CFP: Ted Chiang and Philosophy

Submission deadline: December 10, 2021

Conference date(s):
May 13, 2022 - May 14, 2022

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Union College
Schenectady, United States

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Union College, and the Philosophy Department at Union College, are pleased to call for applications for eight visiting scholars who will join author Ted Chiang May 13-14, 2022. Ted Chiang's work has won many awards, including four Hugo awards and four Nebula awards. His story "Story of Your Life" was the basis of the film Arrival (2016). His writing raises valuable questions about a variety of philosphical topics, including the metaphysics of time, aesthetics and the value of beauty, ethics of technology and AI, philosophy of math, and the philosophy of religion. 

Over the course of two days, workshop participants will discuss in seminar-style sessions the philosophical significance of Ted Chiang's writing, culminating in a two-hour Q+A with Ted Chiang. The seminar-style discussions will be open to the eight visiting scholars, Ted Chiang, and some Union College students. The Q+A will be open to the public.

A goal of this workshop is to put together a pitch to a publisher for a book, or a symposium of articles, entitled "Ted Chiang and Philosophy." People who attend the conference are encouraged to think about contributing. Participants will not be expected to produce a draft of a chapter or article before the workshop. The goal is for discussions and brainstorming to take place during the workshop, and for such writing to take place afterwards. Participants will be expected to have read Ted Chiang's "Stories of your Life" and "Exhalation" prior to the workshop. 

Those who are interested in being a visiting participant should submit an application to David Friedell ([email protected]) by December 10th, 2021. Please include a short (500 word maximum) description of your interest in both attending the workshop and contributing to the possible book or symposium project. If there are more applicants than can be accepted, priority may be given to some applicants based on the ideas they express for contributing to the possible book or symposium. Women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

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