Colloquium Series | Philosophy & Religion

Colloquium Series

With the COVID-19 pandemic still limiting our ability to connect with colleagues and fellow classmates in person, the PHIL 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.

Fall 2023 Schedule:

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.


Spring 2022 Schedule:

4/22/22 ~ Colloquium with Allen Thompson (Oregon State), 3-4 pm.

Please join us this Friday, April 22, at 3 pm for our last colloquium of the semester with Dr. Allen Thompson of Oregon State University in ENV 120 or Zoom.

Dr. Thompsom's primary areas of interest are environmental philosophy (including ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics), philosophical ethics, social and political philosophy, and practical reason. Recent publications have focused on forward-looking conceptions of human natural goodness and re-visioning our moral responsibility for managing ecosystems under conditions of global climate change.

He will join us this Earth Day 2022 for his talk here at UNT.

4/1/22 ~ Colloquium with David Kaplan: "What's Wrong with Disgusting Food?" ENV 120 or Zoom.

Psychologist Paul Rozin defines disgusting food as a particularly strong emotion, as "revulsion at the prospect of oral incorporation of an offensive object." These offensive objects are seen-as contaminants, which can make acceptable foods unacceptable by even brief contact (e.g., feces on your fork, or someone's spittle on your spoon). Disgust reactions reject foods perceived to be dangerous, inappropriate, defiled, and polluted. They are part cognitive, part affective. Yet, not everyone agrees on what foods are disgusting (insects for you, pork for me), or even finds them distasteful (mold makes blue cheese delicious!) I argue that disgust reactions are potent warning signs that something might be off about a food, and that maybe there are some things you should find unappetizing. Although the politics of disgust is usually reactionary and conservative, it is not necessarily so and it may be worth dabbling in.

3/26/22 ~ Colloquium with Leah Kalmanson: Exploring Jain perspectives on interfaith dialogue and religious pluralism. ENV 130.

Please join us for a colloquium exploring Jain perspectives on interfaith dialogue and religious pluralism. We are pleased to welcome three exciting voices in Jain studies and global-critical philosophy of religion, including Purushottama Bilimoria (University of Melbourne), Marie-Hélène Gorisse (Birmingham Centre for Philosophy of Religion), and Tim Knepper (Drake University). The event will feature talks by each speaker, followed by a roundtable discussion, and ample time for conversation with the audience.

We are currently planning to hold the colloquium in person on UNT's campus (ENV 130), along with a livestream accessible via Zoom. Updates and details will be posted here as available. Please reach out to Leah Kalmanson at with any questions. Doors open at 3:30pm.

3/4/22 ~ Colloquium with Leah Kalmanson: Beyond God and Gaia: Reclaiming the Locality of the Divine for Environmental Thought. ENV 120 and via Zoom.

Arguably, contemporary philosophy of religion lacks appropriate language for speaking of (or to) local gods. Monotheistic theologies would struggle to accommodate even the notion of a local divinity. Holistic spiritualities like perennialism, pantheism, or deism may seem more egalitarian at first but ultimately render local gods as various manifestations or avatars of a greater whole, thus reducing difference to sameness in the end. In this talk, I survey several South and East Asian traditions in search of better language for taking up the specificity and locality of divinity as a site of philosophical engagement. In turn, I hope this exercise in global-critical philosophy of religion has something to offer environmental thought to support its ongoing engagement with lands and places, Indigenous traditions, and more-than-human ecologies.

Please join us in ENV 120 or via Zoom at

2/25/22 ~ Colloquium with Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (USC Dornsife): Black Women at the Podium: The Ecstasy and Npoise of Kathleen Collins' Losing Ground, 3:30pm, via Zoom at

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Feminist Research atthe University of Southern California. Professor Jackson is the author of Becoming Human: Matter andMeaning in an Antiblack World: winner of the Harry Levin First Book Prize from the American ComparativeLiterature Association, the Gloria Anzaldúa Book Award from the National Women's Studies Association,the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Studies and is featured in Art Forum magazine's "Best of 2021" issue. Her research explores the literary and figurative aspects of Western philosophical and scientific discourseand investigates the engagement of African diasporic literature, film, and visual art with the historicalconcerns, knowledge claims, and rhetoric of Western science and philosophy.