Brett Bourbon Ph.D.

Brett Bourbon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, English

Phone: (972) 265-5829


Office: Braniff #368

Brett Bourbon received his Ph.D. from Harvard, where he studied 20th century literature and philosophy. He was a professor at Stanford, and is now a professor at the University of Dallas. He has received many awards, including a Fulbright to the University of Lisbon, a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford, the Harvard English Scholar award, and the top teaching awards from both the University of Dallas and Stanford. He is also a recurrent visiting professor in The Program of Literary Theory at the University of Lisbon, as well as a member of the Comitato Scientifico Internazionale, Oikos: Centro studi sul Noi politico.

He has has published numerous essays on various philosophical and literary topics. In addition, he has published three books: (1) Everyday Poetics: Ethics, Love, and Logic (Bloomsbury Press, 2022), (2) Jane Austen And the Ethics of Life (Routledge Press, 2022), and (3) Finding a Replacement for the Soul: meaning and mind in literature and philosophy (Harvard UP, 2004).

He is currently writing a book entitled Thinking with Words: A Literary Groundwork, under contract with Routledge Press (with Professor Miguel Tamen). Intermittently, he publishes poems and stories.

Bourbon also works in computational social science and the philosophy of technology. He has published and presented a number of papers on human/computer interfaces, information and misinformation diffusion, and the politics of social media. He is currently writing a book entitled (5) The Kingdom of Gossip—The Internet and Contemporary Social Dynamics, which is under contract with CRC, Division of  Computer Science  (with Professor Renita Murimi) .

Bourbon also works as a strategy and leadership consultant and facilitator. He has worked on successful projects for top international and national technology companies, as well as a host of start-ups. He has also worked as a marketing and strategy consultant and facilitator for institutions of classical education. He was the co-founder of the Masters of Leadership program at the University of Dallas (with J. Lee Whittington), in which he taught two core courses: Critical and Strategic Thinking and Storytelling for Business and Life.

Bourbon works at the intersection of philosophy and literature.

  • While he is an expert in the work of James Joyce, he has also taught and written on the art of Austen, Conrad, Eliot, Stevens, Bishop, and on contemporary poems, novels, and graphic novels [both British and American]. He also writes about and teaches courses on the 19th century, focusing on Austen, Eliot, James, Wordsworth, Baudelaire, and Keats.
  • In philosophy, he studies the philosophy of mind and language, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as Wittgenstein, Ordinary language philosophy, theology, and theories of reasoning.
  • In addition, he writes about Computational Social Science, theories of information, the internet, human/computer interfaces, and Artificial Intelligence.
  • He continues to work as a consultant and has taught courses on Leadership and Storytelling.
  • He also writes about the visual art of the last 200 years.

Ph.D., Harvard
B.A., UC Berkeley

Brett Bourbon, Ph.D. was a professor at Stanford University for ten years, and is now an English professor at the University of Dallas. In addition, he is a Visiting Associate Professor in The Program of Literary Theory at the University of Lisbon.

Brett Bourbon, Ph.D. is also the Strategy and Technology consultant at the Silicon Valley Insight and Design firm of  Slanted Light . He has worked on consulting projects, involving strategic and technological issues, for Microsoft, Nike and a host of start-ups.

Literary Tradition I, II
Literary Study II: Prose Fiction

Contemporary Literature and Culture
Theology and Political Theology
Philosophy of Art
Art Criticism

Brett Bourbon is the author of Finding a Replacement for the Soul: Meaning and Mind in Literature and Philosophy (Harvard UP, 2004). He has also written and published numerous essays, including essays on the concept of culture, the philosophy of Wittgenstein, science fiction, the theory and practice of poetry, and James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

He has recently completed a manuscript, entitled An Art of Attention: Poems, Ethics, and the Rationality of Description. He is currently working on a book entitled, The Logic and Poetry of Analogy, as well as a collection of essays, entitled The Senses of War and Culture.

  • Fulbright to the University of Lisbon
  • Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Harvard English Scholar Award
  • Walter J. Gores Teaching Award from Stanford
  • Haggerty Teaching Award from the University of Dallas.