Christia Mercer is the Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, general editor of the Oxford Philosophical Concepts series, and coeditor of Oxford New Histories of Philosophy, a book series devoted to making philosophy more inclusive.
While at Radcliffe, Mercer is writing a book about the important contributions late medieval women made to the development of modern philosophy. She argues that we need to rethink core assumptions about the development of modern philosophy and that the writings of women played a much more significant role in its development than has been recognized. Relying on scholarship by literary and intellectual historians and her own research on early modern spiritual meditations, methodology, and the philosophies of both Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582) and Anne Conway (1631–1679), Mercer contends that the history of philosophy needs to be rewritten.
Among other awards, Mercer is the recipient of an ACLS Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Humboldt Research Fellowship. She has been honored with Columbia’s two most prestigious teaching awards, the 2008 Columbia College Great Teacher Award and the 2012 Mark van Doren Award, which annually recognizes a professor for “commitment to undergraduate instruction as well as for humanity, devotion to truth, and inspiring leadership.” She has frequently taught in prison as part of Columbia’s Justice-in-Education Initiative, and she publishes regularly on the need to make higher education more widely available and on justice reform. Mercer earned a PhD in philosophy from Princeton University.