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“Philosophy’s History, Today’s Challenges"

25th Annual University of Kentucky Philosophy Graduate Student Workshop

April 15, 2023

Keynote event with Dr. Gregory Fried and Mr. Derek Burrows of Mirror of Race

5:00 p.m., Taylor Education Auditorium, 597 S. Upper St., Lexington, KY


Keynote. This event will consist in a screening of Mr. Burrows’ 2016 documentary film, Before the Trees Was Strange, which tells a complex story of how his family experienced race and racism in the Bahamas and the United States.  The screening will be followed by a talk-back session, in which audience members are invited to share experiences and discuss meanings with a panel, including Mr. Burrows and Dr. Fried. The keynote event is made possible by the co-sponsorships of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, Peace Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Culture, &  International Studies Program at the University of Kentucky.

Mirror of Race is an archive of early American photography with interpretation that “serve[s] as an opportunity to reflect on what race means in the United States today—and what it can, should, and should not mean in the future.”  Dr. Gregory Fried is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College.  His most recent book is Towards a Polemical Ethics: Between Heidegger and Plato (2021), and he is co-editor of the New Heidegger Research book series at Rowman & Littlefield International.  Mr. Derek Burrows is a professional storyteller, musician, and educator.  In addition to performing all around the world, he has led workshops on cross-cultural understanding and conflict resolution.

Before the Tree Was Strange

Workshop. Prior to the keynote event, the University of Kentucky Philosophy Graduate Student Association will host its 25th Annual Graduate Student Workshop.  We invite graduate student paper or abstract submissions that use the philosophical tradition to address contemporary ethical and political challenges.  Our workshop intends to bring together a small group of graduate students interested in rigorously and creatively appropriating the history of philosophy to better understand pressing issues of our time.

Participants should expect to receive substantial and useful feedback on their projects, as well as provide such feedback to other participants.  Each participant will receive a time slot of 50 minutes: 15–20 minutes dedicated to a presentation of the material, followed by 30–35 minutes dedicated to questions and open, constructive discussion.  The workshop’s ethic is one of mutually supportive collaboration.  With that in mind, accepted submissions will be circulated before the workshop, the expectation being that participants read their colleagues’ work in advance to promote thoughtful, helpful discussion.

Free lodging will be offered to all participants.  A working lunch and a post-keynote dinner will be provided, as well.


Submit either

(1) a paper of approximate 3,000 words prepared for blind review, or

(2) an extended abstract of approximately 700 words prepared for blind review,

and a cover letter containing your name, institutional affiliation, email address, and submission’s title.  Please, email your submission, as either a Word document or PDF, to with the subject line “2023 Workshop Submission.”  Please, submit your paper or abstract by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.  Acceptance decisions will be announced by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.