Category Archives: SPEP News

Proposal to Expand the SPEP Executive Committee

Proposal to Expand the SPEP Executive Committee
[Passed by more than a 2/3 majority in a balloted vote at the Business Meeting in Atlanta, October 9th, 2015]

We are proposing to change Article IV: Board of Directors of the SPEP Bylaws as follows:

Section 1. Number of Directors. The initial Board of Directors shall consist of those persons named in the Articles of Incorporation. Thereafter, the Board of Directors shall consist of six (6) members unless changed by amendment to these Bylaws, except that the number of Directors shall never be less than three (3). Specifically, the Board of Directors shall consist of three (3) ex officio voting members (The President and Executive Co-Director, the Vice-President and Executive Co-Director, and the Secretary-Treasury), and three (3) additional Directors. […]

The proposal is to change the number of the Board of Directors from six (6) to seven (7), increasing the number of at-large members from three (3) to four (4).

Rationale for Expanding the Executive Committee

The primary reason for this expansion is to address the increasing diversity of philosophical perspectives embraced by the Society’s membership. The EC has considered the financial impact of adding an additional member and, with the understanding that conference registration fees will be increased in parallel*, we believe that the Society’s finances would be healthy enough to absorb the extra costs associated with this proposed expansion. In conformity with the process for voting on proposals approved by the membership at the 2012 meeting in Eugene, this proposal will be discussed and voted upon by the SPEP membership at the 2015 Atlanta business meeting. If this proposal is approved by the membership, an election would then be held the following year at the Salt Lake City 2016 business meeting according to the standard electoral procedure for member-at-large slots, with two candidates nominated. That meeting would also include elections for members of the EC whose term has expired.

* The projected cost of an additional EC member is between $3500-4000 per annum. In order to remain fiscally solvent, the EC anticipates the need to increase the conference registration fee by another $5 on top of the already proposed increase and therefore puts forward the 2015 proposal.

Open Position as SPEP Secretary-Treasurer

Qualifications: familiarity with SPEP; experience with administrative and financial procedures appropriate for running a large international academic organization; Ph.D. in philosophy, with AOS in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy or in any of the areas usually represented on the SPEP annual meeting program. The term for this position is subject to annual review. Position comes with a stipend. Preference will be given to SPEP members. Please send a letter of application and curriculum vitae by email attachment to both Amy Allen ( and Brian Schroeder (, Co-Directors, SPEP.

Deadline for applications: January 15, 2014.

Please note: Term will officially begin on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at the annual meeting in New Orleans. For training purposes, attendance at the entire New Orleans meeting and the April 10-13, 2014 Executive Committee meeting in Salt Lake City is required.

2012 SPEP Session at the APA: Debra Bergoffen

The twelfth annual SPEP lecture at the Eastern Division APA meeting will be delivered this year by Debra Bergoffen of George Mason University.

The title of her paper will be “Antigone After Auschwitz.” There will be a response by Tina Chanter of DePaul University and the session will be moderated by Thomas Flynn of Emory University.

The session will be held on December 28th from 5:15-7:15 p.m.

A reception for all SPEP members and friends of continental philosophy will immediately follow the lecture.

The Eastern APA Meeting will be held December 27-30, 2012 at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis in Atlanta, GA.

Proposals for the 2012 SPEP Meeting

My Town, Rochester, NY via Flickr by RocPx

In an effort to allow the membership time to consider matters of importance in a timely fashion, the SPEP Executive Committee will post issues to be discussed at the business meeting at least one month prior to the annual conference.  Please see the following three items to be considered at this year’s business meeting:


Proposal for Voting on Proposals, Resolutions, and Motions

All items to be voted on at the business meeting must be distributed to the SPEP membership no less than one month before the date of the business meeting. Since the Executive Committee [EC] sets the agenda for the business meeting, anyone wishing to introduce an agenda item is required to send that item to the Co-Directors no less than two months before the date of the business meeting. The EC will then distribute an agenda for the business meeting, including any proposals or motions to be voted on by the membership, to the membership by email.  These items will also be made available on the SPEP website as well as at the registration desk.

We make this proposal so that all members will know in advance what is going to be discussed at the upcoming business meeting, and will therefore have the opportunity to make arrangements to be there for the discussion and vote. On this proposal, new business could, as always, still come up from the floor, but it could not be voted on until the next year’s business meeting.  We want to emphasize that this proposal is intended to apply only to voting for proposals, resolutions, and motions, not to our voting procedures for new members of the EC or Co-Directors.


The quorum necessary for voting on proposals, resolutions, and motions shall be equivalent to 10% of dues paying members at the time that the agenda is published.  (For example, this past year that would have set the quorum at 71 people.)  Information about the number necessary to constitute a quorum for the upcoming business meeting would be provided to the membership by the Secretary-Treasurer at the time that the agenda is circulated via email and posted to the website.

We make this proposal because currently, what constitutes a quorum at the business meeting is too vague (namely, all those who are present).


Amendment to the Revised Nominating Committee Proposal [P2]

There shall be a Nominations Committee (NC) of five SPEP members, serving in an advisory capacity to the SPEP Executive Committee (EC), to help identify and nominate two or more candidates for each open at-large position on the EC. The NC will meet with the EC at the annual meeting to discuss the positions that will be coming open the following year, what areas in continental philosophy will need to be reflected, and any diversity matters. Following the annual meeting, the NC will solicit possible nominees from the EC, from all SPEP committees, and from the general membership. By February 1st, the NC will forward a slate of 6-8 possible nominees to the EC. From this slate the EC will choose two (three if we have on-line voting) names, using standard practices of ensuring that the nominees chosen are in good standing and agree to stand for election. If the EC decides not to accept any of the names on the slate forwarded by the NC, it must justify its decision in writing to the NC. For the co-director position, the Executive Committee will continue to choose the nominee for the position.

As is the current practice, members may still make nominations from the floor for co- director or at-large positions, with all the existing caveats about requirements for co- director.

The Nominations Committee will be composed of the most recently retired SPEP co- director (XCC), who will serve as chair, and four other members to be elected by the membership (except for the first year, when they will be appointed by the EC with staggered terms). The XCC will serve until the next SPEP co-director’s term ends. The four other members will each serve three-year terms staggered in such a way that at least one and no more than two positions on the NC will be open in any given year. As positions on the NC come open, they will be filled as follows: the EC will nominate no less than four and no more than seven candidates for each position and will encourage nominations from the floor. Nominations for the NC may also be made by a general member directly to the EC. The ballots will include space for write-in candidates. To run, candidates should meet qualifications of being regularly participating members of SPEP in good standing with a PhD.  Ideally the pool of candidates for the NC should reflect broad currents in SPEP. Members may serve only one term on the NC. No current or outgoing NC member may be nominated for a position on the EC. As soon as SPEP has the capacity to conduct voting online, the NC should be elected in this manner.


The Committee on the Status of Women would like to propose the creation of an award entitled the “Iris Marion Young Prize for the Best Paper in Feminist Philosophy.”

The justification for such an award is that Feminist Philosophy is still unevenly recognized by the profession of academic philosophy.  Junior scholars in particular may need to provide hiring, review and promotion committees with evidence of the esteem in which this sort of work is taken by their peers, especially in departments in which continental philosophy or philosophical pluralism are not well established.  The creation of such a prize would enhance the professional opportunities available to feminist scholars by providing a “measurable” identifier of quality.  We believe this kind of gesture is a fitting way to recognize the legacy of Iris Marion Young and her contribution to continental philosophy and to the larger body of American political thought.

The mechanism for such an award would be as follows.  Colleagues submitting a paper to SPEP would self-designate as wishing their paper to be considered for the Iris Marion Young Prize.  Such papers would be eligible for the regular SPEP prizes (accompanied by a cash award). Once the Executive Committee has completed review of the submissions, those papers that have been accepted onto the program and that self-designate as wishing to be considered for the Iris Marion Young Prize would be forwarded in blinded form to the CSW for review.  This review would involve 3-4 days.  The Executive Committee will notify the winner of the prize.

Even without a cash award, this prize would be an important mark of professional recognition.   As advised by the Executive Committee, the CSW consulted with members of the other committees in developing this proposal and the response was favorable.  Future iterations of CSW may seek funding from private donors.


The Membership of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy supports the creation of an Iris Marion Young Prize for the Best Paper in Feminist Philosophy, to be administered by the SPEP Committee on the Status of Women.

SPEP Archives Available

In anticipation of the 50th Anniversary meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, we have collected as many historical SPEP documents as we could find.

Thanks in large part to the generosity of Alan Schrift and Hugh Silverman, and to their impulses to preserve what should be preserved, we have posted Calls for Papers, Programs, Newsletters and Posters dating as far back as 1966.

We invite you to visit the SPEP Archive here on our website.

If you have any documents that we might add to the archive to fill out the collection, please contact Christopher Long, and I will be sure to post them on the site.


JSP to Publish SPEP Supplement

JSP Cover

The annual SPEP Supplement containing a selection of essays from our conference proceedings will be published by the Journal of Speculative Philosophy beginning with the anniversary issue from this year’s conference.

JSP will make the Supplement issue available online as well as in print. We look forward to working with the JSP editors, John Stuhr and Vincent Colpietro, and with the editors at Pennsylvania State University Press.

Our deepest thanks to David Pellauer for years of outstanding service to SPEP as
editor of Philosophy Today.