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April 25, 2016

Undergraduate Philosophy Conference this Saturday

ConferenceImageWHEN: Saturday, April 30
WHERE: 176 Lokey Education Building

The 2016 UO Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will be taking place in the Lokey Education Building Room 176 this Saturday (4/30). This event will feature select presentations reflecting the engaged and multifaceted scholarship currently conducted in our philosophical community, both at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels. Anna Cook, a PhD student in Philosophy, will give a keynote address titled:

This is our home. This is our school. On the existential damage of school shootings

We are hosting a Grad/UG panel featuring Amie Zimmer, PhD student in Philosophy, and Sarah Wilkins, a Philosophy Undergraduate Senior on:

Julia Kristeva: Semiotics and Revolt

We will also have a series of individual papers by our Philosophy Majors.
Catered lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please see program for full details.

Attendance and participation are key to these events, so we hope that many of you choose to support your fellow students in presenting their hard work.

2016 Conference Program Updated

April 20, 2016

2016 Undergraduate Lecture with Erin McKenna, Professor of Philosophy

Cows and Chicks poster

Cows and Chicks: An Ecofeminist Pragmatist Perspective on Livestock

Friday, May 6
3:00-4:30 PM
Living Learning Center South Performance Hall

Every year during spring term, the Philosophy Department presents a large lecture especially for our undergraduate students. This year, Erin McKenna will give a talk titled “Cows and Chicks: An Ecofeminist Pragmatist Perspective on Livestock” on Friday, May 6, 3:00-4:30 PM in the Living Learning Center South Performance Hall (see details below). The time was chosen to minimize conflict with our regular classes and sections, and to engage students before leaving campus for the week end. This event will be announced in your undergraduate classes and sections, and you can expect relevant and engaging material that matters in your lives. If your instructor hasn’t mentioned it, please consider requesting extra credit for participation (perhaps based on a short written reflection).

This talk will examine some of the important connections among women, cows, and chickens. For much of humans’ agricultural history, milking cows and raising chickens was considered women’s work. Further, milk and eggs are the “products” of female animal beings. For some ecofeminists this creates a special connection and a special obligation not to partake of these agricultural products. Since the 1950s cows and chickens have been transformed into industrial animals and women have been replaced with automated industrial systems. There are many consequences of this change: cheaper milk, meat, and eggs; more concentrated waste products affecting the environment; less freedom for chickens and cows; and limited interactions between humans and the animal beings used in agricultural production. This distance has allowed for further objectification of the animal beings and increased consumption of them. In the case of cows and chickens, they are often presented as sexualized females, and human women are sexually objectified in advertisements promoting their consumption. An ecofeminist/pragmatist perspective will be used to examine the history and consequences of this intertwining of the lives and deaths of women, cows, and chickens, and to suggest some possible changes in the human relationship with cows and chickens that would increase the possibility of respecting their lives, as well as the lives of human women.

Poster for Undergraduate Lecture with Erin McKenna
Cows and Chicks Poster

April 19, 2016

Erin McKenna Joins UO Philosophy Faculty

erin-mckennaThe Department of Philosophy welcomes Erin McKenna to a tenure-track position as Professor of Philosophy beginning in Fall 2016. Erin McKenna is the former Chair of Philosophy, former Chair of Women’s Studies, and former Chair of the Faculty at Pacific Lutheran University where she began teaching in 1992.

Erin McKenna specializes in feminist theory and American Pragmatism, focusing on issues of social and political philosophy. She has recently co-authored, along with Scott Pratt, American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present (Bloomsbury, April 2015). Her book Pets, People, and Pragmatism (Fordham UP, 2013) explores the history and ethical implications of humans’ relationships with other animal beings. She also co-edited a volume on this topic titled Animal Pragmatism: Rethinking Human Nonhuman Relationships (Indiana UP, 2004). Her book The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) focuses on the work of John Dewey. Some of her articles include “Pragmatism and Primates,” “Women, Power, and Meat,” “Feminism and Vegetarianism,” “The Occupied West Bank,” and “Some Reflections Concerning Feminist Pedagogy.” She has chapters in The Philosophy of the X Files (University Press of Kentucky, 2009) and Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy (Open Court, 2008). Erin McKenna also co-edited Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy for Open Court in 2009.

Her current project is a book on the ethics of human relationships with livestock.

April 14, 2016

Rocío Zambrana selected for Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Rocío Zambrana, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies, was selected to receive a 2016-2017 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Zambrana will use the Fellowship to complete her second book, Neoliberal Coloniality and the Crisis of Critique.

April 4, 2016

Martina Ferrari receives Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award

Ferrari, Martina 20151110
Martina Ferrari, doctoral student in Philosophy, was one of five recipients of the 2016 Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award. This award provides support to outstanding master’s or doctoral students pursuing academic, professional development, or training enrichment opportunities during the summer. Ferrari will be traveling to Città di Castello, Italy, to attend the Collegium Phaenomenologicum to further her inquiry into the relationship between temporality and racial and gendered oppression.

Jon LaRochelle selected for Eric Englund Research Fellowship

LaRochelle, Jon 2016 resized
Jon LaRochelle, doctoral candidate in Philosophy, received the 2016 Eric Englund Research Fellowship, designed to support doctoral students whose research is in American literature, history, philosophy, or other related fields. LaRochelle’s project draws on American philosophy—especially pragmatism—to explore a novel conception of power. LaRochelle’s research addresses what it means to have and seek power in the context of community activism while examining the issue of homelessness in Eugene. This fellowship carries an award stipend of $18,000 for three terms or $12,000 for two terms.

Read about Jon’s award in AroundtheO.

Read more about Jon’s award on the UO Graduate School’s website.

March 17, 2016

Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Empirical Approach to Racial Injustice — New Book from Naomi Zack

Applicative JusticeNaomi Zack’s new book Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Empirical Approach to Racial Injustice has been published by Rowman & Littlefield.

From the publisher’s website:
“Naomi Zack pioneers a new theory of justice starting from a correction of current injustices. While the present justice paradigm in political philosophy and related fields begins from John Rawls’s 1970 Theory of Justice, Zack insists that what people in reality care about is not justice as an ideal, but injustice as a correctable ill. For a way to describe real injustice and the society in which it occurs, Zack resurrect Arthur Bentley’s key insight that government and law (or political life) is a constant process of contending interest groups throughout society. Bentley’s main idea allows for a resolution of the contradiction between formal legal equality for U.S. minorities and post-civil rights practical inequality. Just law and unjust practice co-exist as a fact of political life. The correction of injustice in reality requires applicative justice, in a comparison between those who are treated unjustly with those who are treated justly, and the design of effective measures to equalize such treatment. Zack’s theory of applicative justice offers a revolutionary reorientation of society’s pursuit of justice, seeking to undo injustice in a practical and fully achievable way.”

30% Discount Flyer

For more information, visit

March 9, 2016

Moral Psychology: An Introduction — New Book from Mark Alfano

moral psychology adMark Alfano’s new book, Moral Psychology: An Introduction, has been published by Polity in both hardcover and paperback.

Description: Moral psychology is the systematic inquiry into how morality works, when it does work, and how it breaks down when it doesn’t work. In this comprehensive new textbook, Mark Alfano first outlines the five central concepts in the study of moral psychology: agency, patiency, sociality, temporality, and reflexivity. Subsequent chapters each address a key area of research, which Alfano relates both to the five central concepts and to empirical findings. He then draws out the philosophical implications of those findings before suggesting future directions for research. One of Alfano’s guiding themes is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, whereas psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind. He advocates and demonstrates a holistic vision that pictures moral psychology as a project of collaborative inquiry into the descriptive and normative aspects of the human condition. Featuring a glossary of technical terms, further reading sections, and chapter-by-chapter study questions, this rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology will be suitable for both undergraduates and researchers in philosophy, psychology, and related fields.

Endorsements:Moral Psychology is a first-rate contribution to philosophy and a pedagogical tour de force, a fantastic gift to scholars working in ethics and moral psychology and to our students. Alfano is wickedly smart, in complete control of all the philosophical and empirical literature in moral psychology, and writes in crystal clear, inviting prose. The study questions are amazing — challenges to think hard, often personally, about implicit bias, one’s own and one’s loved ones’ trustworthiness, emotions, character, relativism, and the significance of morality to a good life. Simply outstanding.” ~ Owen Flanagan, Duke University

“Accessibly written, though far from being a mere survey, this book is at once a concise and — in the best sense — idiosyncratic introduction to some recent findings in empirical moral psychology and an argued account of the relationship between those findings and moral philosophy.” ~ Edward Harcourt, University of Oxford

For more information, and to order a copy, visit

March 8, 2016

Russell Duvernoy receives OHC Dissertation Fellowship

UO Philosophy Doctoral Candidate Russell Duvernoy has been awarded the Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17, which will provide a term of support free from teaching and for working on his dissertation Feeling in Process: Alternative Empiricisms and Metaphysics in Whitehead and Deleuze.

2016–17 OHC Faculty and Graduate Fellows announced

Anna Cook receives Mellow Prize from SAAP

Cook, AnnaUO Philosophy Doctoral Student Anna Cook was awarded the Ila and John Mellow Prize at the 43rd Annual SAAP (Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy) Meeting in Portland, Oregon last weekend for her paper “Intra-american philosophy in practice: Indigenous Voice, Felt Knowledge, and Settler Denial.” This prize recognizes excellence in advancing the American philosophical tradition toward the resolution of current personal, social, and political problems. Anna’s paper will be published in the upcoming edition of The Pluralist.

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