Monthly Archives: March 2019

March Update

On Friday, March 1st, graduate students from across UW’s Faculty of Arts convened for the annual Arts Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) heat. The event serves as a great opportunity for graduate students to share their research ideas with their peers and a rapt audience, perfect their ‘elevator pitch’, and convey the significance of their work. The Philosophy Department was very well-represented at this event!

Kathryn Morrison won the event, and will proceed to the university-wide finals on March 20th. She spoke on “The Right to Die for Mature Minors”. See this YouTube link for her full presentation:

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Kathryn Morrison speaks on “The Right to Die for Mature Minors” at UW Arts 3MT


Chris Wass spoke on “Exploring the Possibility of Professional Ethics for Economists”. See this YouTube link for his full presentation:

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Chris Wass speaks about “Exploring the Possibility of Professional Ethics for Economists” at UW’s Arts 3MT


On March 7-8, the Department was very happy to host the 26th annual Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA) conference. Over 10 stimulating formal presentations were delivered, from scholars across Canada, Europe, and the United States, including the keynote address by Dr. Molly Gardner of Bowling Green State University, who spoke on “Doing Harm, Allowing Harm and The Trolley Problem.”

molly gardner

Dr. Molly Gardner, of Bowling Green State University, spoke on “Doing Harm, Allowing Harm, and The Trolley Problem” at the 26th PGSA Conference


The week of February 4, Professor John Corvino from Wayne State University visited the Department as our latest Rudrick Visiting Scholar, during which time he gave several talks and met with students and colleagues. Professor Corvino is the author or co-author of several books, including Debating Same-Sex Marriage (with Maggie Gallagher; 2012), What’s Wrong with Homosexuality? (2013), and, most recently, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination (with Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, 2017), all from Oxford University Press.

john corvino

Dr. John Corvino, of Wayne State University, was the 2019 Rudrick Visiting Scholar

Dr. Corvino has appeared on CNN, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, CSPAN, and other TV and radio networks. Until 2011, his column “The Gay Moralist” ran weekly at; he has also contributed to The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Advocate, the Huffington PostThe New RepublicSlateSalon, and Commonweal, as well as various academic anthologies and journals.

Dr. Corvino is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2004 Spirit of Detroit Award from the Detroit City Council, a 2012 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Presidents’ Council of the State Universities of Michigan, and the 2017 inaugural Community Hero Award from Affirmations LGBTQ Community Center. In the last 25 years he has spoken at over 250 campuses on issues of sexuality, ethics, and marriage. His online videos have received over two million views. The Rudrick Visiting Scholar program honours the memory of Dr. Brian Rudrick, an alumnus and longtime friend of our Department, who died suddenly in 2013.

Brian F. Rudrick (2)


Dr. Shannon Dea was a panelist on 570News’s Friday Four show on February 8. Among other current affairs, she discussed changes to Ontario’s public health system, and the federal SNC Lavalin controversy.

Shannon continues: “On February 11, I published my latest Dispatches on Academic Freedom post in University Affairs: “Two kinds of academic freedom? Lessons from a scholar who fled Turkey” ( And: “On February 20, I gave the opening keynote at UW’s W3 Represents Symposium. “W3” stands for “Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays” – a monthly meet-up event for women and non-binary people on campus. I founded W3 in 2012, and passed on its leadership to successors in 2017. This interdisciplinary conference was the first such event for W3.” Finally, on March 1, Shannon took part in a panel on “Diverse Knowledge in the Academy” as part of University of Toronto’s “Thinking towards Action: 2019 Underrepresented Philosophy Conference.”


On February 20, Dr. Katy Fulfer gave a talk entitled “Hannah Arendt, Responsibility, and Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.” At the W3 Represents Research Symposium, mentioned above. This talk examined the structure of the Private Sponsorship program using Hannah Arendt’s distinction between the public and private realms as a lens of analysis.

Katy also participated in several events to mark International Women’s Day. On March 7 she participated in a panel on “White Feminism in Higher Education – Waterloo Context”, which provided a critical take on how white-centered perspectives are structurally embedded in curricula and other parts of university life.

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At the International Women’s Day event, back row (left to right): Dr. Katy Fulfer and Lori Campbell. Bottom row (left to right): Fiqir Worku; Craig Fortier; and Kim H. Nguyen

The Women’s Studies Program is a sponsor of the International Women’s Day Dinner, which this year featured a keynote speech by Dr. Anita Layton, the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and Medicine. Katy represented the program at the dinner:

katy fulfer


If anyone missed the official UWaterloo story about the launch of the new Gender & Social Justice program, which will replace Women’s Studies as of this coming September 2019, they can read it here.


Dr. Doreen Fraser reports that: “A steady stream of prospective students and their parents visited the Philosophy, and Gender and Social Justice, booths at the March Break Open House and packed Dr. Greg Andres’ sample lecture “Why we can’t we have nice things?” Thank you to volunteers Theo Peng, Abigail Willms, Chris Lowry and Greg Andres for helping to make the day a success.”


Dr. Chris Lowry, at left, and Abigail Willms, at the March Break Open House