Postcolonial theory is one of the most influential theoretical strands of our time and it has a profound impact on the study of various fields within Jewish Studies. Yet—with a few exceptions—its relevance for the study of Jewish thought has not been sufficiently addressed in scholarship. We would like to organize a panel around possible connections between Jewish thought and postcolonial theory for the upcoming AJS conference in Boston (December 2013).
The proposed panel will bring Jewish thought into dialogue with postcolonial theory: How does Jewish philosophy serve as the colonized other of general philosophy? What are the power-relations involved in different modes of dialogical thinking? To what extent do colonial fantasies, and critique of them, shape Jewish political theory? Can Jewish thinkers be considered as writing from a subaltern position? What is the meaning of debates on Jewish essence in a post-essentialist age?
We invite submissions that deal with these and other questions related to the theme. Please send 350 words abstract and a short biographical paragraph by April 21st to Yaniv Feller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Free Will: 2nd Annual Conference
We have an intuitive sense of ourselves as free agents, capable of effectively controlling ourselves and altering the external world. We typically view ourselves as the cause of our actions, our thoughts, and our decisions. Yet, what reasons do we have to believe that we are free, or that at any moment we have the capacity to be free? The more we learn from physics, neurosciences, biology, medicine and psychology about how we and the world operate, the more it seems there is no room for a genuinely free will.
The theme should be interpreted broadly. Proposal topics may include, but are not limited to (for others, please see the website):
- What is a free will—is it a capacity, a “trying,” a choice, a decision, or something else?
- Does having a free will give meaning to human life, to human existence, or can a human life be meaningful without believing in free will?
- Is a capacity for a free will the reason humans have moral agency (assuming they do—which is, itself, a questionable assumption)? If a human lacks the capacity to will freely, does she lack moral agency? lack moral worth? lack moral personhood?
- What are the social and cultural costs of assuming that moral culpability necessitates having free will?
- Can neurological studies of decision-making processes provide insight into the notion of free will–why or why not?
- Do all humans have free will at all moments of their life? What are the social, moral and/or legal implications if they do not? What policies do we have in place, or what policies should we have in place, to recognize and accommodate individuals with a temporarily or permanently diminished capacity to will freely?
- Assuming that there is free will, do children have free will? Is free will a capacity that develops slowly (matures)? If so, what exactly is the nature of a partially developed or incompletely developed capacity for free will?
Submissions of abstracts (not exceeding 800 words) are invited for presentation of papers (not exceeding 3000 words). Please email your abstract as a Word.doc prepared for anonymous review. Please include your full contact information in the email only, including institutional affiliation. We welcome proposals for panels; if you wish to submit a panel proposal, send all the abstracts of the panel participants and biographical information in one email and clearly indicate your preference for participating in a panel. All submissions, either for papers or for panel presentations should be of previously non-published work.
We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, the social sciences, critical studies (including gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, race studies, and critical legal theory…), law, education, linguistics, the neurosciences, and the pharmaceutical and medical sciences as well as other relevant disciplines and fields.
Hang out with philosophers at Tapastrie in downtown South Bend. There will be opportunity to purchase food and drinks.
The group will discuss “Petitionary Prayer: Wanting to Change the Mind of the Being who Knows Best” by Allison Krile Thornton.
Hang out with philosophers at The Exchange Whiskey Bar in downtown South Bend. There will be opportunity to purchase food and drinks. This will be the final Pub Night of the academic year.
No discussion group meeting due to the Hope & Optimism Workshop at Notre Dame.
The group will discuss a paper by Max Baker-Hytch. This will be the final discussion group meeting of the academic year.
This is a fun farewell event for the Center’s fellows and their family. We will gather in the Home Plate Suite for a casual buffet dinner and watch a South Bend Cubs baseball game.
Sponsor: Center for the Study of World Religions
Contact: Lexi Gewertz
Faculty, fellows, staff, graduating students, and their families are invited to attend the Commencement Tea at the Center for the Study of World Religions, hosted by Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology and director of the CSWR, and the CSWR staff. Tickets are not required.
Sponsor: Center for the Study of World Religions
Contact: Lexi Gewertz, 617.495.4476
The CSWR would like to welcome HDS faculty, staff, and students (of course including Summer Language Program students!) for our annual summer picnic! We will be having tasty BBQ and other delicious treats. If you do plan on coming, please consider RSVPing so that we can have an accurate number.
If you have any food allergies or limitations, please be sure RSVP so that we can provide food for you!