CFP: Living in Quarantine

Submission deadline: January 24, 2021

Conference date(s):
March 12, 2021 - March 14, 2021

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This event is online

Conference Venue:

The UMSL Philosopher's Forum, University of Missouri St. Louis
Saint Louis, United States

Topic areas


The University of Missouri – St. Louis Philosophers’ Forum invites submissions from current graduate students (or those who have graduated during the 2020 Fall/Winter semester) that explore the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and social-distancing recommendations on individuals, institutions, and theories of epistemic and moral obligation. Broader philosophical engagement of other instances of social isolation or pandemics/epidemics/medical quarantines other than COVID-19 are also welcome. Papers on this theme from all variety of philosophical perspectives are welcome. Particular questions of interest include:

·       What are the effects of social isolation on cognition, reasoning, productivity, and/or emotional well-being? Given those effects, should students, employees, and employers be held to different standards than those in place pre-pandemic?

·       What are the effects of medical misinformation presented in authoritative formats? How can individuals protect themselves and others from misinformation and unwarranted conspiracy theories concerning research on COVID-19, viruses, and pandemics more generally?

·       How should individuals prioritize the economic, relational, and bioethical obligations that they have in the midst of a global pandemic? How should individuals, collectives, and governing bodies respond to conflicts between those obligations?

·       What kinds of knowledge and virtues ought to be prioritized in future policies designed to address pandemic situations?

·       Has the inability to interact with others in-person resulted in increased political polarization and/or disagreement in online mediums?

·       In what ways has this pandemic specifically affected members of marginalized groups? How should the difficulties afflicting members of minority groups be equitably addressed?

·       Does boredom cause overall positive, negative, or neutral effects on individuals? Are there morally relevant differences between chronic/persistent boredom, and more temporarily boring circumstances?

·       How should individuals value online relationships? Do relationships developed entirely online have the same value as those developed in-person?

Accepted papers will be presented in a live, online format with an opportunity for comments and Q&A in a manner that will be determined once we assess the number of accepted submissions. We do ask participants to attend other presenters’ sessions and contribute feedback/questions.

 To apply, please submit:

1) A paper prepared for anonymous review, not exceeding 3500 words in length.

2) A separate cover sheet including name, institutional affiliation, contact information, paper title, word count, and an abstract of no more than 300 words to Michael Tofte ( by January 24, 2021. Acceptances will be announced beginning February 15, 2021 and no later than February 22, 2021.

Those interested in attending the conference in a different capacity (as a commentator or as an attendee) should contact Michael Tofte ( or visit our website for registration information.

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