Richard Kortum

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

2014 ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Outstanding Research

2010 NEH Three-Year Collaborative Research Grant

2007 College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Summer Research Fellowship

2004-05 Fulbright Scholar, Azerbaijan

    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 a recent book and 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 adviser 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 numerous 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 arctic anthropologist Dr. William Fitzhugh, director of the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center.  The two have been working together on Mongolian rock art for the past five years.  A second NEH grant proposal is in the works along with proposals for National Science Foundation and other grants.

    At ETSU Richard teaches symbolic logic, upper-division courses in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, and the introductory Humanities survey courses, Arts & Ideas I and II.  He is adviser to all Humanities minors.  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.

'Spotlight ETSU' TV interview

Short Documentary Film (17 min.): Rock Art & Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscape in the Mongolian Altai

Selected Publications


Varieties of Tone: Frege, Dummett and the Shades of Meaning
Palgrave Macmillan, xvi + 250 pp., November 2013

To Keep and Bear: the second amendment's silence on gun ownership
British Journal of American Legal Studies (under review)

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

Critical review: 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

Rock Art

Rock Art and Archaeology of the Mongolian Altai: The Biluut Petroglyph Complex (with W. Fitzhugh).
NY: Cambridge University Press, ±350 pp.  (forthcoming 2017)

The Prehistoric Petroglyphs of Biluut Tolgoi: A Sacred Landscape in the Mongolian Altai (with Ya. Tserendagva).
Ulaanbaatar: Nepko Publishing, ±225 pp. (forthcoming 2016)

Sacred Imagery & Ritual Landscape: New Discoveries at the Biluut Petroglyph Complex in the Mongolian Altai.
Time & Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture, November 2014, ≠60 pp.

Deer Stones and Rock Art in Mongolia During the 2nd-1st Millennia BCE (with K. Lymer and W. Fitzhugh)
In Deer and People, ed. N. Sykes, K. Baker, et al.  Oxford: Windgather Press, 2014

Rock Art & Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscape in the Mongolian Altai, 2012
Ed. W. Fitzhugh, R. Kortum, and J. Bayarsaikhan.  Washington, DC and Ulaanbaatar: Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of Mongolia, 184 pp., April 2013

Rock Art & Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscape in the Mongolian Altai, 2011
Ed. W. Fitzhugh, R. Kortum, and J. Bayarsaikhan.  Washington, DC and Ulaanbaatar: Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of Mongolia, 178 pp., March 2012

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

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

Humanities and Art History: 
Nuovo Forno Eturscho––Art & Archaeology: The Etruscan Kiln Project, 2009-2012 (with D. Davis)
Etruscan Studies, 2014

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

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

Higher Education for an Azerbaijani Renaissance
Keynote Address delivered at the International Conference on Reforming Higher Education in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, Baku, Azerbaijan, February 2, 2005 (Published in various newspapers in Baku)

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

American Sprawl
Keynote Address delivered at the 7th annual American Studies Conference at Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, May 2005 (Unpublished)

Sport Literature:
Hoops Across the Water: Motivation and staying power––a study of contrasts
International Journal of Sport and Society 3(2), 181-189, Summer 2013

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 (Unpublished)

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

Mongolia 2001

Mongolia 2002

Dr. K’s Ceramics

HUMT 2310

HUMT 2320

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