Philosophy in the News
Second Annual Graduate Conference Brings Brison, Diverse Graduate Presenters to UT for Conversation on the Freedom of Speech
The 2019 PGSA @ UT Philosophy Conference was held at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee.
Ph.D. student and PGSA President, Tylor Cunningham
makes opening remarks at the conference. Jordan
Baker, a recent graduate of the UT Philosophy Ph.D.
program, looks on.
The Philosophy Graduate Student Association's second annual conference was a resounding success. This year's conference, "The Moral and Political Challenges of Speech" was held April 6-7, 2019 at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy on UT's campus. The event brought 11 graduate student speakers, as well as a renowned scholar on the freedom of expression to campus to discuss speech acts in all their philosophical complexity.
Talks on the first day of the conference ranged from moral frameworks for evaluation to conceptual analyses of silencing, to applied treatments of pornography and other forms of explicit speech. Saturday's program included presentations by graduate students Emily Mathias (South Carolina), Lisa Madura (Vanderbilt), Eric MacPhail (Vanderbilt), Laura Nicoarä (Southern California) and Kristen Beard (Toronto), herself an undergraduate alumnus of UT's Philosophy Department.
Ph.D. student and conference organizer, Alex Richardson, introduces Professor Susan Brison to a
full house in the Baker Center's Toyota Auditorium.
The conference's keynote address was delivered by Professor Susan J. Brison on Saturday Afternoon, in front of a full house at the Howard H. Baker Center's Toyota Auditorium. Brison is the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, and Professor of Philosophy at Dartmouth College, where she also teaches in the Program in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This year, she is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. An accomplished scholar and teacher, she has held visiting positions at Tufts University, and New York University, and has been a Mellon Fellow in the Program in Law, Philosophy, and Social Theory at New York University as well as an NEH-funded member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Philosopher Susan Brison of Dartmouth College (and Visiting Professor at Princeton this year) delivers the 2019 Keynote Address: "Free Speech, Social Meanings, and Narrative Selves."
Brison's address, "Free Speech, Social Meanings, and Narrative Selves, combined two lines of thought developed in her groundbreaking and celebrated work—the problem of gender-based violence and how it is related to the freedom of expression. In her talk, Brison outlined her groundbreaking account of the self as a socially constructed narrative, and discussed the extent to which hate speech and violence can disrupt that narrative. Afterward, she took questions and engaged in discussion with an audience of UT students (undergraduate, graduate, and professions), faculty, and community members.
Khasim Khorasanee, a Ph.D. student in Political Science at University College, London, asks a clarification question of presenters Elizabeth Muñoz Huber of Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks Museum and L.S. Wang of McGill University during a Q&A following their talk.
The conference continued on Sunday, with conversations about issues ranging from the age-old "marketplace of ideas" metaphor to speaker intention and the meanings of various kinds of speech acts themselves. Sunday's program included presentations by Adam Gibbons (Rutgers), Kasim Khorasanee (University College London), Isabelle Farineau (UT College of Law), Claire Becerra (Columbia University), Elizabeth Muñoz Huber (Dumbarton Oaks Museum, Harvard), and L.S. Wang (McGill).