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Mississippi Philosophical Association Conference.

Mississippi University for Women is proud to announce its inaugural hosting of the Mississippi Philosophical Association (MPA) Conference. The event will take place on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, 2024.

The MPA Conference will offer an array of enriching activities, including panel discussions, presentations, a captivating keynote speaker, and an inspiring gallery opening. The theme for this year's conference, "Philosophies of the Future," promises to ignite thought-provoking discussions and spark innovative ideas.

This event is not just for academics; it is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and the Columbus community to engage in meaningful dialogue and explore the endless possibilities of philosophy.


Keynote Travis Holloway

Travis Holloway, M.F.A., Ph.D., is Adjunct Associate Professor at Pratt Institute, a poet, and a former Goldwater Fellow in Creative Writing at NYU. He is the 2023-2024 recipient of Pratt’s Research Recognition Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Institute. Prof. Holloway is the author of How to Live at the End of the World: Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene (Stanford, 2022); co-translator of three books and several articles by the French political philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, including Corpus III (Fordham, 2023), The Possibility of a World (Fordham, 2017), and What’s These Worlds Coming To? (Fordham, 2014); and co-author of Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America (OR Books, 2011). He is currently working on two subsequent monographs: How to Perform a Democracy; and How to Assemble with All the Living. He is also editing a special issue of Philosophy Today on philosophy in a new era of climate change.

Holloway grew up queer and working-class in a rural factory town affected by free trade and globalization. A first-generation college student, he completed his graduate studies in philosophy on a Fulbright dissertation fellowship and a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Fellowship at the Universität Freiburg in Germany, and as a visiting researcher at the Sorbonne and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. Separately and during this time, Holloway earned an MFA in creative writing (poetry) at NYU, where he studied with the poets Anne Carson, Yusef Komunyakaa, John Ashbery, Charles Simic, and Marie Howe. His unpublished poetry manuscript, It Was Up to Us, was a finalist for two national poetry awards.

Holloway has held positions or taught at Vassar College, NYU, the Pratt Institute, SUNY Farmingdale, and SUNY Stony Brook. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the DAAD, the Andrew Mellon foundation, and the Max Kade Institute. His most recent work has been published in Italy, Turkey, the UK, Columbia, Canada, the Czech Republic, and the U.S. His primary interests include contemporary Continental philosophy, social and political philosophy, environmental philosophy, aesthetics, and queer theory. Some of his recent articles include “The Meaning of Climate Change: Dipesh Chakrabarty with Travis Holloway” (Philosophy Today, Forthcoming 2024), “Weather” (The Philosopher, Special Issue on the Planet, 2022), “Philosophy at the End of the World: For a Counterhistory of Human Beings in the Anthropocene” (The Philosopher, 2020), “A Strategy for a Democratic Future” (Tropos, 2019), “Neoliberalism and the Future of Democracy” (Philosophy Today, 2018), and “How to Perform a Democracy” (Epoché, 2017).

Conference Schedule

All sessions are hosted on the Mississippi University for Women campus, 1100 College Street, Columbus, MS 39701. Here’s a campus map: https://www.muw.edu/campusmap/

Friday, March 1st (Cochran Hall, MUW Campus)

9:00am—9:15am   Coffee/Pastries and Welcome Remarks

9:15am—10:05am   Panel: Nietzschean Philosophies of the Future

“The Struggle for Integrity: Nietzsche on the Philosophy of the Future,” Bridget Berdit, Georgia State University

“Are Nietzsche’s ‘Philosophers of the Future’ Eudaimonists?” Ian Dunkle, University of Southern Mississippi


 “Futures as Collective Organization,” Ryan Adams, University of Memphis

10:45am—11:35am   Panel: Democratic Dissent and Totalitarian Policies

“Reviving Paul Churchland’s ‘glorious’ human future guided by science—and reconsidering it in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic,” John Bickle, Mississippi State University

“The Fragility-Necessity Paradox of Democratic Systems,” Cameron Farvin, University of Southern Mississippi

11:35am—1:00pm   LUNCH


“Cat’s Search for Meaning,” Julia Kraus, University of Mississippi

1:40pm—2:30pm   Panel: Justifications for Our Existence…Or Not

“Human Existence and the Universe’s Justification,” Austin McGrath, Mississippi State University

“Against the Value of the Future as a Counter to the Rationality of Suicide,” Christian Sandoval, Georgia State University

2:35pm— 3:25pm   Panel: Facing the Future: Epistemic and Historical Responsibility

“Resisting the Funnel of Misbelief,” Layla Williams, University of Oklahoma

“Facing the Future as Part of Historical Responsibility,” Steven Smith, Millsaps College

3:45pm—5:00pm   Keynote Address: Travis Holloway, Pratt Institute

5:00pm—7:00pm   Wine Reception in Summer Hall Galleries, MUW Campus

Featuring Philosopher/Artist Robert Leib Gallery Talk @ 5:45pm

7:30pm   Dinner at J. Broussard’s, 210 5th St. S., Columbus, MS 39701          

Saturday, March 2nd (Cochran Hall, MUW Campus)

~We’ve partnered with philoSOPHIA: a society for continental feminism for the second day of the conference~

9:00am – 9:15am Coffee/Pastries


“From Emerson to Arendt: Towards a Feminist Account of Self-Reliance,” Sasha Simon, University of Western Ontario


“’White Fraternities’: Smothering Near and Far,” William Moix, University of Arkansas


“Call Me Bettcher’s Bulldog: How Sincere Self-Identity Can Ground Trans Rights,” Payden Alder, Georgia State University

11:15am— 11:50am

“What is Especially Concerning about AI: Evolving Biases and Alleviation of Concern,” Yunqing Han, Claremont McKenna College

11:50am—1:15pm   LUNCH

1:20pm—1:55pm   Graduate Student Prize Winner

“Fluid Futurities: Nietzschean Forgetting in Genealogy of Morality and Marquis Bey’s Black Feminist Abolition,” Sarah Lee, University of Memphis

2:00pm—2:40pm   Undergraduate Panel: Oppression and Otherness

“Commonplace Sexism in Society,” Emily Perkins, Mississippi University for Women

“The Other—Woman,” Haylei Wilson, Mississippi University for Women

2:45pm— 3:20pm

“Fanon and Colorblindness: A Guiding of the Future,” Kristin Brown Golden, Millsaps College

3:25pm— 4:00pm

“Queer Futures and the effects of structural-heteropatriarchy, religion, and coloniality in Zimbabwe,” Kudzai Munyavi, Mississippi University for Women

4:30pm   Pizza & Beer @ Munson & Brothers, 301 2nd Ave. N., Columbus, MS 39701

Historic Painter Hall

The Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy is located in Painter Hall. Constructed in 1922, Painter is on the National Register of Historic Places and is listed as a Mississippi Landmark. The hallowed halls of Painter are the very same Pulitzer-Prize wining author and alumna Eudora Welty walked as a student. The historic building is also home to our sister humanities department History, Political Sciences, and Geography.

Front view of Painter Hall