Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics

July 14, 2024 - July 16, 2024
American Society for Aesthetics

Drury Plaza — 828 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe 88001
United States

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The 40th Annual Meetingof the Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics will take place at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 12–14, 2023.

Manuel Davenport Keynote Address:  Sandra Shapshay

Sandra Shapshay is a Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York (with appointments at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center). With Jonathan Gilmore, she is the co-editor of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. She obtained her PhD from Columbia University and taught at Indiana University Bloomington before coming to CUNY in 2019. Her research focuses on contemporary intersections of aesthetics and ethics—especially with respect to public commemorative artworks such as monuments and memorials as well as the aesthetic appreciation of nature--and is informed by 19th century philosophy (with focus on Schopenhauer and Kant). Recent publications include: “What is the Monumental?” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2021), “A Two-Tiered Theory of the Sublime” British Journal of Aesthetics (2021), “Kantian Approaches to Ethical Judgment of Art” in the Oxford Handbook of Art and Ethics, ed. James Harold (forthcoming).  Shapshay has also published widely in 19th c. German philosophy, for example, a recent monograph Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Ethics: Hope, Compassion, and Animal Welfare (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Michael Manson Artist Keynote Address: Reuben Ellis

Dr. Reuben Ellis’s academic career spans more than 35 years and has included teaching literature and writing courses—particularly creative writing and journalism—as well as courses in interdisciplinary studies and innovative field-based courses focusing on the relationship between literature and place. He joined the Woodbury faculty in 2010 as a member of the Writing Department and became Chair of the Department in 2013. He was named Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 2018. Dr. Ellis is a practicing scholar and creative writer. His books include Vertical Margins: Mountaineering and the Landscapes of Neo-Imperialism; Stories and Stone: Writing the Ancestral Pueblo Homeland; Beyond Borders: The Selected Essays of Mary Austin, a book of poems, Formula, as well as many published essays on literature and writing and works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Dr. Ellis enjoys spending time in the wild and open spaces of the American southwest. When he is not working with students and colleagues in the College, he can be found—or not found—somewhere past the last road.

Submission Guidelines (March 15, 2024 Deadline)

We welcome presentations in all fields and disciplines pertaining to the history, application, and appreciation of aesthetic understanding. We are always particularly interested in research involving interdisciplinary and intercultural approaches emphasizing the natural and cultural character of the American Southwest.

The conference will be organized into 1.5-hour sessions with each of three speakers allotted 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes for Q & A. The Division’s practice is to invite proposals in the form of abstracts for papers that speakers wish to present. The abstract must be no more than 250 words and offer a formal summary of the work to be presented. Panel proposals must consist of three papers and include each participant’s abstract.

Proposals must be submitted in Word or PDF format by March 15 to Ley David Elliette Cray ([email protected]). Although you need not be an ASA member to submit, everyone who presents at the conference must register and also be an ASA member in good standing.

Acknowledging the History and Heritage of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Our conference is annually held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a region still recognized as Oga Po’geh, meaning “White Shell Water Place,” by the people of Tatsúgeh Oweengeh (Tesuque Pueblo). This region was inhabited for thousands of years by the communities of the Northern and Southern Tewa, and it is richly described in the oral traditions of the Nambe Pueblo, the Diné, Cochiti, Tao, and Hopi Pueblos.

The area referred to as Santa Fe was occupied four centuries ago by the Spanish, and this occupation involved displacement of people indigenous to the region. This occupation brought immigrants from Spain, Mexico, Greece, and Portugal to this area, and resulted in the enslavement of (according to ecclesiastical records) Aa, Apache, Diné, Kiowa, Pawnee, Paiute, and Ute peoples. Many more enslaved people were simply recorded as “Mexican Indians.” 

As a conference, we acknowledge this indigenous and colonial history, and we pledge allyship to the peoples and traditions colonial practices have harmed and violently displaced. The Rocky Mountain Division of the American Society for Aesthetics will strive to perpetuate the stories of the indigenous people who call Santa Fe their ancestral home, and we see acknowledgement of these realities as a first step toward equity for these peoples.

Oga Po’geh Essay Prize

Because of our commitment to the traditions and history of Santa, Fe, we have a specific interest in the aesthetics of indigenous and Latinx communities geographically adjacent to our division. To this end, we are excited to announce the Oga Po’geh Essay Prize. We are interested in essays of 3000 words devoted to Latinx and/or Native American indigenous art practice and cultural thought. This prize is not merely devoted to traditions and peoples of the American Southwest, as our division extends into the Rocky Mountain region of Canada. Thus, we encourage submissions devoted to Canadian First Nation aesthetics as well. Essays may draw from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives, but they should advance and advocate for greater representation from these communities and to promote allyship and shared understanding, both within the academy and beyond.

Winners of this prize will receive a $500 award and their conference fee will be waived. The winner will be asked to read their essay in a special session of the program. Those who wish to apply for the prize must submit an abstract by March 15 and a complete essay by May 1 to Ley David Elliette Cray ([email protected]).

Graduate Student in Philosophy Essay Prizes 

The Center for Philosophical Studies (CPS) at Lamar University will again be offering its Best Graduate Student in Philosophy Essay Prizes, ranging from $125 to $175, depending on fiscal conditions for 2023. These prizes will be available only to graduate students officially pursuing an M.A. or Ph.D. in Philosophy. Dr. Arthur Stewart, CPS Director, and Professor James Mock, of the University of Central Oklahoma, will serve as referees.

Competition Procedure

Submit your abstract to Ley David Elliette Cray ([email protected]) by March 15. Upon acceptance to the program, contact Dr. ArthurStewart ([email protected]) and Professor James Mock ([email protected]) with your abstract, information about your degree aspirations and academic affiliations, and documentation of your official status in M.A. or Ph.D. programs in Philosophy. Finally, submit your completed essay to Drs. Stewart and Mock by May 1. The referees’ decisions will be announced by May 15.

Irene H. Chayes Travel Fund

The American Society for Aesthetics has provided the Division with an annual lump sum of $1000 to support travel to the meeting for persons with papers accepted for the program who have no other access to professional travel funds at their teaching institution(s) during the academic year.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible persons include faculty members, independent scholars, and students. You must be a member of ASA in good standing in the calendar year of the paper submission and presentation and you must register for the meeting. Finally, if you have some access to travel funds from your institution but prefer to use it for a different meeting, you are not eligible for a Chayes Travel Grant this year.

Application Procedure

Submit your abstract to Ley David Elliette Cray ([email protected]) by March 15. Upon acceptance to the program, contact Dr. ArthurStewart ([email protected]) and Professor James Mock ([email protected]) with a statement expressing your desire to be considered for a Chayes travel grant and an explanation of why you are eligible. The Division’s review committee, composed of Drs. Stewart and Mock, will make the final decisions on who receives a travel grant and for what amount by May 1.

Funding from the British Society of Aesthetics

The British Society of Aesthetics has a program that provides travel grants for full-time students and recent PhDs to present their work at an aesthetics meeting not sponsored by BSA. That includes all four ASA divisional meetings. If you are eligible for those funds, it will be possible to combine grants from both BSA and ASA Chayes funds for your travel. 

Fund-Raising Initiative

The RMASA is now raising additional funds to support travel for people who lack institutional support. Donations of any size, large or small, are most welcome! If you are interested in donating, you may do soonline at the ASA website.

Registration Fees

Regular Registration: $135 (early bird rate, up to one week prior to the conference; $5 surcharge for onsite registration)

Emeritus Faculty and Graduate Students: $75

To register for the conference, please go to:

Hotel Rates

The deadline for reserving hotel rooms is June 9th. The room rates (for single/double/quad) at the Drury Plaza Hotel for registered ASARMD conference attendees is $249/night.

The conference room rate will be extended for guests arriving/departing three days pre/post conference dates, based on availability.

We carefully studied options and surveyed our members, and the overwhelming majority preferred staying in Old Town Santa Fe, even with the increase in room rate compared to previous years (which remains discounted compared to the current public rate.)

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July 12, 2024, 8:00am MST

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