“Risking Ourselves”: Philosophy and Medicine at FGCU

I had a blast presenting my recent research on the individualization of risk for the Philosophy and Medicine conference at Florida Gulf Coast University last weekend. I also was thrilled by the quality of student papers at the conference! It was fun and fulfilling to get to know new people in the region who are working on topics that matter to me from similar philosophical perspectives. Thanks to Kevin Aho for alerting me to the conference and inviting me to send a submission!

PhiloSOPHIA 2018 Panel: Tremain’s Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability

So excited to be part of the philoSOPHIA 2018 panel for Shelley Lynn Tremain’s fabulous book, Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability! I get the honor of introducing the book and kicking off the panel. While I am very disappointed I cannot be there in person, I’ll call in tomorrow and join the wonderful Shelley, Devonya Havis (Canisius College) and Lauren Guilmette (Florida Atlantic University) in a discussion of Shelley’s groundbreaking work.

Community Education Project Open House

To the Stetson University and DeLand community:

On February 16th, the Community Education Project (CEP) is hosting Open House for anyone interested in learning more about higher education in prison and potentially getting involved as a lecturer or volunteer.

CEP was established by Stetson professors in 2015 at Tomoka Correctional Institution located in Daytona, Florida with a mission to provide incarcerated people with high quality education. Since then we have been developing CEP with our incarcerated students with much success. Thanks to the support of all our lecturers and volunteers we were able to offer numerous college level courses, guest lectures, workshops and reading groups to incarcerated students. In addition, CEP students have also presented their intellectual work at the regional and national conferences.

During the Open House you will be able to learn about the opportunities to participate in the program and our future initiatives, meet the CEP students through their creative work, and much more.


CEP team

Co-Directors: Pamela Cappas-Toro, Andy Eisen, Melinda Hall, and Jelena Petrovic

Intern: Julie Varga

Call for Papers

Edited Volume

Philosophy of Disability: New Perspectives

(Rowman & Littlefield International)

Kelly Oliver (Vanderbilt University) and Melinda Hall (Stetson University) are very pleased to accept submissions for an edited volume entitled Philosophy of Disability: New Perspectives (Rowman & Littlefield International). The volume will track new developments in the philosophy of disability, emerging issues, and the crucial importance of centering disability concerns in philosophy and the academy.

Potential topics include: what is philosophy of disability? How does philosophy of disability intersect with queer theory, feminist philosophy, or other vital concerns tightly related to the oppression of disabled persons? What insights does a philosophy of disability offer in political contexts of austerity and neoliberalism? We are also very happy to consider fresh perspectives on a variety of topics to demonstrate new paths opened by the philosophy of disability.

We hope that you are interested in submitting to this exciting volume! If you would like to contribute, please submit a chapter of no more than 7,000 words by July 1, 2018 to mchall@stetson.edu.

Is the #MeToo Movement Ableist?

Shelley Tremain and I wrote a blog post about the ableism of the #MeToo Movement. Here is an excerpt:

“Indeed, the attention of the #MeToo Movement has been unevenly distributed—regarding both who can claim to be a victim and who can be framed as an offender. Gabrielle Union, a black movie star and writer, argues that white women are the primary beneficiaries of the #MeToo Movement, saying: “I think the floodgates have been opened for white women”.

Although the race and class implications of this uneven application have been apparent to some people, we cannot stop the conversation there. We must begin to talk about the insidious and implicit ableism of the movement. A routine Google News search reveals that the word “disability” appears in recent news stories about the #MeToo Movement, but almost always only as part of a list of identifiers which include race and class, almost never as a topic of conversation.”

Read the whole post.

The Bioethics of Enhancement, Reviewed

I was so thrilled to see my recent book, The Bioethics of Enhancement, reviewed in the Hastings Center Report by Joel Michael Reynolds. Check out the whole issue, including the review, “Being Better Bodies”.

Here’s an excerpt from the extremely thoughtful review:

“Claims that things will be better when we have progressed beyond our current embodied conditions are based on bad epistemology, bad psychology, and bad philosophy. Were such a future ever to come about, the jury is out on its meaning for human well-being. Those who say otherwise are engaged in sales, not science; publicity, not philosophy. By exposing such subterfuges, Hall’s work marks an opportunity for bioethics to reflect more rigorously about the values shaping the field’s and medicine’s aims—and the effects those values play in building or destroying a more just world. If Hall is right, we should focus less on being better bodies and more on simply being better” (Reynolds 2017, 47).

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Dr. Lydia Liu

As part of Phi Beta Kappa’s national Visiting Scholar Program, we are pleased to have with us next week Dr. Lydia Liu, who is a theorist of media and translation, professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, and a bilingual writer in Chinese and English.  Please join us for two events next week!

Public Lecture (cultural credit):

Topic:  Who Owns Great Ideas?

When:  Thursday, November 16 at 4:30 pm

Where:  Rinker Auditorium (LBC 108)

Abstract:  The struggle over moral ideas has been an essential part of international politics in the modern world but, unfortunately, this process remains poorly understood. Are there universally shared moral sentiments across civilizations? Is cultural relativism trustworthy? What does cultural relativism include or exclude? Take the notion of “human rights.” Is this a Western idea? In my lecture, I will open up some of these issues by revisiting the UN archives relating to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the immediate postwar years. I conclude by reflecting on the future of moral ideas in the increasingly multipolar world of the 21st century.

Deliberating About Things That Matter (cultural credit):

Topic:  The Jabberwocky Nonsense: The Place of Meaning in Translation

When:  Friday, November 17 at 11 am

Where:  Hand Art Center Classroom

Abstract:  What we call translation is long overshadowed by semantics that privileges words and overlooks script and medium. Whenever writing is present, one translates words and even syllables (transcription) but not the letters that are used to write those words. The problem of translatability (and untranslatability), therefore, is as much about the whereabouts of meaning in foreign words and in one’s own language as it is about the resolution of meaning between them. Alphabetical letters remain almost as opaque or unthought as any of the non-words we find in Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky verse. In my lecture, I will explore the disjuncture between word and letter, the relationship between letter and number, as well as the boundary of sense and nonsense in general, all of which have been brought into sharp focus by the conceptual and technological revolution in digital media.

We hope to see you next week!