6th Annual Public Philosophy Network Conference

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George Mason University

Washington, D. C.
United States

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“Engagement, Policy, and Practice”


6th Public Philosophy Network Conference  

Convened Online and Hosted by George Mason University

October 21-23, 2021


Call for Workshops, Panels, and Lightning Talks


Submission Deadline March 31, 2021

The Public Philosophy Network (PPN) invites proposals for its sixth conference, with a theme of “Engagement, Policy, and Practice,” convened online by George Mason University, October 21-23, 2021. PPN invites proposals from people working outside and inside the academy whose work uses philosophy to seek socially valuable outcomes. 

Conference events include: 

●     Plenary Sessions: distinguished speakers on climate and the environment; bioethics and public health; technology and social justice 

●     Workshops:interactive, participatory, and highly collaborative sessions exploring diverse topics and forms of public philosophy  

●     Lightning Talks: 5-7 minute presentations on specific topics in public philosophy or examples of the practice of public philosophy

●     Organized Panelsdiscussion-based and conversational sessions of at least three speakers grouped around a shared theme in public philosophy 

●     Zoom Socials: fun, relatively informal facilitated social Zoom rooms

We invite proposals that cover topics related to understanding and advancing public philosophy, including those that: 

●      Demonstrate the value of philosophy to public policy

●     Initiate from an activist tradition and promote civic engagement

●     Expand the public forum for philosophy  

●     Engage a variety of publics through research or policy

●     Explore how increased remote, online activity due to COVID-19 has impacted public philosophy

●     Develop skills needed to engage in public philosophical work

●     Strategize about practical matters and best practices in public philosophy 

●     Construct and expand theoretical frameworks to aid the efficacy of public philosophy

●     Question the boundaries and roles of academic philosophy

●     Raise questions of how to define, evaluate, and measure the impact of public philosophy

●     Bridge classroom teaching and public philosophy activities

Submission Requirements

Submit proposals using the Google Form.  Please note that proposals must be prepared for anonymous review. 

Workshops. PPN Conference Workshops are 60 or 120 minutes, interactive, participatory, and highly collaborative sessions. The goals of these sessions are (1) to engage in skill building or information sharing related to a project in public philosophy, (2) to foster partnerships and projects, whether new or ongoing, and (3) where appropriate, to spark substantive dialogue between philosophers and practitioners (e.g., policymakers, government officials, grassroots activists, nonprofit leaders, teachers, etc.). Workshops will be limited to 20 participants. Workshop proposals focused on concrete outputs associated with the three session goals will be given preference. Creative and flexible formats are welcome. 

Workshop proposals should be no more than 500 words in length. The proposal should include a description of the workshop agenda and specify its concrete goals and outcomes. While not required, workshop proposals featuring two or more facilitators are preferred. The proposal should list relevant qualifications (i.e., training or experience with the subject matter) of each leader and specify the desired workshop length (60 or 120 minutes).  

“Lightning Talks”: Papers or Project Reports. PPN Conference Lightning Talks should focus on specific topics in public philosophy or reflect on the practice of public philosophy, broadly construed. These 5-7 minute tightly-organized talks can make particular arguments about issues of public importance, report on central questions relevant to public philosophy practice, or offer insights on specific public philosophy projects such as program design, participants, and relevant outcomes.  Accepted proposals will be grouped into conversation-focused sessions, facilitated by a moderator. We highly discourage reading of papers and prefer presentations in a conversational tone alongside, if desired, no more than three PowerPoint slides or other multimedia resources.

Lightning Talk Proposals should include the title and an abstract of no more than 300 words. 

Organized Panels. PPN Conference Panels are 90-minute sessions that group at least three speakers around a shared public philosophy theme, including (but not limited to) book sessions, philosophical issues in public philosophy, or policy problems and how philosophers have or may engage them. Panels should be discussion-based and conversational (i.e., not formal presentations of papers). Panelists may deliver short presentations (no more than 10 minutes each) that engage with each other around a central theme or area. Panels should provide substantial time for audience discussion.  

Panel Proposals should include the title (including the title of each individual presentation) and an abstract of no more than 300 words. 

Abstracts Due March 31, 2021. Please submit via Google Forms. Forms.  

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August 1, 2021, 5:00am EST

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