Bruce B. Janz

Bruce B. Janz, Ph.D.


Bruce Janz is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UCF, graduate faculty in the Texts & Technology Ph.D. program, and co-director of the CAH Center for Humanities and Digital Research. He has been at UCF since 2003, and was chair of the Philosophy department from 2008 to 2013. Previously he was at Augustana University College (now the Augustana Faculty of University of Alberta), in Alberta, Canada. His Ph.D. is from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has taught in Canada, the US, Kenya, and South Africa.

Janz has several roles at UCF:


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from U. of Waterloo (1992)
  • M.A. in Philosophy from U. of Waterloo (1985)

Research Interests

  • Contemporary African Philosophy; Postcolonial Thought 
  • Theories of Place/Space; Urban Studies; Environmental Thought
  • Contemporary European Philosophy: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Deleuze
  • Contemporary Cultural Theory & Aesthetics; Visual Culture; Technology & Culture
  • Digital Humanities; Theories of digitality
  • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Studies; Scholarly Cognition
  • Philosophy & History of Mysticism; Religion, Philosophy & Culture

Recent Research Activities

As co-director of the Center for Humanities and Digital Research, I work with faculty and students to help formulate and implement digital strategies for studying traditional and new humanities areas. The digital humanities enables us to find new objects or new aspects of traditional objects to analyze. We focus less on producing cultural objects with digital media and more on creating and using digital tools to understand the content of culture better. 

I am also working on books and articles on digital humanities, African philosophy, philosophy-in-place, and culture. 

Selected Publications


Edited Collections


Book Sections/Chapters

  • Forthcoming “Oruka, Odinga, and Pragmatic Sagacity” in Kai Kresse and Oriare Nyarwath, eds. New Approaches to Sage Philosophy.
  • Forthcoming “Thad Metz, Meaning as Fundamentality, and African Philosophy” in Motsamai Molefe et al eds., Thaddeus Metz.
  • Forthcoming “The Universal and the Individual, the Global and the Local: Philosophy’s Diverse Debts and Duties” in Victor Roudometof, Ugo Dessi, and Gili Drori, eds., Handbook of Culture and Glocalization. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • “The Place That Is Not Here – Derrida’s Africa and the Haunting of Place” in Grant Farred, ed., Derrida and Africa: Essays on Derrida as a Figure in African Thought. Lexington Books, 2019.

  • “Refiguring the scholarly process, rethinking university practice – Scholarly cognition, place, and the creation of concepts” in Leonhard Praeg, ed. Philosophy on the Border. Routledge.
  • “The Edges of (African) Philosophy” in George Hull and Lungisile Ntsebeza, eds, Philosophy in Africa, Africa in Philosophy. Routledge Press.
  • “Virtual Place and Virtualized Place” in Erik Champion, ed., The Phenomenology of Virtual Places. Routledge Press. 
  • “Hermeneutics, Third-Person Self-Interpretation and Narrative” in Patrizia Pedrini & Julie E. Kirsch, eds., The Look Inside. Third-Person, Self-Interpretation, and Narrative. Springer Press, 2018.
  • “Peripherality and Non-Philosophy in African Philosophy: Gender, the Environment, and Other Provocations.” In Jonathan Chimakonam, ed., African Philosophy and Environmental Conservation. Routledge, 2018: 9-23. 
  • “The Geography of African Philosophy” in Adeshina Afolayan & Toyin Falola eds., The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017: 155-166.
  • "Phenomenology and Place in Space" in Janet Donohoe, eds. Place and Phenomenology. Lexington Books, March 2017.
  • "Elements of Philosophy-in-Place: Learning from African Philosophy" in Murat Ates et al eds, Orte des Denkens - Places of Thinking. Verlag Karl Alber.
  • “Philosophical Questions, Flowing Like Currents”, in Kishor Vaidya ed, Philosophy for the Curious: Why Study Philosophy. The Curious Academic Publishing.
  • Instrumentalization in Universities and the Creative Potential of Race”, Pedro Tabensky & Sally Mathews eds. Being At ‘Home’: Race, Institutional Culture and Transformation at South African Higher Education Institutions. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2015: 273-296.
  • “Hermeneutics and Intercultural Understanding”, Jeffrey Malpas ed Routledge Companion to Philosophical Hermeneutics. Routledge Press: 474-485.
  • "Why Boehme Matters Today" Sarah Apterei & Ariel Hessayon, eds. An Introduction to Jacob Boehme: Four Centuries of Thought and Reception  Routledge Press, 2013: 279-293.
  • "Questioning Texts: Philosophy-in-Place and Texts Out of Place," William Sweet and Richard Feist, eds. Migrating Texts and Traditions. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012: 287-303.
  • "Forget Deleuze," Lorna Burns and Birgit M.Kaiser eds. Postcolonial Literatures and Deleuze: Colonial Pasts, DifferentialFutures. Basingstoke, England:Palgrave Macmillan, 2012: 21-36.
  • “The Concept as Object, Mode, and Catalyst in African Thought,” in Gerard Walmsley & Charles Villet, eds. Philosophy and the Future of Africa. Washington, DC: Council for Research in Values & Philosophy, 2011.
  • "Philosophical Issues in Ethnophysiography: Landform Terms, Disciplinarity, and the Question of Method," David Mark, Andrew Turk, Niclas Burehnult & David Stea, eds. Landscape in Language: TransdisciplinaryPerspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 2011: 101-119. 
  • "The Water is Wide: Risking Tears in the Met,and Elsewhere," Michele Byers & David Lavery, eds. On the Verge of Tears. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010: 12-22.
  • "Thinking Like a Mountain: Ethics and Place as Travelling Concepts," Drenthen, Martin, Jozef Keulartz and James Proctor, eds. New Visions of Nature: Complexity and Authenticity. Series: The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics. New York: Springer, 2009.
  • "African Philosophy," Constantin Boundas, ed., The Edinburgh Companion to 20th Century Philosophy. University of Edinburgh Press, 2007: 689-701. Issued in the US as Constantin Boundas, ed. The Columbia Companion to 20thCentury Philosophy. Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • "Philosophy As If Place Mattered: The Situation of African Philosophy," Havi Carel and David Gomez, eds. What Philosophy Is. London: Continuum Publishers, 2004: 103-115.
  • "Universities in Times of National Crisis: the Cases of Rwanda and Burundi," Malinda Smith, ed. Globalizing Africa. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2003: 465-482.

Book Reviews

Conference Papers/Presentations

  • “How Do We Speak Of Our Place? Achille Mbembe’s World”, WISER, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa, May 22, 2018.
  • “Questions, Problematics and Events in African Philosophy” What-Is Questions and Philosophy Workshop, Rhodes University, Grahamstown South Africa, May 11-13, 2018.
  • “Sasa, Zamani, and Myths of the Future: John Mbiti”, Department of Philosophy, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa, May 4, 2018.
  • “Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration in Digital Humanities” Plenary panel chair and lead presentation. Science of Team Science Conference, Clearwater Beach FL, June 12-14, 2017.
  • “Peripherality and Non-Philosophy in African Philosophy: Gender, the Environment, and Other Provocations” International Colloquium on Marginalisation in African Philosophy: Women and the Environment. University of Calabar, Nigeria 
  • “First- Second- and Third-Person Self Understanding, the Truman Show Delusion, and the Forensics of Self.” UCT Colloquium Series, Cape Town, South Africa
  • “The Edges of (African) Philosophy”, Philosophy in Africa, Africa in Philosophy lecture series, UCT, Cape Town, South Africa
  • “What Is African Philosophy?” Philosophy Society, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • “Creating and Activating Concepts in Place: The Example of African Philosophy” The 11th East-West Philosophers’ Conference: “Place”. University of Hawai’i Manoa, Hawai’i.
  • “Hacking the Urban Unconscious: Urban Exploration, Desire, and Anxieties of Place” Orders and Disorders in Spatiality workshop, University of Memphis.
  • “The Place That Is Not Here – Derrida’s Africa and the Haunting of Place” Derrida as a Maghrebian Philosopher Seminar, Cornell University
  • “African Philosophy and its Questions” paper in panel titled “The Future of Research in African Philosophy,” African Studies Association, San Diego
  • "Free Space in the Academy" D. C. S. Oosthuizen Memorial Lecture, Rhodes University, South Africa
  • “Dialogues and Dialects: Rethinking Dialogue through African Philosophy” St. Augustine College, Johannesburg
  • “Is it Possible Africanize the Philosophy Curriculum in Universities in Africa?” African Philosophy Workshop: What Are You Teaching Me? Africanizing the Philosophy Curricula in Universities in Africa University of the Witswatersrand Philosophy Department
  • “Refiguring the scholarly process, rethinking university practice – Scholarly cognition, place, and the creation of concepts.” Critical Pedagogy of Place Workshop, Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • “Scholarly Cognition and the Virtual Space of Academia” St. Augustine College, Johannesburg, SA
  • “Conceptualizing DH for Multiple Audiences: Folkvine and Chinavine.” Digital Humanities 2015. Sydney, Australia.
  • “We’re World Class!: Orlando’s Successive Attempts at Self-Definition and the Proposed University of Central Florida & Valencia College Downtown Campus.” Libidinal Circuits, 3nd Annual Conference of The International Association for the Study of the Culture of Cities, Liverpool UK.
  • “Scholarly Cognition, Digital Humanities and Africa” African Studies in the Digital Age Workshop. University of Michigan.
  • “Hacking the Urban Unconscious – Code, Cities, and Place-Making Imagination” Affective Cities: Scenes of Innovation II. 2nd Annual Conference of The International Association for the Study of the Culture of Cities, Toronto ON August 5-7 2014.
  • “Are There Limit Conditions for Philosophical Habitation? Torture and the Exhaustion of Dwelling” Torture and Solitary Confinement: Phenomenology and Ethics. Memphis TN, April 11-12 2014.
  • “Digital Place and Urban Space” Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 13, 2014.
  • “Ontological and Cognitive Wonder” Department of Philosophy, Rhodes University, Grahamstown South Africa, March 19, 2014.
  • “Pushing the Limits of African Philosophy” Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein South Africa, March 25, 2014.
  • “Pushing the Limits of African Philosophy” University of Johannesburg Dept. of Philosophy, Johannesburg, South Africa. March 12, 2014.
  • “Torture, Solitary Confinement and Place” Department of Philosophy, University of Ft. Hare, East London, South Africa, March 20, 2014.
  • “The Location(s) of Philosophy: Generating and Questioning New Concepts in African Philosophy” American Philosophical Association Conference, Baltimore, MD, December 2013.
  • “Elements of Philosophy-in-Place: Learning from African Philosophy”. Places of Thinking: On the Claim to Inter-“Cultural” Philosophy. Vienna, Austria, September 26-28 2013.
  • “Instrumentalization in Universities and the Creative Potential of Race”, Institutional Culture Roundtable, Rhodes University, 12-13 September, Grahamstown South Africa.
  • “Wondering at Wonder: The Phenomenology of Unprecedented Experience” Exploring Awe and Wonder. University of Central Florida, Orlando FL 6-8 September 2013.
  • “Digital Place and Urban Space” Poeticizing the Urban Apparatus: Scenes of Innovation Culture of Cities Conference, New York, August 13-15 2013.
  • “Phenomenology and Ethnophilosophy”, Contribution to Roundtable on Ecological Phenomenology. World Congress of Philosophy, Athens, Greece, August 2013.
  • “Deleuzian Code Theory: Can the Materiality of Territorialization Survive in the Digital Age?” Sixth Deleuze Studies International Conference, Lisbon, Portugal. July 8-10, 2013.
  • “The Betweenness of Code”, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place (IASESP), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL April 26-28, 2013.
  • Brandon Sollins, Lauren Reinerman-Jones, Shaun Gallagher, and Bruce Janz, “An Integrated Approach to Exploring Awe and Wonder.” Phenomenology and its Futures. Johannesburg, South Africa March 29-31 2013.
  • “The Places that are Africa: Taking Africa Seriously as a Philosopher” Florida Atlantic University Undergraduate Student Conference Keynote Address, February 22, 2013.
  • Alex J. Katsaros, Philip Peters, Bruce Janz, Rosalyn Howard, and Robb Lindgren (University of Central Florida) “Interactive Expeditions: Designing, Deploying, and Evaluating Real-Time Learning Delivered Live via Mobile Satellite Communications” International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference, Orlando, 13-15 January 2013.
  • “African Philosophy and Philosophy-in-Place,” Roundtable on New Currents in African Philosophy, African Studies Association, December 1, 2012, Philadelphia PA.
  • “Theories and Questions in the Context of Disciplines” International Conference of Information Systems (ICIS) 2012 Special Interest Group Philosophy and Epistemology of IS (SIGPHIL) Workshop on IS Theory: State of the Art. Orlando, Florida, December 17, 2012.
  • “In Awe of It All: Hermeneutical Analysis of Astronauts’ Experiential Descriptions” Space, Science and Spirituality Workshop, Berlin, Germany, June 15, 2012.
  • Why Boehme Matters Or Should Matter Today, Closing Plenary Address, Teutonic Philosophy: Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) in Context, His Life andthe Reception of His Writings. St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, 16-18September 2010.
  • Forget Deleuze, Third International Deleuze Studies Conference. Amsterdam, TheNetherlands. 12-14 July, 2010.
  • “Landscape as Place” Landscape in Language: A Transdisciplinary Workshop. Albuquerque, New Mexico, Oct. 26, 2008.
  • “Practicality and African Philosophy” University of Fort Hare, Fort Hare, South Africa, September 1, 2008
  • “Reason and Rationality in Eze’s On Reason”. Concluding Keynote, Spring Colloquium, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA, Sept. 7, 2008.
  • “Digital Humanities: New Possibilities for Humanities in a Digital Age.” Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA, August 14, 2008.
  • “Philosophy-in-Place and the Limits of Dialogue.” Stellenbosch University, South Africa, August 8, 2008.
  • “The Water is Wide: Risking Tears at the Met, and Elsewhere” Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA, August 20, 2008.
  • “Philosophy-in-Place and the Limits of Dialogue” Dialogues in Place: The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, December 5-8, 2007.
  • “Imagining and Imaging Place: Exhaustion and Creation at the Edges of Place-Making” WISER, Witswatersrand University, Johannesburg, SA, October 22, 2007.
  • “The Concept as Object, Mode, and Catalyst in African Philosophy” Concluding Keynote, Philosophy/African Philosophy and the Future of Africa, Johannesburg, SA, October 23-25, 2007.
  • “Thinking Like a Mountain: Ethics and Place as Travelling Concepts.” New Visions of Nature, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, May 31-June 2, 2007.
  • “Making a Scene: Place-Making Imagination, Artistic Production, and Narratives in Urban Space.” Imaging Place: INVENT-L Conference, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, February 24-26, 2007.
  • “What Does it Mean To Do Philosophy-In-Place?” Migrating Texts: The Jacques Maritain Society Conference, May 31, 2006, York University, Toronto, Canada.
  • “Artistic Production as Place-Making Imagination” Symbolic Meanings of Places/Spaces, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place Conference, Tow­son University, April 30, 2005.
  • “The Anatopistic Mystic, or Why Philosophers Should Read Mystical Texts” University of Alabama, Huntsville, Sept. 19, 2003.

Miscellaneous Publications


see CV


see CV


Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
19406 PHI3790 African Philosophy Web-Based (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
11299 PHI5665 Knowledge Responsib & Society Web-Based (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81429 HUM3423 African Humanities Web-Based (W) Unavailable
No Description Available
81650 HUM3830 Intro to Digital Humanities Web-Based (W) Unavailable
No Description Available

No courses found for Summer 2021.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11223 HUM3805 Critical Theory in Humanities Web-Based (W) Available

Critical theory, broadly understood, refers to contemporary interdisciplinary cultural interpretation and critique. We will first address the question of how to understand or “read” culture. Secondly, we will consider a variety of related approaches which re-assess cultural notions of meaning, identity, power, representation, place, resistance, production and consumption. And finally, we will consider the contribution of critical theory in its more specific sense, the Frankfurt School and its legacy. The goal will be to give students a set of tools to critically understand and participate in contemporary culture.

16856 PHI5665 Knowledge Responsib & Society Web-Based (W) Available

This graduate course looks at the issues which arise at the borders of epistemology, ethics, and social philosophy, or put another way, at the borders of knowledge, values, and policy/action/social organization. We will be looking at areas and questions such as:

  • Is there a link between self-knowledge and virtue? Does knowing yourself lead to acting better, or engaging the world in a responsible manner?
  • What does responsibility look like in a digital world?
  • How do advances in medical and environmental knowledge relate to the state of our social policy and ethical intuitions? How should they relate?
  • Do corporations have ethical responsibility past the profit motive?
  • What are our obligations to the environment?
  • Is there such a thing as artistic responsibility (e.g., misleading truth claims in “non-fiction”)?
  • Do we have responsibility to other nations?
  • Do we have responsibility for past injustices (e.g. reparations for slavery)?
  • Is there an ethical responsibility to follow scientific insight?
  • How do different forms of knowledge work together (or not)?
  • Is knowing an ethical responsibility? Do we have an obligation to know the world, in order to make informed decisions and/or speak up when needed?
  • Are we in a “post-fact” and “post-truth” world, and if so, what does responsibility look like?
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81461 HUM2230 Humanistic Tradition Ⅱ Web-Based (W) Available

This course is a tour of Western and World history and culture from about 1500 to the present day. By the end of the course students will be able to identify and discuss major landmarks in thought, art and culture, and understand the context and significance of events and ideas which have shaped cultures around the world. This course will consider cultural products such as visual art, sculpture, architecture, music, literature, dance, theatre, and opera, as well as the religious, philosophical, scientific, historical, and cultural contexts and currents that produced them.

81813 HUM3423 African Humanities Web-Based (W) Available

In African Humanities we will attempt to define what the humanities are in Africa (and whether the term means the same as elsewhere). There is no single central issue that will run through this course. Rather, there will be several goals. One will be to enable students to tell the difference between non-African stereotypes about Africa, and a more accurate picture of African experience. A second goal will be to develop a deep understanding of what cross-cultural work entails, by considering examples from a variety of African countries. We will look at both Africa's cultural past as well as its present. A third goal will be to strive to understand what Africa is from an African perspective. We will consider contemporary examples of the humanities in Africa (philosophy, religion, history, art, music, theatre, film, digital media).

No courses found for Summer 2020.

Updated: Dec 23, 2020