Public Lecture with David Wood, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and Professor of European Studies, Vanderbilt University
Public Lecture with David Wood
W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and Professor of European Studies at Vanderbilt University
Tuesday, 17 February, 4:00-5:30pm, Jaqua Auditorium
Nietzsche worried about the terrible burden of human history. By analogy, what would constitute an adequate response to our increasingly cosmic grasp of our terrestrial situation? We have come to see ourselves as a product of extraordinary natural forces, operating at many levels, over countless millennia, continuous and yet not quite continuous with the rest of life. We have constructed stories about these events, even as the timescales involved boggle the imagination. And we have invented new paradigms to understand the times we live in, ones that launch us into the geological, and its particular passions. Humans have long felt a sense of infinite connectedness and awe on looking up at the stars. Such passions animate any geologically alive being. I discuss the significance of four such responses: wonder, curiosity, delight and angst.
David Wood’s current research is centered on the ways in which climate change gives new significance and urgency to traditional ethical, political, and metaphysical issues. If “we cannot go on like this,” revolution is no longer a matter of social justice, but of ecological necessity. Truth is no longer a postmodern plaything but a matter of life and death. If we have entered a new geological age – the Anthropocene – with the future of the planet on our backs, what is it now to be human? Wood is completing books on Reinhabiting the Earth, and Deep Time (both with Fordham University Press), the latter an expansion of the Thinking Out Loud lectures he is giving in Sydney in April/May 2015. He is also working on a longer term writing project, Things at the Edge of the World, elaborating the ways in which various Things are not merely part of the furniture of the world, but open up worlds of their own, a fractal ontology. After Giving Voice to Other Beings (2009), he is organizing a conference on EcoDeconstruction: Derrida and Environmental Ethics (Spring 2015) which will result in an edited volume, also with Fordham. On the teaching front, his persistent effort is to ‘rewrite Heidegger’s Being and Time’ in the light of the shifts in Heidegger’s own thinking, the new materialism, and other contemporary concerns such as sexual difference, non-human animals, and the earth. He is also trying to address a number of these same issues as an earth/conceptual artist in his Heliotrope, Chronopod, and Wordscape projects, the IntraTerrestrials: Landing Sites series and the development of Yellow Bird Art Farm. Reflection on how Art is more than a thing of the past, but still helps us think, and rethink, is an ongoing focus. He runs Thinking Out of the (lunch) Box, a series of public talks/conversations at the Nashville Downtown Public Library.
Sponsored by the Climate Change Research Group and the Department of Philosophy
202 Ford Alumni Center
Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series
Paint the White House Black:
The Obamas and the Aesthetics of Racial Transformation
Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies
Head of the Department of African American Studies
Penn State University
Thursday, January 8, 4pm
202 Ford Alumni Center
Paul C. Taylor is an associate professor of philosophy and African American studies at Pennsylvania State University, where he also serves as head of the department of African American studies. Professor Taylor earned a BA in philosophy from Morehouse College, a Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers University, and an MPA (master in public administration) from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has provided commentary on race and politics for newspapers and radio shows on four continents, and has lectured at universities from Cape Town to Cornell. He is the author of Race: A Philosophical Introduction, and has just finished a book called Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics for Blackwell. His current book project is On Obama, for Routledge’s Thinking In Action series.
Second year Ph.D students Larry Busk and Billy Goehring have published an essay in a peer-reviewed academic journal, the interdisciplinary Rhizomes.
Their piece—titled “What is a Working-Class Intellectual?”—was written in response to a call for papers analyzing the position of academics with working-class backgrounds, and draws on the work of Barthes, Arendt, Lévi-Strauss, and Kafka (among others).
Larry’s main research interests include critical theory and the political thought of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. Billy is preoccupied with questions of nature, history, and natural history. He primarily focuses on the French tradition, but also works on the history of Neo-Confucianism.
The essay can be accessed here:
Professor Morar specializes in bioethics (especially biomedical, genethics, environmental, and research ethics), philosophy of biology and ecology, and recent continental philosophy. His other interests include ethical theory, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of sexuality.
Morar earned his PhD from Purdue University in 2011 and has subsequently been a Visiting Scholar at The Hastings Center and a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Rock Ethics Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE). Currently, Morar is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Biology and an Associate Member with the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon.
Morar is the editor, with Jonathan Beever, of Perspectives in Bioethics, Science, and Public Policy (Purdue University Press, 2013); and, with Thomas Nail and Dan Smith, of a Foucault Studies Special Issue on Foucault and Deleuze (2014). Forthcoming publications include Biopower: Michel Foucault and Beyond, edited with Vernon Cisney (University of Chicago Press, 2015); Between Foucault and Derrida, edited with Vernon Cisney and Yubraj Aryal (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), and Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency, translated with Vernon Cisney and Daniel W. Smith (Bloomsbury Press, 2015).
Morar is currently completing a monograph titled Biology, BioEthics, and BioPolitics: How To Think Differently About Human Nature.
For more information about Morar’s teaching and research, visit his webpage at http://pages.uoregon.edu/nmorar/Nicolae_Morar/Welcome.html
Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon, was interviewed by George Yancy, Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University. The interview appears in the New York Times Philosophy blog The Stone. In the interview, Naomi discusses her work as a philosopher in the area of race, with a focus on Ferguson.
David Alexander Craig, doctoral candidate in Philosophy, was interviewed by Paul Peppis for UO Today. The interview aired earlier this month on cable access channels and is available as streaming video online. In the interview, David and Anna Sloan, a graduate student in Anthropology, discuss the Human/Animal research interest group they organized and the Animal Vulnerablility symposium they hosted on June 7, 2014.
The University of Oregon Philosophy Department is pleased to announce the formation of the Indigenous Philosophy Research Interest Group sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center. During the 2014-15 year, the RIG will focus on readings from the American Indian philosophical tradition. The discussion will begin with Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom by Taiaiake Alfred (Broadview Press, 2005). All interested faculty and graduate students are welcome to join the discussion. The RIG will meet this term from noon until 1:30pm on Thursday, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20, and December 4, in room 250C Susan Campbell Hall. Please feel free to bring a lunch. The first section of Alfred’s book (“Rebellion of the Truth”) will be discussed at the first meeting. Graduate reading credit is available for students in need of an additional 1 credit registration. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please contact Scott L. Pratt, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies, at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Two recent Philosophy PhD graduates, Aaron Rodriguez and Lucy Schultz, are featured in the Oregon Humanities Center’s 2014 Summer Report, http://ohc.uoregon.edu/news.html.
Aaron Rodriguez, who accepted a position in March as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, was an Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellow in the fall of 2013. His dissertation was titled “The Echo of God’s Laughter: Aesthetic Experience and the Virtue of Openness within a Pragmatist Ethics.” Read the OHC feature on Aaron here: http://ohc.uoregon.edu/SR_2014-Rodriguez.html.
Lucy Schultz, who was a 2012-2013 Oregon Humanities Center Graduate Research Support Fellow, accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her dissertation, completed in 2014, was titled “Creative Climate: East-West Perspectives on Art, Nature, and the Expressive Body.” Read the OHC feature on Lucy here: http://ohc.uoregon.edu/SR_2014-Schultz.html.
According to a new report on philosophy department job placements from 2011-2014, the University of Oregon is one of 28 schools with a placement rate above 50% for tenure-track jobs and one of 45 schools with a placement rate above 50% for a combination of tenure-track, postdoctoral, VAP, and instructor jobs.
The report, by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, is posted on New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science: