Category Archives: Announcement

SPEP Executive Committee Statement on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

As members of the Executive Committee of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, we have wondered whether we should publicly respond to the U.S. presidential election and the events that have followed it. We hesitated to write this statement partly because we disagreed about how to write it, partly because we are concerned about the potential ineffectiveness of statements of this sort, but most importantly because we are cognizant of the difficulties that come with presuming to speak on behalf of our diverse membership. We nonetheless feel compelled to speak out, for silence in dark times is a form of capitulation.

What can we say that can support vulnerable populations on the college campuses where our members serve, and more broadly in the United States and across the world? During the electoral campaign and in its aftermath, we witnessed the amplification and even normalization of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, LGBTQ-bashing, and ableism (to name a few, in an enumeration that will not be complete). We condemn the bigotry and hatred mobilized and emboldened by the election as ethically repugnant, politically damaging, and at odds with SPEP’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. We affirm SPEP’s commitment to a world that cares for those rendered vulnerable and that does not unjustly pit one group of them against another. We lament the inability and/or unwillingness of many people to listen to one another in a spirit at once generous and critical. We are committed to SPEP’s being an organization that provides opportunities for such conversations and engagements. We are committed to SPEP’s being an organization that can invoke a principled and passionate opposition to injustice. Politically motivated dangers to the pursuit of knowledge are today very real and directly related to our continued existence as an academic society. Finally, we reaffirm SPEP’s commitment to being an organization that opposes any and all forces that seek to restrict academic freedom and undermine the spirit of philosophical inquiry.

The SPEP Executive Committee

PIKSI 2016: A SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR UNDERGRADUATES

Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institutes (PIKSI) are designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study of philosophy. Undergraduates and recent graduates from underrepresented groups such as women, African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, LGBTs, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities are urged to apply. Transportation and lodging are provided. Stipends are awarded to all.

PIKSI ROCK
Rock Ethics Institute/Penn State
Date: June 13-22, 2016
Director: Serene Khader
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Theme: Philosophy and Social Justice

Speakers:
Chris Lebron
Yale University
Mariana Ortega
John Carroll University
Meena Krishnamurthy
University of Michigan
Eva Kittay
Stony Brook University

PIKSI BOSTON
MIT/UMB
Date: July 17-23, 2016
Director: Lisa Rivera
University of Massachusetts Boston

Speakers:
Lewis Gordon
University of Connecticut, Storrs
Tommie Shelby
Harvard University
Rachel McKinney
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Serena Parekh
Northeastern University
Jose Mendoza
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Alejandro Perez Carballo
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

APPLICATION DEADLINE – MARCH 21ST 2016

For more information visit: piksi.org
Contact: info@piksi.org

SPONSORS: THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION, AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION – PENN STATE’S ROCK ETHICS INSTITUTE, COLLEGE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS, AND DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY – MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY – MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY – STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY – UNIVERSITY OF OREGON – IRIS MARION YOUNG DIVERSITY SCHOLARS FUND – ANN ARBOR PHILOSOPHERS’ PIKSI FUNDING INITIATIVE – ASSOCIATION OF FEMINIST ETHICS AND SOCIAL THEORY

Linda Martín Alcoff
Professor of Philosophy
Hunter College, CUNY
lmartina@hunter.cuny.edu

PIKSI: Cultivating Diversity In Philosophy

2014 Philosophy in Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) students via Flickr Penn State CC

A SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR UNDERGRADUATES
PIKSI / 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation / APA Sponsored
Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute

Application Deadline: March 13, 2015

PIKSI summer institutes are designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study of philosophy. Undergraduates and recent graduates from underrepresented groups such as women, African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, LGBTs, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities are urged to apply. Transportation and lodging are provided. Stipends are awarded to all.

PIKSI ROCK at the Rock Ethics Institute/Penn State
Date: June 13-22, 2015
Director: Serene Khader, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Theme: Philosophy and Social Justice

Speakers:
Luvell Anderson, University of Memphis
Talia Bettcher, California State University, Los Angeles
Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University
Lisa Guenther, Vanderbilt University

(All PIKSI ROCK students will be designated Iris Marion Young Fellows)

PIKSI BOSTON at MIT/UMB
Date: August 2-8, 2015
Director: Lisa Rivera, University of Massachusetts Boston

Speakers:
Keota Fields, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Jorge Garcia, Boston College
Justin Khoo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mickaella Perina, University of Massachusetts Boston
Susanna Siegel, Harvard University
Subrena Smith, University of New Hampshire

For More Information See:
PIKSI ROCK: rockethics.psu.edu/education/piksi

Email: rockethics@psu.edu

PIKSI BOSTON: piksi-boston.weebly.com

Email: piksiboston@gmail.com

Co-sponsors:

  • PENN STATE’S ROCK ETHICS INSTITUTE, COLLEGE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS, AND DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
  • MIT’S DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS AND PHILOSOPHY AND DEAN’S OFFICE, SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
  • MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
  • STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY
  • UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
  • THE IRIS MARION YOUNG DIVERSITY FUND
  • ANN ARBOR PIKSI FUNDING INITIATIVE
  • THE ASSOCIATION OF FEMINIST ETHICS AND SOCIAL THEORY

Message from the Executive Co-Directors about PhilPapers

Dear SPEP members,

We are writing to you in regard to PhilPapers (philpapers.org), the online directory of articles and books by academic philosophers. As you may know, this site has become an important venue for the distribution of philosophical work. The SPEP Executive Committee would like to see this site become more representative of the breadth, variety and richness of current research in Continental philosophy. To that end, we encourage you to submit your work to the PhilPapers site, and/or to submit your personal webpage to be monitored by PhilPapers. You will need to create a PhilPapers account in order to do this, but the process for doing so is simple and painless. We hope that you will join us in this effort to make the outstanding research that is being done by SPEP members more visible to the broader philosophical community. If you don’t have a personal webpage with your research or links to your research posted on it, we encourage you to create one.

With best wishes for the start of the academic year,

Amy Allen and Tony Steinbock
Executive Co-Directors, SPEP

SPEP Statement in Support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

A massive protest movement has emerged in response to an economic crisis, rapidly increasing wealth inequity, and diminishing employment and educational opportunities for an entire generation. The recent financial crisis, facilitated by Wall Street malfeasance, has only exacerbated a devastating decades-long trend that continues to socialize risk and privatize profit. This trend toward increasing economic injustice has disproportionately affected communities of color and left tens of millions homeless, jobless, and overburdened with student loans and underwater mortgages.

As educators and students, we have witnessed decreases in state funding for education, coupled with increases in tuition costs, the privatization of research, the commodification of campus spaces, the use of precarious and part-time positions, and attacks on collective bargaining. This has had a disciplinary effect on educators and students alike, hindering the pursuit of higher education, open and critical inquiry, as well as democratic participation.

SPEP stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which represents a direct challenge to these social and political inequities and economic injustices, as it reclaims social spaces for democratic deliberation and participation and pushes back against a growing suspicion of social solidarity and the public good. SPEP encourages its members to support these principles and practices in the Occupy movement through any and all of the unique resources available to them.

SPEP Resolution on the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy

The passage of the following resolution is not intended to endorse the methodologies or conclusions of the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy but to express, on behalf of the SPEP membership, appreciation of and support for the efforts of the Pluralist’s Guide to inform prospective students about graduate programs friendly to philosophical pluralism. For a statement regarding SPEP’s position on all ranking statements see: http://www.spep.org/?page_id=78.

Proposal for Resolution for SPEP Members Regarding the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy (accepted, with amendments, 10-21-2011 at the SPEP Business Meeting)

I. The membership of the Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy supports the independent efforts of the new Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy to:

  1. provide new sources of information on areas of philosophy that remain underrepresented in most doctoral programs in the discipline and
  2. provide information on the conditions for women and minorities in graduate philosophy programs.

The membership of SPEP has long championed pluralistic approaches to philosophy, as well as increased diversity in a field that continues to have the lowest representation by women and people of color compared to all other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

II. For the same set of reasons, the membership also supports the new APA-sponsored Guide to Graduate Study in Philosophy, which complements the Pluralist’s Guide by providing a comprehensive survey of all Ph.D. and M.A. graduate programs in the U.S. It includes concise information on women and people of color among faculty and graduate students as well as figures on average number of years to completion of the degree and placement data, while furnishing a profile of departments’ distinctive emphases.

III. We commend those committed to providing enhanced information about doctoral programs in philosophy in the US, as well as those working to promote diversity in the profession. While we appreciate those who have engaged in constructive dialogue about both Guides and their production, we condemn the incivility that has marked some criticisms, especially ad hominem attacks on the Pluralist’s Guide’s organizers and contributors as well as on SPEP and its membership despite the latter’s independence from the construction of this Guide. We are grateful to the authors of and contributors to both Guides for their work. Philosophy currently faces unprecedented marginalization within the academy; we support efforts to move past archaic divisions and find common ground.