November 2004

Faculty Feature

Dr. Lenore Wright

Dr. Lenore Wright, professor of philosophy and Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC), favors the fresh insight and ideas students bring to the academic world. A professor whose Baylor “begins and ends” with its students, Dr. Wright’s personal academic journey and current pursuits reflect the same passion for scholarship which she now nurtures in her students.

After growing up in Grayson, Kentucky, a small rural town, Dr. Wright’s introduction to scholarship at the undergraduate level began at Moorehead State University, thirty miles from her hometown. Intent on a pre-law track, she soon switched her major to philosophy through the influence of her Introduction to Philosophy professor and Plato’s Republic. Dr. Wright was then the only female philosophy major at the university. Upon completing her undergraduate work, Dr. Wright came to Baylor in 1994 to pursue a Master of Philosophy and subsequently met her husband, Professor Henry Wright. The two then traveled to State University of New York (SUNY) for Dr. Wright to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy. Returning to Baylor in 1998, Dr. Wright applied to be Assistant Director of BIC. For the following five years she served in this capacity, until she began on tenure track in 2003 with the Philosophy department and the BIC.

As a teacher and a scholar, Dr. Wright not only has been active in her own research but also as an Honors Program thesis advisor. She enjoys thesis advising because it is “more like true scholarship and engaged conversation.” Among those whom Dr. Wright has advised are Skye Perryman, now a student at Georgetown Law School, and Sachin Gupta, currently in medical school. This year, she is advising Baylor Honors student Angela Hackett. In addition to directing Honors theses and independent studies, Dr. Wright serves as a Faculty Partner for Memorial residence hall, encouraging students to apply scholarship to every aspect of life.

In addition to facilitating student research, Dr. Wright pursues her own research interests in the aesthetics area of philosophy. Dr. Wright has explored self-representation through autobiographical texts, feminism, and how individuals define themselves. In conjunction with this, she is currently completing revisions for her upcoming book, Autobiography and the Search for the Self, which explores ancient, modern, and contemporary conceptions of the self.  

Reflecting a passion for her students, Dr. Wright said she urges students to “start as soon as possible” finding a larger audience for their work by seeking out undergraduate conferences and publications in their area of interest. She noted that many times students assume that as undergraduates, they are on the fringe of the academic arena, but Dr. Wright said that she encourages students to talk with professors and ask them to read their papers. This, more than anything, will break down the barrier between professor and student. And with professors as dedicated to the scholarly development of their students as is Dr. Lenore Wright, barriers are not difficult to overcome.