WebsterPhilosophy

Why? Because ideas come to everyone!

(Be sure to check out the Call for Papers and Proposals.)


Do I have to be a philosophy major?

Nope. Ideas come to everyone, and sharing ideas is what this conference is all about. Students who are not majors or minors but who enjoy philosophical thinking in related disciplines, e.g. History, Sociology, Anthropology, Art, Psychology, International Human Rights, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Political Science, English, etc., are strongly encouraged to submit papers. Unsure about whether your work is philosophical? Feel free to reach out to: submit@websterphilosophyconference.com (and we’ll encourage you to submit your work, lol).

Why should I submit something?

  • It’s a great opportunity to share your ideas and get feedback in a supportive environment
  • It’s an impressive accomplishment to list on your resumé or C.V.
  • It looks great on graduate school, law school, or medical school applications
  • It can help you become a better writer and public speaker
  • It can help prepare you for talking to potential employers about your ideas
  • Be part of a community with other student philosophers
  • Free lunch

What’s expected in a philosophy paper?

This page has some helpful hints.

Your thesis should indicate your position, or what you plan to argue, not merely the general topic you plan to discuss.

Try to avoid asking a question in order to make a point. When you ask, for example, “Why could it not be the case that X?” you have not yet established that X is the case.

Throughout, or toward the end of your paper, consider, and then respond to, possible objections and alternatives to your argument.

For the sake of inclusivity, please use gender neutral language and situate yourself as an author. You are encouraged to use “I” in order to clarify what you believe and to convince your readers of your beliefs.

What’s expected in a non-paper submission?

Give us enough information to determine that it conveys ideas, will be accessible to the audience, can spark philosophical conversation.

Who will review my submission?

Submissions will be reviewed by undergraduate Webster University philosophy students.

What is a panel?

A panel presentation consists of a small group of people (typically 3-4) gathered to share a variety of perspectives on a topic. We will try to organize panels that allow the ideas of the contributing students to connect with one another whether as mutual support, antitheses, alternate perspectives, or interdisciplinary allies.

What is an individual presentation?

In an individual presentation, one speaker shares their topic and reasoning for about 20 minutes, followed by about 10 minutes of question and answer/discussion. We discourage literally reading aloud the paper that was submitted. (Even though that is common at professional philosophy conferences, it is painful for the audience.)

We aim to have a mix of panel and individual presentations at the in-person conference.

What is the conference setting like?

The conference aims to foster curiosity and to promote the exchange of ideas in a safe and supportive environment. We believe that ideas come to everyone!

Panels and presentations will be scheduled for the morning and afternoon. The “zine gallery,” if there are enough submissions, will probably be just before/during lunch.

The keynote will be after lunch, March 29, and will be given by Dr. Yolonda Wilson (Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics and Department of Philosophy, St. Louis University).

See above for information on panels and individual presentations.

What is the dress code?

Generally, attendees dress like they do at school daily. Presenters typically dress up a little, but are by no means required to satisfy anyone else’s expectations.

What are the guidelines for submissions and how do I submit something?

To be guaranteed consideration, proposals should be submitted no later than Tuesday, February 20, 2024 using this form: https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_emLUmUM20AxDQWy

Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font. Non-paper submissions should describe the work sufficiently for it to be understood and for the reviewers to be encouraged to include it in the conference day.

Papers can be on any philosophical topic and may have been submitted for a previous class assignment.

Submissions should be anonymous: the form will ask the applicant’s name and the title of the paper, but no names or identifying information should be included on the attached paper itself (please be sure your name is not listed in the header either).

Files should be uploaded in .pdf or.doc format (ideally).

Images from Conferences past:

Jess Holmes (then STLCC, now Webster) & Lonnie Helm (Webster, Class of 2022) 2022 Conference:

Jeremiah Wallace (Webster, Class of 2019), 2018 Conference:

2024 Keynote Speaker, Yolonda Wilson:

The Webster University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is now accepting papers and proposals for its conference to be held in person on March 29. Work submitted may be on any philosophical topic (broadly understood — see the FAQ for more). Works may be papers, artistic presentations, zines, or any other works of philosophy that you have authored.

(See also our Frequently Asked Questions.)

Most papers selected for presentation will be grouped into panels. Each panelist will offer a brief (five-minute) overview of their work, to be followed by discussion among the panelists and with the others in attendance. We also offer the option for your paper to be considered for an individual presentation (20 minutes plus 10 for discussion). If your work is a painting or involves some visual component then an image of it can be projected for the audience to view.

In addition to panels and presentations, the Conference will feature a “zine gallery” akin to poster presentations if there are enough zine submissions. Attendees will circulate around the conference venue to read and discuss participants’ zines (or receive copies).

On the submission form, please select the options in which you would be prepared to participate (panel, individual presentation, zine gallery).

Please prepare your paper for blind review: the author’s name and other identifying information should not be included in the paper. Instead, give your name and college affiliation in the body of the e-mail message you send to submit the paper for review. A brief abstract is helpful but not required. For artistic or creative works, please submit your work (or, if not possible, a description of it) and a brief explanation of the philosophy behind it. This description does not need to have the length or clarity of a philosophy paper, but it should clarify enough about what your work expresses to permit review.

As this is an undergraduate conference, no papers by Ph.D.’s or graduate students will be accepted. Papers received by 11:59 PM (CDT) on Tuesday, February 20 will be guaranteed consideration.

Submit your paper/proposal by filling out the form and uploading a file (any standard file type) at https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_emLUmUM20AxDQWy

For more information, please contact: Bruce Umbaugh, Professor of Philosophy bumbaugh@webster.edu

(For other conference information, go to the main page.)

When? Friday, March 24, 2023.

Where? Sunnen Lounge, University Center, 175 Edgar Rd., Webster Groves (parking in Lot H next to the building)

This year’s conference features the philosophical work of twenty students in three formats:

Panels (30 minutes per panel of two — five minutes or so per person at the start, discussion between the two presenters, and finally questions/discussion with the whole room)

Individual presentations (30 minutes each — 15-20 presentation, remainder Q&A/discussion)

Zine Gallery (concurrent sessions in which attendees circulate around the conference venue prior to and during lunch to read and discuss participants’ zines or other handouts with them)   9:00     Coffee and baked goods available

9:15     Presentation 1:

Brett Fabregas (Washington University in St. Louis), ”Two Kinds of Aesthetic Value”

9:45     Panel A:

Aidan Brown (Webster), “Rosa Luxemburg’s Defense of the Marxist Principle of the Socialist Party” Luke Adams (Webster), “Gen-Z Must R.I.S.E. To The Existential Crisis” (CW: suicide)

10:15   Panel B:

James Cameron Smith (Kentucky), “An Ethical Egoist's Guide to Fictional Worlds” (CW: rape and sexual violence) Karlee M. Colby (Northern Iowa), “Neglect of the Gloved Hand: How epistemic infringement highlights a need for legal attention on mental autonomy” (CW: sexual violence)

10:45 Presentation 2:

Shae Parsons (Webster), “Global Impacts of Psychedelic Tourism”

11:15 Zine Gallery opens Zines: • Valentin Davis (Webster), “valentine,” (chapbook)

Kieron Kessler (Webster), “An investigation into methods of mass incarceration in genocide”

  • Jess Holmes (Webster) “What We Really Want You to Know”

Kate McCracken (Webster), “The Illegitimacy and Impossibility of A Priori Knowledge”

• Luke Adams (Webster) . . .   11:30-12 noon Lunch (Bombay Food Junkies, all vegan), continue Zine Gallery

12:00 Keynote address

Karim Dharamsi (Mt. Royal University) “Diversity and Illusions of Pluralism in Liberal Education”

Abstract:

Colleges and universities profess commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and most see themselves as actively engaged in diversity projects. However, if colleges are enrolling diverse groups of students, but not changing what they experience in college or the outcomes they are meant to achieve, then they are not engaged in diversity projects. Rather, they are engaged in assimilation projects — akin to the residential schools for First Nations youth in Canada.

More specifically, classes and general education programs overwhelmingly make two assumptions: there is a coherent narrative from Mediterranean Antiquity through European Enlightenment to contemporary “post Enlightenment,” and there is an intractable conceptual border between the so called Non-Western and Western intellectual traditions. Together, these assumptions make significant barriers to professed DEI aims.

This presentation considers those assumptions and articulates the value in better aligning general education and the liberal arts and sciences with institutional commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

1:30 Presentation 3:

Maximus Amadeus Glamour (Webster), “Niceness as a Tool of Oppression”

2:00     Panel C:

Pat Clover (University of Missouri St. Louis), “Sports Stadiums: Taxes for the Win?” Jess Holmes (Webster), “Big Alcohol and The Government: An Anarchist Perspective”

2:30 Panel D:

Clarissa Emanuel (Saint Louis University), “One, Holy, Catholic Integral Human Person” Agatha Gutierrez (William Jewell College), “The Refutation of Protagoras in Theaetetus 169d-187a and its Implications for Relativism”

3:00 Presentation 4:

Eleanor Grissom (St. Louis Community College), “Utility, Imperatives, and Virtue: Exploring the Ethics of Voluntary Active Euthanasia”

3:30 Panel E:

Syare Burnett (STLCC, Florissant Valley), “Masculinity is a Trap” Alexander Goode (Webster), “Heterosexual MSM and the Maintenance of Hegemonic, Straight Masculinity”

4:00 Presentation 5:

Yessenia Rodriguez (Northern Iowa), “Epistemic Injustice: The Lack of Diversity in the Field of Philosophy and the Treatment  Many Minority Groups Face”

4:30  Panel F:

Maria Walls (Webster), “The Bio-Anthro Affiliation Approach to Ecological Crises”

Molly Austell (Jefferson College), “Love is A Chemical Change”

Conference concludes

5:30 Dinner for presenters and organizers

The conference will take place Friday, March 24, 2023 in the Sunnen Lounge on Webster University’s home campus in suburban St. Louis.

Call for Papers and Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Keynote Speaker, Karim Dharamsi, speaking on “Diversity and Illusions of Pluralism in Liberal Education” (more information coming soon)

Karim Dharamsi

For more information, please contact: Bruce Umbaugh, Professor of Philosophy bumbaugh@webster.edu

linktr.ee/websterphilosophydept/

Ideas come to everyone!

photos from recent years:

Jess Holmes (STLCC) & Lonnie Helm (Webster) 2022:

Lonni Helm presents at the 2022 conference

Alumni Elizabeth Stanza & Joy Kuhlo (2022): Alumni Elizabeth Stanza and Joy Kuhlo in the audience, 2022

Catherine Z. Elgin (Harvard), Keynote Speaker, 2019:2019 Keynote speaker, Catherine Z. Elgin (Harvard)

Jeremiah Wallace (Webster), 2018: Jeremiah Wallace presents on Buddhism and Psychology

Hafsa Mansour (Webster), 2018: Hafsa Mansoor on philosophy and human rights law

Student attendees, 2019 Conference

Students during a break in the action, 2019 Conference

Stephanie Rivera Berruz (Marquette), Keynote Speaker, 2022:

Professor Rivera Berruz (Marquette) takes questions

Elspeth Mikaelyn Furey (Webster), 2022: Elspeth Furey, "Philosophy of Dress," 2022

Frequently asked questions about submitting to the 2023 Webster Philosophy Conference

Why? Because ideas come to everyone!

(Be sure to check out the Call for Papers and Proposals.)


Do I have to be a philosophy major?

Nope. Ideas come to everyone, and sharing ideas is what this conference is all about. Students who are not majors or minors but who enjoy philosophical thinking in related disciplines, e.g. History, Sociology, Anthropology, Art, Psychology, International Human Rights, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Political Science, English, etc., are strongly encouraged to submit papers. Unsure about whether your work is philosophical? Feel free to reach out to: submit@websterphilosophyconference.com (and we’ll encourage you to submit your work, lol).

Why should I submit something?

  • It’s a great opportunity to share your ideas and get feedback in a supportive environment
  • It’s an impressive accomplishment to list on your resumé or C.V.
  • It looks great on graduate school, law school, or medical school applications
  • It can help you become a better writer and public speaker
  • It can help prepare you for talking to potential employers about your ideas
  • Free lunch

What’s expected in a philosophy paper?

This page has some helpful hints.

Your thesis should indicate your position, or what you plan to argue, not merely the general topic you plan to discuss.

Try to avoid asking a question in order to make a point. When you ask, for example, “Why could it not be the case that X?” you have not yet established that X is the case.

Throughout, or toward the end of your paper, consider, and then respond to, possible objections and alternatives to your argument.

For the sake of inclusivity, please use gender neutral language and situate yourself as an author. You are encouraged to use “I” in order to clarify what you believe and to convince your readers of your beliefs.

What’s expected in a non-paper submission?

Give us enough information to determine that it conveys ideas, will be accessible to the audience, can spark philosophical conversation.

Who will review my submission?

Submissions will be reviewed by undergraduate Webster University Philosophy students.

What is a panel?

A panel presentation consists of a small group of people (typically 3-4) gathered to share a variety of perspectives on a topic. We will try to organize panels that allow the ideas of the contributing students to connect with one another whether as mutual support, antitheses, alternate perspectives, or interdisciplinary allies.

What is an individual presentation?

In an individual presentation, one speaker shares their topic and reasoning for about 20 minutes, followed by about 10 minutes of question and answer/discussion. We discourage literally reading aloud the paper that was submitted. (Even though that is common at professional philosophy conferences, it is painful for the audience.)

We aim to have a mix of panel and individual presentations at the in-person conference.

What is the conference setting like?

The conference aims to foster curiosity and to promote the exchange of ideas in a safe and supportive environment. We believe that ideas come to everyone!

Panels and presentations will be scheduled for the morning and afternoon. The “zine gallery,” if there are enough submissions, will probably be just before/during lunch.

The keynote will be at noon, March 24, and will be given by Karim Dharamsi (Mt. Royal, Calgary, Alberta).

See above for information on panels and individual presentations.

What is the dress code?

Generally, attendees dress like they do at school daily. Presenters typically dress up a little but, but are by no means required to satisfy anyone else’s expectations.

What are the guidelines for submissions and how do I submit something?

Proposals should be submitted no later than Tuesday, February 14, 2023 using this form: https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIyvOhsKmYs6X78

Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font. Non-paper submissions should describe the work sufficiently for it to be understood and for the reviewers to be encouraged to include it in the conference day.

Papers can be on any philosophical topic and may have been submitted for a previous class assignment.

Submissions should be anonymous: the form will ask the applicant’s name and the title of the paper, but no names or identifying information should be included on the attached paper itself (please be sure your name is not listed in the header either).

Files should be uploaded in .pdf or.doc format (ideally).

2023 Call for Papers and Creative Work for the 17th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The Webster University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is now accepting papers and proposals for its conference to be held in person on March 24. Work submitted may be on any philosophical topic (broadly understood — see the FAQ for more). Works may be papers, posters, artistic presentations, zines, paintings, or any other works of philosophy that you have authored.

(See also our Frequently Asked Questions.)

Most papers selected for presentation will be grouped into panels. Each panelist will offer a brief (five-minute) overview of their work, to be followed by discussion among the panelists and with the others in attendance. We also offer the option for your paper to be considered for an individual presentation (20 minutes plus 10 for discussion). If your work is a painting or involves some visual component then an image of it can be projected for the audience to view.

In addition to panels and presentations, the Conference will feature a “zine gallery” akin to poster presentations if there are enough zine submissions. Attendees will circulate around the conference venue to read and discuss participants’ zines (or receive copies).

On the submission form, please select the options in which you would be prepared to participate.

Please prepare your paper for blind review: the author’s name and other identifying information should not be included in the paper. Instead, give your name and college affiliation in the body of the e-mail message you send to submit the paper for review. A brief abstract is helpful but not required. For artistic or creative works, please submit your work (or, if not possible, a description of it) and a brief explanation of the philosophy behind it. This description does not need to have the length or clarity of a philosophy paper, but it should clarify enough about what your work expresses to permit review.

As this is an undergraduate conference, no papers by Ph.D.’s or graduate students will be accepted. Papers received by 11:59 PM (CDT) on Tuesday, February 14 will be guaranteed consideration.

Submit your paper/proposal by filling out the form and uploading a file (any standard file type) at https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIyvOhsKmYs6X78

For more information, please contact: Bruce Umbaugh, Professor of Philosophy bumbaugh@webster.edu

[ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: What a great two days! Thanks to all who participated, including the presenters, those in the audience, and the PHIL 3000 Philosophy Proseminar students who helped to organize and run the Conference. See you next year on Friday, March 31 in Sunnen Lounge to do it again!]

Thursday, March 31 (virtual)

3:15 Jaymie Davis (Webster University), “Racism and schooling in regards to a inner racial divide“

3:45 Ashley Etter (The College of St. Scholastica), “Shame’s Moral Value”

4:15 Alexander J Hongs (Webster University), “Ethics Case Study: A Deontological Resolution to The Garment Industry’s Human Rights Abuses and The Global Apathy of the Financially Comfortable Towards the Poor”

4:45 Rob Gilbert (University of Minnesota), “Anxiety & Depression, Human Evolution, and Heidegger”

5:15 Philosophy Coalition virtual reception/hangout

Friday, April 1 (in Sunnen Lounge, University Center, Webster University)

9:45 Panel A

Natalie Nusz (Kansas State University), “Pascal’s Wager”

Julia Haralson (Webster University), “Freedom in Ritual: What the Neopagan Movement has to Offer Deconstructing Christians”

Carter Morris (Lindenwood University), “To Desire the Promise of Something Unimaginable: Caputoan Deconstruction and the Apocalypse of the Event”

10:30 Individual Presentation 1

Justin McCloud (University of Missouri, St. Louis), “The Gestalt Fallacy”

11:00 Individual Presentation 2

Noah Thomas Elbert (St. Louis University), “The Therapeutic Sense of Philosophy”

11:30 Lunch

12:00 Introductory remarks followed by

Keynote Address — Dr. Stephanie Rivera Berruz (Marquette University), “Rewriting the History of Philosophy: Perspectives from Caribbean Women Philosophers”

The presentation seeks to be a transversal; a point of contact, that explores how Luisa Capetillo (1879-1922, Puerto Rico), Ofelia Rodríguez Acosta (1902-1975, Cuba), and Evangelina Rodríguez (1879-1947, Dominican Republic) articulated racial, gendered, and sexually oriented notions of belonging in the face of the modernities assembled in the Hispanophone Caribbean at the turn of the 20th century; a pivotal time of colonial, imperial, and capital transformation. The project, drawing from my manuscript in progress, argues that each assembled intellectual systems that sought to make sense of the modern condition in the Caribbean by focusing on mechanisms of belonging at the intersections between gender, race, class, and sexuality. In order to appreciate their intellectual patchwork, I contend we must pay closer attention to their metaphysical commitments that shape how they understand the human and its relationship to nature in order to understand the role of women therein.

Break

1:40 Panel B

Ethan DeMunbrun (Webster), “Indoctrination and Education”

Valentin Davis (Webster), “The American Family Is Not (Can Not, and Should Not,) Be a Queer Family”

2:15 Individual Presentation 3

Joshua (Sky) Krakos (Webster), “Fossil Fuels: A Bad Economic and Environmental Plan: Looking at the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.C”

Break

3:00 Panel C

Tara Thompson (Webster), “Nominativism/Nominativity: Radical Empiricism, Pure Experience, and the Function of the Name”

Shae Parsons (Webster), “Disposability During the COVID Pandemic”

3:30 Panel D

Lonni Helm (Webster), “Bathsheba Rising”

Maria Walls (Webster), “Dostoyevsky’s “Underground Man” and Incel Culture: a Timeless Narrative of Male Sociopathy”

Jess Holmes (St. Louis Community College), “Gender’s Unseen Ramifications”

4:15 Individual Presentation 4

Elspeth Mikaelyn Furey (Webster), “The Philosophy of Dress: Philosophizing Fashion and Refashioning Philosophy”

Conference concludes.

Call for Papers: 2022 Webster University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The Webster University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is now accepting papers for its virtual conference to be held on March 31 (virtual) and April 1 (in person). Papers may be on any philosophical topic (broadly understood).

Papers selected for presentation will be grouped into panels. Each panelist will offer a brief (five-minute) overview of their work, to be followed by discussion among the panelists and with the others in attendance. If you would like your paper to be considered for an individual presentation (20 minutes plus 10 for discussion), please indicate that on the submission form.

Please prepare your paper for blind review: the author’s name and other identifying information should not be included in the paper. Instead, give your name and college affiliation in the body of the e-mail message you send to submit the paper for review. A brief abstract is helpful but not required.

As this is an undergraduate conference, no papers by Ph.D.’s or graduate students will be accepted. Papers received by 11:59 PM (CDT) on Wednesday, February 23 will be guaranteed consideration.

Submit your paper by filling out the form and uploading a file (any standard file type) at https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0D83z28g8UO3uiW

For more information, please contact: Bruce Umbaugh, Professor of Philosophy bumbaugh@webster.edu

Do I have to be a philosophy major?

Nope. Ideas come to everyone, and sharing ideas is what this conference is all about. Students who are not majors or minors but who enjoy philosophical thinking in related disciplines, e.g. History, Sociology, Anthropology, Art, Psychology, International Human Rights, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Political Science, English, etc., are strongly encouraged to submit papers. Unsure about whether your paper is philosophical? Feel free to reach out to: submit@websterphilosophyconference.com

Why should I submit a paper?

  • It’s a great opportunity to share your ideas and get feedback in a supportive environment
  • It’s an impressive accomplishment to list on your resumé or C.V.
  • It looks great on graduate school, law school, or medical school applications
  • It can help you become a better writer and public speaker
  • It can help prepare you for talking to potential employers about your ideas

What’s expected in a philosophy paper?

This page has some helpful hints.

  • Your thesis should indicate your position, or what you plan to argue, not merely the general topic you plan to discuss.
  • Try to avoid asking a question in order to make a point. When you ask, for example, “Why could it not be the case that X?” you have not yet established that X is the case.
  • Throughout, or toward the end of your paper, consider, and then respond to, possible objections and alternatives to your argument.
  • For the sake of inclusivity, please use gender neutral language and situate yourself as an author. You are encouraged to use “I” in order to clarify what you believe and to convince your readers of your beliefs.

Who will review my paper?

Submissions will be reviewed by undergraduate Webster University Philosophy students.

What is a panel?

A panel presentation consists of a small group of people (typically 3-4) gathered to share a variety of perspectives on a topic. We will try to organize panels that allow the ideas of the contributing students to connect with one another whether as mutual support, antitheses, alternate perspectives, or interdisciplinary allies.

What is an individual presentation?

In an individual presentation, one speaker shares their topic and reasoning for about 20 minutes, followed by about 10 minutes of question and answer/discussion. We discourage literally reading aloud the paper that was submitted. (Even though that is common at professional philosophy conferences, it is painful for the audience.)

We aim to have a mix of panel and individual presentations at the in-person conference. The virtual conference will have only panels.

What is the conference setting like?

  • The conference aims to foster curiosity and to promote the exchange of ideas in a safe and supportive environment
  • The conference will have a short, virtual session on Thursday afternoon, March 31 and a longer, in-person session on Friday, April 1.
  • The keynote will be at noon, April 1, and will be given by Stephanie Rivera Berruz (Marquette).
  • See above for information on panels and individual presentations

What are the guidelines for paper submissions?

  • Proposals should be submitted no later than Wednesday, February 23, 2022 using this form: https://webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0D83z28g8UO3uiW
  • Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font.
  • Papers can be on any philosophical topic and may have been submitted for a previous class assignment.
  • Submissions should be anonymous: the form will ask the applicant’s name and the title of the paper, but no names or identifying information should be included on the attached paper itself (please be sure your name is not listed in the header either)
  • Files should be uploaded in .pdf or.doc format (ideally)

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