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Call for Papers

Call for Papers

2019 Meeting of the

Wesleyan Philosophical Society

#MeToo, #BLM, #NeverAgain: Philosophy and the Politics of Culture Change


Location: Wesley Seminary, Washington DC

Conference Date: March 14, 2019

Proposals Due Date:  October 15th, 2018 


Keynote Speaker:  Brandon Hogan - Dr. Hogan currently serves as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Howard University, and has both teaching and research interest in social and political philosophy (legal punishment and racial justice among other areas).  He has a J.D. from Harvard Law,  and a PhD in philosophy from University of Pittsburgh.

Conference Theme:

Once the Owl of Minerva has spread her wings, the early 21st century might best be remembered by the digitization of politics. From hashtag activism to presidential policy - social media and the ubiquity of the internet have ushered in a new sort of democratization of political discourse. Yet, it remains to be seen whether this new digital politics will create a lasting systemic change in well-entrenched political systems or if it will amount to little more than the often-uninformed bickering of those on the outside of the structures of power. Philosophy, arguably, holds (at least) two roles: examination and advocacy.  Papers may consider the following or other related questions:

  • What is the proper role of political philosophy in relation to political action? How might one define the relationship(s) between political philosophy and politics? 
  • With ever-developing technology apparently shrinking the world and de-centralizing the centers of political power, what is the proper locus of political philosophy: the individual, society, nation-states, etc.?
  • Many change-movements use notions such as 'justice' and ‘human rights’ in argumentation. How do specific movements utilize these concepts? 
  • How do developing technologies help to shape civic engagement, interaction, power, and/or social awareness?
  • Historically, major social changes have often been accompanied by interpersonal violence. For some, calls for peace represent an entrenchment of the 'power-holding class'. For others, non-violence is an important foundation of any quest for social change. Either abstractly or specifically, what role can/should violence play in social and political change?
  • How does/can technology change the balance of political power?
  • What is the role of 'fake news' in the current socio-political climate (American or otherwise).
  • "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - Discuss
  • What is 'privilege' and to whom has it been granted? 
  • Define and discuss an important term such as 'freedom', 'politics', 'citizenship', 'justice', 'community', 'culture', 'personhood', 'citizen', etc. 


WPS Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Wesleyan Philosophical Society is excited to announce the continuation of the Outstanding Undergraduate Essay Award.   Two undergraduate students will receive this award, and each will be invited to present their work at the WPS conference. Each award winner will be given a $500 stipend, which will reimburse them for travel, lodging, and food expenses (conference registration is the student’s responsibility). Students should submit their papers for award consideration by Oct. 15.  Undergraduate students should a) use the official online submission form; b) send their full paper to the review coordinator (brint@snu.edu); and c) include within that paper a brief endorsement from a faculty scholar (e.g., their professor).

We will also consider submissions on any philosophical issue, with priority given to those dealing with the selected theme. Please submit proposals of 250-500 words using the official online submission form.  Authors may submit only one proposal. Each proposal will undergo a double-blind peer review process.  Please check the WPS website updates for hotel and meeting site information at: http://wps.snu.edu.