Engaging Philosophy: End of Summer Edition

Welcome back after summer, everyone! Plenty has happened since the last blog posting.

At the June convocation, Shannon Dea was given the Distinguished Teacher Award for her long record of pedagogical excellence. Depicted below, with University President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Shannon’s award is announced here: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/shannon-dea-recipient-distinguished-teacher-award-2018

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Shannon Dea being awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award by University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur, at Convocation, June 2018.

 

Shannon’s book, Thinking About Sex and Gender (Broadview, 2016) was reviewed both in Hypatia [http://hypatiareviews.org/content/beyond-binary-thinking-about-sex-and-gender] and The APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.apaonline.org/resource/collection/C29D5481-4D0D-4E09-81F3-8C5DC2148822/APANewslettersSpring2018.pdf. She also had an online publication: “Social Metaphysics and Normativity in Mara Marin’s Connected by Commitment.C4EJournal, 2018: https://c4ejournal.net/2018/03/13/shannon-dea-social-metaphysics-and-normativity-in-mara-marins-connected-by-commitment-2018-c4ej-1/. And she wrote a series of blog posts for Canadian Philosophical Association about academic freedom: https://www.acpcpa.ca/blogs.

 

We are very happy and proud to announce our newest PhD: in July, Andria Bianchi defended her dissertation on “Sex, Consent, and Dementia.” Her supervisor, Patricia Marino, reports: “After an excellent defense, there was some celebration at the grad house,” depicted below. Congratulations, Dr. Bianchi!

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Andria Bianchi, far right, celebrates the successful defense of her doctoral dissertation, July 2018, with supporters Chris (far left) and fellow graduate student Catherine Klausen (middle).

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Joining in the celebration were: second reader of Andria’s dissertation, Mathieu Doucet (middle); and fellow graduate students Chris Wass (left) and Phil Beriault (right).

 

Speaking of Patricia Marino, she is now the new Chair of the Philosophy Department, the first female Chair in its history. Yet in spite of all the work involved with taking that on, she reports an active summer on the research front as well: “Over the summer, I presented some work on ethics at the University of Helsinki in Finland, and some work on philosophy of economics at a large conference in Lyon, France, on the topic of norms and normativity.”  Furthermore, she was the keynote speaker at the University of Windsor’s graduate student philosophy conference, where she presented on “Science, Sex, and the Search for a ‘Female Viagra’.” She comments: “In addition to an excellent time all around, I also got to see two Waterloo philosophy alums! Paul Simard Smith, PhD Waterloo, who is now based at the University of Windsor, and Eric Bohner, MA Waterloo, who is now a PhD student at the University of Calgary, and was also speaking at the conference.”

 

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Patricia Marino (at left), the Department’s new Chair, visiting the University of Windsor and catching up with Waterloo PhD alum Paul Simard Smith (at right).

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Patricia (at right) at the same Windsor conference, where she was the keynote speaker, catching up with Waterloo M.A. alum Eric Bohner (at left).

 

Huge congratulations to Katy Fulfer for receiving an Insight Development Grant from SSHRC for a research project entitled: “From Rootlessness to Belonging: An Arendtian Critique of the Family as a Structure of Refugee Assimilation.” She is the Principal Investigator (PI), and will be working with a co-applicant/collaborator, Dr. Rita A. Gardiner, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at Western. Katy, pictured below, elucidates: “Our project applies Hannah Arendt’s critique of the family as a model for political inclusion as a way to think through welcoming refugees into Canadian political communities. We also draw on insights from feminist theory and refugee studies to enrich Arendt’s treatment of assimilation and identity.”

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Katy Fulfer was just awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for a project applying Hannah Arendt’s philosophy to current policy efforts at integrating refugees in Canada

 

Jaqueline Feke has been very busy this summer, especially considering she’s on sabbatical! In April, she gave a talk at Caltech, in lovely Pasadena, on “Re-examining the Distinction between Philosophy and the Mathematical Sciences in Greek Antiquity.” And in July, she flew to the Netherlands to deliver a lecture at Groningen on “Ptolemy in Nature.”  And she spent the whole month of May as a visiting scholar at l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, sending this shot of La Tour Eiffel:

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Eiffel Tower, courtesy of Jacqueline Feke, in France in May to deliver a prestigious lecture series.

 

While in France, Jackie gave a prestigious five-talk special lecture series on Ptolemy’s philosophy at both l’EHESS and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.  The website for the talks at l’EHESS: https://www.ehess.fr/fr/personne/jacqueline-feke. And for those at CNRS: https://sawerc.hypotheses.org/seminars/ptolemee-mai18. She’s spending her sabbatical as a visiting scholar at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology just down the road at the University of Toronto: http://hps.utoronto.ca/.

 

The Dept was lucky enough to host distinguished philosopher Jennifer Saul in late August. Dr. Saul, of the University of Sheffield in the UK, gave a stimulating, very timely lecture entitled: “Dogwhistles and Figleaves: Shifting Norms of Racist Discourse in the Trump Era.” A dog-whistle, in general, refers to political rhetoric intended to be heard, in a motivating way, only by an intended audience, while for others it may sound neutral or innocuous. Consider, e.g., “state rights” historically in America, which might either be a politically neutral, purely legal term to some, whereas for others signalling deep racial bias. And a fig-leaf would be one of many rhetorical and conceptual devices political actors use to partially cloak, or render softer, racially-charged beliefs, practices, and policies. Dr. Saul’s talk was peppered with many quotes ripped from today’s headlines, and elicited a spirited and appreciative response from a full-house audience. Her picture:

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Dr. Jennifer Saul, of the UK’s University of Sheffield, gave a stimulating and appreciated guest lecture at the Department in August.

 

Best wishes for a successful start to the Fall term, everyone.

 

 

 

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