Kathryn Sophia Belle, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy, Penn State University
Founding Director, Collegium of Black Women Philosophers
Founding Director and Owner, La Belle Vie Coaching
NOTE: In 2017 I changed my name to KATHRYN SOPHIA BELLE to honor my maternal grandmother (Kathryn Bell). I added the extra "e" (from Bell to Belle) for self-differentiation and for the meaning ("beauty"). Often our names are patrilineal. We frequently (not always) carry names of fathers, then husbands. It is POWERFUL to me that my maternal grandmother named herself and it is an honor to connect to that power and legacy by choosing my version of a matrilineal name.
Citations: I have published a lot under my former name (Kathryn T. Gines). I now publish under my new name (Kathryn Sophia Belle). When citing scholarship published under "Kathryn T. Gines" please add a footnote/endnote that I am now "Kathryn Sophia Belle." THANKS!
Kathryn Sophia Belle, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty in African American Studies as well as Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research and teaching interests lie in Africana/African American Philosophy, Black Feminist Philosophy, Continental philosophy (especially Existentialism), and Critical Philosophy of Race. She has also taught in African American Studies/African Diaspora Studies and Women's Studies. Some of the major figures Belle writes about and teaches include: Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, Lorraine Hansberry, Claudia Jones, Audre Lorde, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maria Stewart and Richard Wright. She recently completed a book manuscript titled, Beauvoir and Belle: A Black Feminist Critique of The Second Sex (forthcoming with Oxford University Press). And she is currently finishing a an edited collection of Women of Color Engagements with Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Under her former name (Kathryn T. Gines) she published articles on race, assimilation, feminism, intersectionality, and sex and sexuality in contemporary hip-hop. She is author of Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question (Indiana University Press, 2014) and she co-edited an anthology titled Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2010).
Dr. Belle is the founding director of Collegium of Black Women Philosophers (CBWP), the former director (2010-2016) of Cultivating Underrepresented Students in Philosophy (CUSP), and a founding co-editor (2013-2016) of the journal Critical Philosophy of Race (CPR). She has been an active member of several professional organizations such as the American Philosophical Association, Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy, Caribbean Philosophical Association, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, and National Women Studies Association.
Dr. Belle is also founder and owner of La Belle Vie Coaching - offering individual coaching, small group coaching, workshops, and retreats (both in person and virtually). As a coach, scholar, speaker, and "Happily Unmarried" mother of four children, she understands the myriad demands of work and home as well as the desire for a balanced and integrated life. She is an active listener, co-inquirer, gentle agitator, and accountability partner in your self-realization and self-actualization journey. She describes her coaching method as “Embodied Existentialism” because she takes seriously the mind-body connection, physical and metaphysical inquiry, the power of self-awareness, as well as the insights gained when we take time to contemplate life’s bigger and deeper questions. She works with faculty and administrators across ranks from a variety of top colleges and universities. She offers the following Signature Programs through La Belle Vie Coaching: 1) High Achievers, 2) Happily Unmarried, and 3) Erotic Empowerment. She is also a certified yoga instructor (RYT, 500).