Worcester State University
Philosophy Department


Henry C. Theriault

Dr. Theriault earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1999 from the University of Massachusetts, with a specialization in social and political philosophy.  He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State College, where he has taught since 1998.  From 1999 to 2007, he served as coordinator of the College’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, which included oversight of development of the Dennis Brutus Manuscript Collection.  Since 2007, he has served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Genocide Studies and Prevention and has been on the Advisory Council of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

                His research focuses on philosophical approaches to genocide issues, especially genocide denial and critical thinking and evidence standards, long-term justice, ethical analyses of perpetrator motivations, and the role of violence against women in genocide.


Recent Publications:

“Rousseau, Plato, and Western Philosophy’s Anti-Genocidal Strain,” in Metacide:  Genocide in the Pursuit of Excellence, edited by James R. Watson and Erik M. Vogt (Rodopi, forthcoming).

“Genocidal Mutation and the Challenge of Definition,” Metaphilosophy 41:3 (forthcoming).

“The Albright-Cohen Report:  From Realpolitik Fantasy to Realist Ethics,” Genocide Studies and Prevention 4:2 (August 2009).

“Genocide, Denial, and Domination:  Armenian-Turkish Relations From Conflict Resolution to Just Transformation,” National University of Rwanda Centre for Conflict Management Journal, (April 2009).


Selected Recent Conferences, Invited Lectures, and Invited Panels:

“Restorative Justice and Alleviating the Consequences of Genocide,” “The Armenian Genocide and International Law” conference, Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon, September 4, 2009.

“Reinstating the Rights of the Armenian People and Armenian-Turkish Relations,” “Pan-Armenian Conference for the Discussion of Armenian-Turkish Relations and the Artsakh Conflict,” Stepanakert, Republic of Mountainous Karabakh, July 10, 2009.

“From Rape as a Tool of Genocide to Genocide as a Tool of Rape,” “Gender and Sexual Violence” panel, Eighth Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, George Mason University, June 8, 2009.

Keynote Speaker, United States Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues’ Armenian Genocide Observance, Cannon Caucus Room, Capitol Hill, April 22, 2009.

“The Challenge of Denial for Post-Genocide Reconciliation and Justice,” “Remembering Rwanda 1994-2009:  Genocide and Its Aftermath” symposium, University of Massachusetts – Boston, April 17, 2009.


Courses Taught:

PH 100 Introduction to Philosophy

LASC-Human Behavior and Social Processes

The fundamentals of philosophy: its vocabulary, problems, and methods.


PH 102 History of Modern Western Philosophy, 1600-1800

LASC- Human Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

Engages central topics of Western philosophy through study of important modern philosophers, typically from Descartes through Kant.


PH 110 Critical Thinking

Critical thinking through informal logical analysis of argument styles, including identification of fallacious arguments.


Ph 115 Logic 1

LASC-Quantitative Reasoning

A study of introductory symbolic (formal) logic, covering sentential logic and the foundations of predicate logic.


PH 130 Ethics: Human Conduct and Values

LASC- Human Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

The nature of morality and value and their place in the world of human action.


PH 131 Medical Ethics

LASC- Human Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

An introductory-level examination of various ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, cloning and other genetics issues, access to healthcare, race and healthcare, and women’s health.


PH 163 Philosophy of Television

An introduction to philosophy through philosophical writings on popular television shows.


PH 190 Special Topics in Philosophy

An introductory philosophy course on current or specialized topics.  Topics have included Contemporary Political Theory, Sports and Philosophy, and Philosophy Through (Literary) Fiction.


PH 201 19th Century European Philosophy

LASC- Human Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

Engages the radical new philosophical ideas developed on the European Continent in the 19th Century, beginning with Hegel.


PH 202 Selected Topic in 20th-21st Century Western Philosophy:  Postmodernism

LASC- Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

Addresses a specific topic in 20th-21st century western philosophy. The topic will be indicated in each PH 202 registration listing.


PH 221 Existentialism and Phenomenology

LASC-Thought, Language and Culture

Examines the existentialist movement of the first half of the 20th Century.


PH 241 Genocide and Human Rights

LASC-Global Perspectives; United States and Its Role in the World

This course treats the ethical, political, and other dimensions of systematic mass violence through case studies and general theoretical analyses.


PH 242 Race, Nation, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

LASC-Human Behavior and Social Processes; United States and Its Role in the World

Examines these five important social categories that define the political, legal, economic, and cultural contexts in which we live.


PH 251 Mass Violence Against Women

LASC- Global Perspectives; United States and Its Role in the World

A philosophy based, interdisciplinary course examining historical and contemporary mass violence against women.


PH 263 Film and Philosophy

LASC- Human Behavior and Social Processes; Thought, Language and Culture

An intermediate course on philosophy within and about film.


PH 264 Philosophy of Education

Examines philosophical approaches to education through readings of various authors such as Plato, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, and Dewey.


PH 290 Advanced Special Topics in Philosophy

A treatment of current of special topics for students beyond the introductory level.  Topics have included Mass Violence and Justice and Ideology, Propaganda, and Critical Thinking.


PH 301 Individual Figure in the History of Western Philosophy:  Spinoza

Studies a specific Western philosopher. The philosopher for a given semester will be indicated in the course registration listings.  


PH 302 Topics in American Philosophy

Treats a selected set of topics in the history of philosophy in the United States.


Contact Information
Office: S-316A
Phone: (508) 929-8612

B.A., Princeton University;
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

Related Links

DataBridge © WSU, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: 508-929-8000