Ada Jaarsma, PhD

Office: EA3159
Phone: 403.440.8545

PhD - Purdue University
MA - Trent University
BA - University of Waterloo


Scholarly Interests

My research takes place at the intersections of continental philosophy with science studies, and I'm especially fascinated by phenomena like placebo effects that draw attention to embodied meaning-making. I'm in the midst of a three-year research project, Placebos Talk Back, conducted collaboratively with Dr. Suze Berkhout (University of Toronto); this project is funded by an SSHRC Insight grant (2020–2023). I'm also keenly interested in teaching as an object of inquiry; in addition to articles and book chapters, my new co-edited collection Dissonant Methods: Undoing Discipline in the Humanities Classroom, is published by the University of Alberta Press. As a way to contribute to new, exciting work in continental philosophy, I am an associate editor for the journal Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy.


I’m a Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Humanities, where I teach courses in continental philosophy, existentialism, feminist philosophy, philosophy of science and philosophy of sex and love. I’m associate editor for Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Dissonant Methods: Undoing Discipline in the Humanities Classroomnominated for the 2021 Teaching Literature Book Award, co-edited with Kit Dobson (University of Alberta Press, 2020)

“Choose your own birth,” Aeon (March 2020)

“Encounters with Deleuze: An Interview with Constantin V. Boundas and Daniel W. Smith,” Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 23(3) spring 2020, 139-174. 

“Critical Disability Studies and the Problem of Method,” Transdisciplinary Feminist Research Practices. Ed. Carol Taylor and Christina Hughes (Routledge, 2020), shortlisted for AERA Outstanding Book Award.

Kierkegaard after the Genome: Science, Existence and Belief in This World (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), with symposium on the book at Syndicate

Selected Honours, Grants and Awards

  • SSHRC Insight grant, Placebos Talk Back (2020–2023)

You can find all of my publications, as well as the lessons and syllabi that I create for my courses, hereOne of my side projects is making philosopher-portraits: here’s an interview about the project. For the past five years, I’ve turned to sound studies and podcasting to create podcast-based courses: Sonic Existentialisms & Philosophy of Science Podcast Course & Feminist Philosophies of Life: A Podcast Course. You’ll find all of the assignments, lessons, and syllabi at these links: a podcast-based pedagogy is, by definition, an open-access pedagogy). 

Link to my curriculum vitae.