Dr. Christopher Panza

Chair, Humanities Division
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email: cpanza@drury.edu
Phone: 417-873-6837
Building: Burnham Hall 213

Thanks for visiting my bio page! My name is Chris Panza, though students around Drury know me as “CP”. I’m a native of the Bronx, and spent all of my early years in and right around the city (I attended high school in Mount Vernon, which is adjacent to the Bronx on the north side). After high school, I attended Purchase College for my BA, double majoring (after some indecision) in philosophy and literature – particularly focused on works of the 19th century (I’m a great lover of 19th century Russian literature, as well as just about any philosophy of that time). During the latter years of my BA and for a few years before heading off to graduate school, I worked in management at UPS (nine years total), making sure that everyone’s packages arrived safe and sound, and on time. Although I greatly valued the many life lessons I learned during my time in UPS management, I came to the conclusion that my talents, interests, and passions were better suited to the study of philosophy. So I left UPS, firm in the decision that my life would be better spent discussing and arguing about big enduring human questions. After finishing my MA and PhD in philosophy at the University of Connecticut in 2002, I began work as a professor at Drury – and now I spend my days happily grappling with those very same big human questions, but now I try to infect students with a desire to investigate and grapple with them too.

Although I wrote my doctoral dissertation on John Locke’s philosophy of language (earning a specialization in early modern philosophy), I have developed a long-term scholarly and teaching interest in Confucianism, ethics (particular virtue ethics), and in existentialism. I am the author of a number of articles and of two books in the popular Dummies series - Existentialism for Dummies, and Ethics for Dummies. Most recently, I maintain a lively scholarly interest in the subject of intellectual virtues, specifically in the ways that those virtues are differently interpreted by different historical thinkers and also in application work that argues for the central importance of those virtues (however construed) for liberal arts education.

I also have a home life too! I am married to Christie Cathey, who is a professor of psychology at Missouri State University (we met at UCONN playing intramural softball). We have two lovely daughters, Parker (who is 8) and Paige (who is 5), both of whom think philosophy is odd and strange, but I figure I have years to work that out. I am also an avid Italian cook and baker, and spend a lot of time perfecting various means, breads, and desserts.

To contact me, you can email me here: cpanza@drury.edu, or call me in the office (Burnham 213) at 417-873-6837.