Prof. Dr. J.D. Mininger began teaching at VDU in 2007, promoted to full professor of philosophy in 2015. Though he remains a part-time instructor and researcher at VDU, in January 2017 he was appointed Academic Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty at LCC International University, Klaipeda, Lithuania. He has also been Recurrent Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna-Forlì campus (Italy).
He received an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Hesston College in 1995, a B.A. in History and German Language & Literature (double major) from Goshen College (Indiana, U.S.A.) in 1997, and completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota in 2006. He has also studied philosophy in Berlin, Germany, at both the Humboldt University and Free University, and he spent two years as a fellow at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His scholarly work and teaching engages the intersections of philosophy, literature, and politics. Mininger’s scholarly specializations include: the literary dimensions of philosophy, such as found in Søren Kierkegaard’s work, and the philosophical dimensions of literature, such as in Paul Celan’s poetry; topics within aesthetic theory and literary criticism such as late style, irony, and allegory; and, themes within political philosophy, including problems of sovereignty and human rights. He is editor with Jason Michael Peck of German Aesthetics: Fundamental Concepts from Baumgarten to Adorno (Bloomsbury, 2016) and editor with Leonidas Donskis of Politics Otherwise: Shakespeare as Social and Political Critique (Rodopi, 2012). He is a senior editor at the Baltic Journal of Law and Politics, managing editor of the philosophy focused Value Inquiry Book Series (VIBS) at Brill (Leiden/Boston), and editor of the VIBS subseries Philosophy, Literature, and Politics.