Richard Kortum

Associate Professor, Philosophy & Humanities
314 Rogers-Stout
(423) 439-6492

Fulbright Scholar, 2004-05
Recipient ofthe 2007 College of Arts & Sciences Summer Research Fellowship
Recipient of a 2010 NEH Three-Year Collaborative Research Grant

Richard joined the ETSU faculty in the fall of 1999.  He had prior teaching experience at Oxford University in England and at Western Maryland College.  He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Duke University, a double-major in philosophy and fine art, Phi Beta Kappa.  Richard also studied for one year at Queens’ College, Cambridge in England, completing the undergraduate Tripos 1B in philosophy.  The following year he was William M. Keck Fellow at the Mudd Hall of Philosophy at the University of Southern California.  In 1994 he earned his doctorate in philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford under the supervision of Sir Michael Dummett and Bede Rundle.

Richard’s areas of specialization are philosophy of language and philosophical logic.  With scholarly interests in the theory of meaning, in particular the work of Gottlob Frege, Michael Dummett, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, he has published papers on various aspects of formal semantics.

In 2004-2005 Richard spent 12 months as a Fulbright Scholar in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, where he helped design and implement a new degree in American Studies and to establish an American Studies Center (and Library) at Azerbaijan University of Languages.  He also served as advisor to the Minister of Education and the Parliamentary Committee on Science & Education on higher education reforms designed to facilitate the country’s entry into the European Higher Education Authority.

Since the summer of 2004 Richard has been engaged in cross-disciplinary Rock Art research.  He’s been awarded numerous grants to explore prehistoric petroglyphs in the remote Altai Mountains of far-western Mongolia and has published and delivered several conference papers on his discoveries.  In 2007 he was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Summer Research Fellowship.  In June 2009 Richard signed a five-year agreement with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Mongolia to lead a collaborative fieldwork project at his primary site at Khoton Lake on the border with China.  In June 2010 the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Richard a Three-Year Collaborative Research Grant in the amount of $210,000 beginning July 2010 for his project, "Rock Art & Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscape in the Mongolian Altai;" his Co-Principal Investigator on this project is anthropologist Dr. William Fitzhugh, dirrector of the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center.  The two have been working together on Mongolian rock art for the past three years.

At ETSU Richard teaches symbolic logic, upper-division courses in philosophy of langauage and philosophy of mind, and the introductory Humanities survey courses, Arts & Ideas I and II.  He is advisor to all Humanities minors.  A member of ETSU’s Faculty Senate Executive Committee, he also serves as campus representative for the Rhodes Scholarship program.  Richard was a walk-on for the men's basketball team at Duke; at Oxford he captained the Blues to back-to-back British National Championships.  He's also an ambidexctrous baseball pitcher, with a weird-looking, patented two-handed glove.  You probably don't want to get into a free throw shooting contest or a snowball fight with him.

Recent Publications

Can Frege’s Farbung Help Explain the Meaning of Ethical Terms?  (with Keith Green). Essays in Philosophy 8(1), 42pp., January 2007.

Review of Niall Shanks’s God, the Devil, and Darwin. Religious Studies 41, 357-362, September, 2005.

Realism vs. Antirealism in John McDowell’s Mind, Value, and Reality.  Essays in Philosophy 5(2), 15 pp., June 2004.

The Very Idea of Design: What God Couldn’t Do.  Religious Studies 40, 81-96, April 2004.

Adverbs in Performatives: Speaking of Truth and Falsity. Word 53(3), 305-320, Dec. 2002.

Sport Literature:
Review of Michael Schumacher’s Mr. Basketball: George Mikan, the Minneapolis Lakers, and the Birth of the NBA.   Sport Literature Association Journal Online, December 2008.

Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Hoops Across the Water.   Delivered at the 75th Annual Conference of the Sports Literature Association, June 2008.

Review of Russ Bradburd’s Paddy on the Hardwood.   Sport Literature Association Journal Online, February 2007.

Humanities and Art History:
A Kouros in the Works?  Sex and Death in Picasso’s Demoiselles (Abstract).   Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (HICAH), January 2003.

Rock Art:
A Surface Survey of Southern Bayan Olgii Aimag: June 2008.  Invited article in Arctic Studies Newsletter, ed. William Fitzhugh, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 41-42, June 2009.

An initial surface survey of southern Bayan Olgii aimag, June 2-8, 2008.  Invited chapter in American-Mongolian Deer Stone Project: 2008 Field Report,William Fitzhugh and S. Bayarasaikhan, eds.  Ulaanbaatar and Washington, DC: National Museum of Mongolia and Smithsonian Institution, 166-193, March 2009.

Archaeological Explorations of Biluut 1, 2, and 3: An Extensive Petroglyph and Burial Complex in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia (abstract, with Jay Franklin, Ya. Tserendagva, M. Whitelaw, and J.W. Nave), Proceedings of the 78th Annual Conference of the Society for American Archaeology, March 2008.

When Stones Speak: Geologic Influence on the creation of Petroglyphs at the Biluut Complex in the Altai Mountains of Bayan Olgii Aimag, Mongolia  (with M. Whitelaw, J.W. Nave, Ya. Tserendagva, and T. Burnham).  Proceedings of the 6th annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities, 23 pp., February 2008.

Boregtiin Gol: A New Petroglyph Site in Bayan Olgii Aimag, Western Mongolia  (with Yadmaa Tserendagva).  International Newsletter on Rock Art (INORA), No. 47, 8-15, January 2007.

Biluut 1, 2, and 3: Another New Petroglyphic Complex in the Altai Mountains, Bayan Olgii Aimag, Mongolia  (with Batsaikhan Zagd).  INORA, no. 41, 7-14, February 2005.

International Education and Culture:
Emerging Higher Education in Azerbaijan: Varieties of Internal Corruption and Proposed Remedies (under the name Richard Dennnis).  Journal of AzerbaijaniStudies 12(3), November 2009, 11-32.

Dr. K’s Keynote Address delivered at the International Conference on Reforming Higher Education in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, February 2, 2005, Baku, Azerbaijan:
 Higher Education for an Azerbaijani Renaissance

Dr. K’s Fulbright Public Lecture (3-part) delivered at the University of Languages, Fall 2004, Baku, Azerbaijan:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: The American Dream from Thomas Jefferson and Horatio Alger to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Dr. K’s Keynote Address delivered at the 7th annual American Studies Conference at Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, May 2005:
American Sprawl

Mongolia 2001

Mongolia 2002

Dr. K’s Ceramics

HUMT 2310

HUMT 2320


U.S. patent on Richard's ambidextrous baseball glove, 1964