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07.05.2018 11:13 Alter: 20 days

Expanding the Canon


Call for Papers

Theme: Expanding the Canon
Subtitle: Transitions and Transformations in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
Type: International Workshop
Institution: Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz
Location: Gais (Italy)
Date: 1.–6.7.2018
Deadline: 20.5.2018



There has been much discussion in academia regarding the lack of
diversity and inclusiveness at Anglo-American and European
institutions of higher education. This problem is particularly dire
in the discipline of Philosophy, especially when compared with other
disciplines in the Humanities. At the same time, there is some reason
to believe that one reason for low retention and hiring rates of
underrepresented groups is the presence of certain biases in the
discipline – biases that may be shaped, in part, through the way the
history of philosophy in Western academia is conceptualized by
scholars and taught to students.

Indeed, much of what drives many intuitions and assessments about
what counts as “philosophical”, which philosophical figures,
traditions, and problems are “worth” discussing, and what constitutes
the “proper” way of doing philosophy has to do with the kinds of
philosophy one encounters and the historical philosophical narrative
with which one is typically presented in academic contexts.
Unfortunately, the traditional Western narrative both displays and
perpetuates strong implicit (and sometimes explicit) biases in terms
of gender, ethnicity, ability, geography, and religion, to name just
a few. It is a narrative divided into epochs that are themselves
often the result of a Western reframing in later periods.

The workshop, “Expanding the Canon: Transitions and Transformations
in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy”, to be held at Castle
Neuhaus (Gais, Italy) from July 1-6, 2018, aims to discuss ways of
expanding and revising the historical philosophical canon and the way
it is taught in the university. Scholars from other disciplines will
also be called upon to discuss how various forms of interdisciplinary
engagement may enrich the historical philosophical enterprise. Not
only does the medieval ambience of Castle Neuhaus, one of South
Tyrol’s oldest inhabited castles, present the perfect space for
discussions in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, its unique
history and intimate surroundings help create the atmosphere of both
a scholarly conclave and a safe academic space. Daytime sessions will
involve participant presentations on relevant topics, as well as
interdisciplinary approaches, while the evenings will be organized
into smaller roundtables and group brainstorming sessions, as well as
dramatic readings and other activities.

We invite abstracts of 300-500 words for presentations on topics
relevant to the workshop theme. Submissions from graduate students
and non-tenured scholars are especially welcome, and
works-in-progress are encouraged. Possible thematic areas include
(but are not limited to):

- Research on particular neglected figures/groups/movements/texts
- Geographic, cultural, and/or temporal (dis)continuity/fluidity
 between medieval and early modern ideas
- Meta-philosophical treatments of the (dis)value of comparative
 philosophy
- Critical discussions of the traditional epochal divisions in the
 history of philosophy
- Post-colonial critiques of approaches in/to the history of
 philosophy
- Didactic strategies for expanding the philosophical canon in
 university or school teaching
- The role of history of philosophy in creating a more
 diverse/open/just discipline
- Interdisciplinary approaches to the history of philosophy

Accepted speakers will be provided with full room and board
(including all meals) at Castle Neuhaus for the duration of the
workshop, as well as transportation between the airport/train station
and Castle Neuhaus. Limited travel stipends may be available. If
interested in applying for a travel stipend, please include an
additional short letter of motivation demonstrating your special
interest in the workshop and your financial need. Participants should
be prepared to be in attendance for the entire workshop.

Please submit abstracts, contact information (including institutional
affiliation, if applicable), and letters of motivation no later than
May 20, 2018, to: 
phil.odyssey@gmail.com

Decisions will be made by May 31.

Organizers:
Dr. Amber L. Griffioen (University of Konstanz)
Dr. Marius Backmann (University of Konstanz)

Conference website:
https://sites.google.com/view/ambergriffioen/events/expandthecanon