Colloquium Series | Philosophy & Religion

Colloquium Series

The Philosophy speakers committee have organized a bi-monthly department colloquium. Every other Friday from 2pm-3pm, we will meet on Zoom to learn about and discuss a faculty member's or grad student's recently finished projects or works in progress. In addition, once a semester we will be hosting a lecture and conversation with an invited scholar from outside the department.

Our hope is that this colloquium might provide an opportunity to get valuable feedback on work at a time when many of us have lost the opportunity to do this through various canceled or postponed conferences, provide virtual space to connect when we are all so physically disparate, be inspired by, and support the work of department grad students, faculty, and invited speakers.

All Colloquia begin at 3pm unless specified below:

Spring 2024 Schedule:
1/26/24 ~MAP Read & Discuss (3pm-4pm)

2/8/24 ~MAP Trivia & Bingo with Philosophy Club (2pm-4pm)

2/16/24 ~Writing Group (3pm)

3/22/24 ~Writing Group (3pm)

3/29/24 ~Workshop on Field Philosophy w/Dr. Brggle. (ENV 225A)

4/12/24 ~Colloquium with Guest Lecturer Glen Miller (3pm-4pm in ENV 341)

4/19/24 ~Writing Group (3pm)

4/26/24 -Syllabus workshop w/Dr. Rowe (ENV 225A)

4/27/24 ~ Jain Studies Lecture "Intellectual Aparigraha and Democracy" by Dr. Anand Vaidya (San Jose State University and UCLA) followed by a response by Amit Jain of the Jain Society of North Texas. Please visit our event page to register and learn more:

Fall 2023 Schedule:
11/16/23 ~Jain Studies pedagogy workshop (ENV 110 @ 4:30pm):

11/10/23 ~Grad workshop: Syllabus prep with Dr. Rowe.
This workshop will focus on syllabus prep for the upcoming semester. TFs and all interested grad students are welcome to join. Details TBA.

10/13/23 ~Colloqium with Anna Kokareva (ENV 115): "Gender Stereotypes in Women's Stand-Up Comedy in Contemporary Russia."
Abstract: Even though I am not a huge fan of stand-up comedy, I found entertainment in watching women-only performances that gained some popularity in the early 2019-2020 in Russia. However, I realized that stand-up comedy narratives go beyond simple entertainment. As a feminist philosopher, I see the rhetorical potential in stand-up comedy to disrupt dominant social narratives, reinstating the power of marginalized groups. I see women's stand-up as a repository of lived experiences shared by performers with the audience on stage. In this research project, I am investigating how contemporary women stand-up comedians in Russia utilize this public space to talk about gender stereotypes. Ultimately, who and why should listen to them?

9/29/23 ~Writing Workshop

9/22/23 ~Colloquium with Lance Gracy (ENV 225): "Bonaventure, Buddhism, and Time."
In his Conferences on the Six Days of Creation, a series of "spiritual conferences" originally delivered to the Franciscan Convent of Cordeliers at the University of Paris in 1267, St. Bonaventure mentions "religion" explicitly at least three times. Each time he does, however, is highly significant, as each usage directly relates to a distinct context--that is, (i) interior self-examination, which includes recognition of one's interior defects, correction of the passions, ordering of thoughts, and the elevation of desire; (ii) political virtue, which from our contemporary perspective may be read as a call to return to the ancients and medievals; and (iii) time. When properly understood, all three comprise the meaning of "Bonaventurian religion."
Rather than articulate (i) and (ii) in this research presentation, I will provide a detailed overview of (iii). This is by no means an easy task. Bonaventure's view on time is immense, especially as it is deeply informed by various aspects of (i) and (ii)--such as semiotics and grace--while yet navigating around the sinkholes of radical apocalypticism, associated in Bonaventure's day mainly with Gerard of Borgo San Donnino, who himself took inspiration from the less-problematic, Joachim of Fiore, the Calabrian abbot. Moreover, Bonaventure's view on time has been subjected to serious debate in recent years. For example, Ratzinger's The Theology of History in Saint Bonaventure and Boulter's Repetition and Mythos: Ratzinger's Bonaventure and the Meaning of History both suggest that an "Aristotelian prejudice" opposed to diachronic views of history may have hampered an adequate appreciation of Bonaventurian religion and metaphysics.

The aim of this presentation, therefore, is to unpack Bonaventure's theory of time. In so doing, I draw comparisons with East Asian philosophies as well as attempt to extend Bonaventure's theory of time (and history) to environmental timelines. I ask a few questions, namely: "To what extent can the notion of 'history as first philosophy'--that is, the history of philosophy as synchronic and diachronic but not as devolving into historicism--represent environmental philosophy's contribution to human knowing?" Or else, "On the assumption that we cannot possess 'timeless knowledge' nor 'eternal knowledge' of future events, how then shall 'the wisdom of the everlasting'--to frame it along Bonaventurian-Plotinian lines--inform our approach to environmental policy?"

9/8/23 ~Chile Collaboration Reception & Research Publication Launch

9/1/23 ~Minorities and Philosophy launch party

Spring 2023 Schedule:

4/28/23 ~Colloquium with Pedro Brea (ENV 125): "The Birth of Energy from the Spirit of Revenge"

4/7/23 ~Colloquium with Bárbara Pimentel Cruz (ENV 120)

3/3/23 ~Colloquium with Bernardo Vargas (ENV120)
Please join us for the first spring colloquium with Bernardo Vargas, "When Eating Fruits and Vegetables Hurts: Viewing Mexican, Latinx, and Indigenous Farm Labor as Racial Extractivism."
When Eating Fruits and Vegetables Hurts: Viewing Mexican, Latinx, and Indigenous Farm Labor as Racial Extractivism.

Although significant consumption trends of plant-based diets continue to increase due to various environmental and health concerns, such as animal factory farming and its environmentally destructive nature, a moral problem often unaddressed in the general public discourse is the mistreatment and extractivist logics entangled with the farmworkers that harvest and pick our fruits and vegetables (Bartashus and Srinivasan, 2021). The US's population of farmworkers consists primarily of liminally situated documented and undocumented Latinx and Indigenous immigrants, of which Mexicans constitute the highest population group, who often inhabit low visibility due to fear of deportation and experience racialization as "illegals," further exacerbating their well-being and continuing the removal of Indigenous communities (Gold et al. 2022, 4). The reality is that the increase in our consumption of vegetables and fruits, even if well intended toward environmental and ethical concerns, propagates the extraction of labor from Mexican, Indigenous, and Latin-American immigrants, succumbing workers to low-pay and harsh working conditions. Thus, given the dynamics of race, capitalism, and coloniality, this paper aims to provide a more dynamic analytical lens beyond the concept of exploitation to truly elucidate the issues by shifting the analysis to an analytic of extractivism.