012; National Executive Board member (2010-2013); Ad Hoc Committee for the Journal of the American Philosophical Association (2012-2013); Communications and Publications Task Force (2011-2012); Ad Hoc Committee on By-law Amendments, Pacific Division (2006-2007); Task Force for the Survey of the Profession (2000-2002).

Philosophy of Science Association:  Nominating committee (2010-2012); Women’s Caucus Essay Prize selection committee (2010-2012); Philosophy of Science Editor search committee (2008); Governing Board: member (2002-2006); Ad Hoc committee on governance (2004-2005); Program Committee: member (1999-2000).

Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice: Advisory Board member (since 2008)

Women in Philosophy Task Force: member (since August 2009)