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Gwendalynn Roebke


B.A  Distributed Studies (Astrophysics, Neuroscience, and Philosophy) | Magna Cum Laude| University of Colorado Boulder

I am a second year interdisciplinary PhD student and a proud McNair scholar. 
I did my B.A at CU Boulder in  an Independently Structured major (or a distributed studies track) where I pulled from neuroscience/psych, astrophysics, and philosophy to pursue questions in existentialism given our contemporary advancements in STEAM. The questions I found particularly interesting in my undergrad had to do with agency , identity, and how we break down "the individual". 
I defended my honors thesis in the Spring of 2021, and earned latin honors. 
My thesis was titled:
“New Age” Existentialism:
Understanding the Modern Turbulence of the new challenges to the Idea  of the ‘Individual’ as framed within Power,Death, and Freedom as the basis of ‘Free Will’ and their ties to the newly bolstered fields of Neuroscience, Astrophysics, and Philosophy
I set the groundwork for writing my undergrad thesis with grant funded qualitative research I did in Barranquilla, Colombia , which helped me establish how I would approach breaking down "free will" into primary categories I could interrogate through my fields of study.

Research Interests

Research Interests|
My primary research fields of interests are  Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science, and Anti-colonial Philosophy. 
The kinds of questions I am now pursuing regard the culpability/blameworthiness of marginalized groups in their marginalization given historical trauma, learned helplessness behavior , and  how colonization has influenced how we construct "the mind" . My pursuit of these themes comes with the want to understand all the different angles that contribute to identity and to open up the complexities of what identity means for we the marginalized.  This all brings me to the  interplay between identity and agency in narrativity (particularly in groups who have been and continue to be subjected to colonization). 
My other interests involve Latin American Philosophy (with an emphasis on the liberation thinkers), and Middle Eastern Studies.
I am affiliated with the Middle Eastern Center (MEC) at Penn, sit on the graduate board for the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies (CLALS) , and am an active member of the Collective for Advancing Multimodal Research Arts (CAMRA).
Some of my current research is supported through the "Dispossessions in the Americas” Penn-Mellon Just Futures grant. On this grant project, I act as a graduate RA , and investigate the philosophical quandaries turned bodily harms that arise in contexts of dispossession, coloniality, and alienation.