/ 2022 SIAP

2022 SIAP

  • Monday, Aug 8 — Saturday, Aug 13
  • University of Oregon Eugene, OR

The 2022 Summer Institute in American Philosophy

University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
August 8-13, 2022


The 2022 Summer Institute in American Philosophy is focused on the theme of “The Fate of Democracy.”

This year we will have three keynote speakers and a panel session with all three speakers. To bring a variety of perspectives to the issue we will hear from Steve Bullock, the former Governor and Attorney General of Montana; Lee McBride, the author of Ethics and Insurrection: A Pragmatism for the Oppressed; and John Kaag, the author of American Philosophy: A Love Story and co-author of Drone Warfare (War and Conflict in the Modern World). Each speaker will offer their perspective on the fate of democracy in response to current events. See brief biographies of all three speakers below.

We invite submissions—please see the below Call for Abstracts.

Submission Deadline: May 23, 2022

Plenary Sessions

Ramón Alvarado (University of Oregon) works on issues of epistemic injustice related to the development and deployment of data. The author of “Epistemic Opacity, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” a chapter in Big Data and the Democratic Process (ed. Kevin Macnish and Jai Galliot), he will present on “Data and Democracy”

Judith Green (Fordham University), the author of Deep Democracy: Community, Diversity, and Transformation, will present on “Deeping Democracy”

Anthony Neal (Mississippi State University) will lead a discussion of the works of Charles Mills (some of which include The Racial Contract; Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism; and From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism)

Jose-Antonio Orosco (Oregon State University) will build on his work in Star Trek’s Philosophy of Peace and Justice and present on “Democracy and Star Trek”;

Bailey Thomas (University of Louisville) will present on Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde.

Keynote Speakers

Steve Bullock majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) as an undergraduate and received his law degree from Columbia University. He worked in the private practice as a lawyer and was an adjunct instructor at George Washington University Law School before he was elected as Montana’s attorney general (2009-2013). In that role, he defended Montana’s ban on corporate campaign spending and challenged the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. He then served as Governor of Montana from 2013-2021. He was Chair of the National Governor’s Association, the Western Governor’s Association, and the Democratic Governor’s Association. As an elected politician he worked to protect public lands and combat the corrupting influence of dark money in politics. He continues to be active in these causes. In his December 2021 New York Times guest column “I Was the Governor of Montana. My Fellow Democrats, You Need to Get Out of the City More” he urged his fellow Democrats “to show up, listen, and respect voters in rural America by finding common ground instead of talking down to them.” He continued, “If we talk about — and work to address — the issues that people discuss around their kitchen table or at the fence line, the issues that fill endless hours of cable television become a hell of a lot less relevant. Our kitchen tables might look and feel different, but we need to learn to talk in a way that makes sense around everyone’s table.”

Dr. Lee A. McBride III is professor of philosophy at The College of Wooster (Ohio). McBride received his Ph.D. from Purdue University, where he studied under Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Leonard Harris, and Paul B. Thompson. McBride specializes in American philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of race. He is the author of Ethics and Insurrection: A Pragmatism for the Oppressed (Bloomsbury, 2021), the editor of A Philosophy of Struggle: The Leonard Harris Reader (Bloomsbury, 2020), and co-editor with Erin McKenna of Pragmatist Feminism and the Work of Charlene Haddock Seigfried (Bloomsbury, 2022). Beyond this, McBride has published articles on racism, anger, leftist politics, decolonial philosophy, and food ethics. His ongoing research project focuses on (i) the disavowal of values and norms that perpetuate oppression and misery and (ii) the imaginative and coalitional work of shaping a world with less subjection and less degradation. McBride attended his first Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (SAAP) conference in 2003 and has served SAAP in numerous roles, including: liaison to the APA Central, program committee member, program co-chair, board member, and nominating committee member. McBride currently sits on the program committee for the APA Eastern Division.

Dr. John Kaag is professor and chair of philosophy at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Kaag received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon where he studied with Scott Pratt and Mark Johnson, his B.A. from Penn State University, and his MPhil in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. He specializes in American philosophy and has written on a wide range of topics—from the origins of creativity in Thinking through the Imagination (Fordham, 2014), to the ethics of drone warfare in Drone Warfare (Polity, 2016), to the relationship between philosophy and memoir in his most recent books. He is author of American Philosophy: A Love Story (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016), which was named an NPR Best Book of 2016 and New York Times Editor’s Choice and received the John Dewey Prize from the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. His Hiking with Nietzsche (also an NPR Best Book) is the “dark” sequel to American Philosophy: A Love Story and is, among other things, an attempt to read Nietzsche’s iconoclasm into adulthood. His most recent book is a study of William James, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds—How William James Can Save Your Life (Princeton, 2020) focusing on James’s conception of healthy-mindedness, an attitude toward life that is open, active, and hopeful, but also realistic about its risks. In his co-authored work on ethics and war, Kaag considers democracy through a lens that is both pragmatic and international, writing that in the present world, “liberal democracies develop technologies that insulate their citizens from harm but in doing so they may undercut democracy itself; and our rhetoric about being free and being just may allow us to be anything but.”


Call for Abstracts
Submission Deadline: May 23, 2022

SIAP will be held on the campus of the University of Oregon on August 8-13, 2022.

This year’s theme is “The Fate of Democracy.” We invite submissions in any area of American Philosophy at SIAP. Presentations may either be traditional papers or may fit a variety of other presentation formats.

Submission Instructions: Please specify in your submission the type of presentation from the list below, according to instructions. Email your submissions to The subject line of your email should read: “SIAP 2022 Submission: [format type (e.g., Traditional Paper, Dissertation-In-Progress)]. Please include the complete text of your submission in the body of your email and do not include anything as an attachment. The submission deadline is May 23, 2022 with decisions to be made no later than June 1, 2022. If you absolutely need an earlier decision for the sake of securing institutional funding, please contact Sunshine Williams beforehand, and we will see what we can do.

Traditional Papers: Papers in all areas of American philosophy are welcome, but we will particularly favor papers whose topics are related to the themes of the plenary seminars and the work of our keynote speakers. Instructions: Please submit an abstract of 500 words describing the paper in detail. Final papers should be of a length suitable for a brief presentation of about 20 minutes.

Books-In-Progress: Those working on book manuscripts in some area of research pertinent to American philosophy are invited to discuss their idea with seminar participants. This includes fresh ideas for books just underway as well as books nearing completion, but does not extend to author-critics sessions on recently-published books. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word abstract describing your book manuscript, the content of your presentation, your ideas for the format of the presentation.

Dissertations-In-Progress: Graduate students preparing dissertation proposals, in the dissertation-writing phase, or approaching their dissertation defense are invited to present their work at special dissertations-in-progress sessions. This is a regular tradition at SIAP and one of the most exciting venues to showcase new work that is being developed in American Philosophy at various graduate programs across the country and internationally. Instructions: Please submit a 500-word abstract describing the content of your dissertation. We will work with you in advance of the session on general guidelines for preparing the presentation and what to expect. In addition, please note: we have a limited number of travel grants available to graduates at the conference who will be presenting, so please indicate if you would like to be considered for a travel grant which will cover the entire cost of housing as well as registration fees (leaving the remaining costs of travel to your home institution or other support). These grants are generously funded by the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.

Graduate Student Participation Grants—Applications due June 1, 2022

The 2022 Summer Institute in American Philosophy