Protasi studies the philosophy of emotions and ethics at University of Puget Sound

The discipline of philosophy is more than 2,500 years old, but it still has plenty to say about how we live, how to grapple with our darkest impulses, and how to relate to others. Associate Professor Sara Protasi teaches courses in ethics and ancient Greek philosophy, and is the author of The Philosophy of Envy. We sat down with Protasi to discuss her professional journey from Rome to Tacoma, her love of Aristotle, and the value of a liberal arts education.

Q: Tell me about your background. What brought you to Puget Sound?
I was born and raised in Rome and did my first doctorate in Bologna, at the oldest university in Europe, and perhaps in the world. While I was getting my Italian PhD, I visited University of Michigan. I fell in love with the way philosophy was being done in the U.S., and I met my partner Shen-yi Liao there. I knew I wanted to teach in the U.S., but first I had to get another PhD, which I did at Yale. Finding a job in the U.S. is still hard, but my partner and I both found positions at Puget Sound in 2015, which worked well for us personally and professionally.