The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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José-Antonio Orosco Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

June 25, 2015


“Teaching and Practicing Engaged Philosophy at OSU”  June 25, 2015  Location: Centro Cultural César Chávez, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Orosco discusses his family background, upbringing in New Mexico, early interest in philosophy, and undergraduate experience at Reed College. He then describes his years as a graduate student at UC-Riverside, his stint living in Texas, his experiences as a union organizer and student activist, and the ways in which these experiences informed his perspective on "engaged philosophy."

Orosco then reflects on his arrival at OSU in 2001, his initial impressions of the community and university, and the state of the Philosophy and Religion department at that time. He likewise notes the impact that his predecessor, Manual Pacheco, had made on OSU's Philosophy students, his involvement with OSU's Ethnic Studies program, and his definition of political philosophy. From there, Orosco outlines his co-founding of the Anarres Project for Alternative Futures and his continuing interests as an activist within academia.

Orosco next details the history of his association with the Peace Studies program at OSU, discusses his research on César Chávez, and shares his perspective on the importance and the impact of Movimiento Estudantil Chicano/Chicana de Aztlan. As the session nears its end, Orosco shares his thoughts on changes in the environment for the Latino community at OSU, provides an overview of his participation in multicultural programming, a recalls his appearances on Philosophy Talk. The interview concludes with Orosco's broader thoughts on his years of association with Oregon State University.