Mississippi University for Women will be the host for this year’s Mississippi Philosophical Association (MPA) Conference Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2.

“This is the first time The W will host the conference. The event is free to all students, faculty and staff at The W and to the Columbus community at large,” said Dr. Jill Drouillard, assistant professor of philosophy, affiliate faculty of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and vice president for MPA.

Keynote Speaker Travis Holloway

The two-day event will feature a variety of activities including panel discussions, presentations, a keynote speaker and a gallery opening, to name a few.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Philosophies of the Future.” The activities kick off at 9 a.m. Friday, March 1 in Cochran Hall.

The keynote speaker is Travis Holloway, a philosopher, poet and adjunct assistant professor at the Pratt Institute in New York. He also authored “How to Live at the End of the World: Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene.” His keynote address will be held at 3:45 p.m. Friday.

Following the address, at 5 p.m., there will be a wine reception in Summer Hall to open a gallery featuring Robert Leib, a philosopher and artist, with a gallery talk by the artist at 5:45 p.m.

The first day will end with dinner at J. Broussard’s at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday will once again begin in Cochran at 9 a.m.

“On Saturday, we will be partnering with philoSOPHIA: a society for continental feminism to hold a series of talks that deal with feminist philosophies of the future. Speakers will discuss gender and race dynamics in the South, gender biases in AI, trans rights, new directions in feminist theory and sexism on campus. We have decided to focus on feminist philosophies of the future to highlight The W’s historic mission of advancing women’s leadership and fighting gender inequality,” said Drouillard.

Saturday will also feature W students presenting their work.

“We will also hold an undergraduate student panel where W students Emily Perkins and Haylei Wilson will discuss oppression and otherness. These student papers will be included in the inaugural issue of ‘Medusa: An Undergraduate Journal of Feminist Philosophy,’ the nation’s first feminist philosophy journal for undergraduate students, housed at The W. Kudzai Munyavi, a recent graduate from the Masters in Women’s Leadership Program, will also give a presentation,” Drouillard said.

Though this is a regional conference with speakers from The W, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, Millsaps and University of Southern Mississippi, Drouillard said speakers from other institutions such as Georgia State, University of Western Ontario and Claremont McKenna College and more will have speakers attending.

Conference participants outside of The W community will have to pay a $30 registration fee. The deadline to register for the dinner on Friday has passed.

This conference is made possible with funding from the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy, the Department of Art and Design, The W Foundation and the MPA.


The purpose of the Mississippi Philosophical Association is to increase the understanding and appreciation of philosophy; to encourage research and advance the standards and ideals of the teaching of philosophy; and to cultivate an interest in the study of philosophy in Mississippi institutions of higher learning. Visit https://msphil.com/ to learn more.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.