Raymond Boisvert, a leader of the new “convivialist” movement blending food with philosophy, gave a public talk at Green Mountain College on Thursday, September 22, at 4 p.m. in the East Room. The topic of his talk was “Convivialism Explored: How the Sick the Weak and the Parasitic Became new Paradigms for Philosophy and Evolution.” Raymond Boisvert received an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a Ph. D. from Emory University. A specialist in American philosophy, he has two books on John Dewey and many articles on Pragmatism.
Prof. Heather Keith (Philosophy) presented her paper "Pragmatist-Feminists Gone Wild: Addams, Noddings, and a Relational Approach to Environmental Ethics" at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in Spokane, Wash., March 10-12.
Prof. Steven Fesmire (Philosophy, Environmental Studies) presented his paper "Ecological Imagination in Moral Education, East and West" at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in Spokane, Wash., March 10-12. Fesmire also presented a paper as part of a panel discussion with Psychologist Roger Fouts, director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University.
Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) is one of 25 chief academic officers nationwide selected to participate in a seminar on "Leadership for the 21st Century for Chief Academic Officers" that will be held July 12–16 in Annapolis, Maryland. This highly competitive leadership development program is intended to foster the perspectives and skills of college and university chief academic officers that can lead to success in unpredictable times. The program is offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a national association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities, and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), which provides leadership identification and development programs across all sectors of public and private higher education.
This summer the journal Environmental Ethics will publish Prof. Steven Fesmire’s (Philosophy and Environmental Studies) article titled “Ecological Imagination.” Fesmire argues that ecological thinking is fundamentally imaginative, at least in the sense that it requires simulations and projections shaped by metaphors, images, narratives, and semantic frames. A fine-tuned ecological imagination, he says, is a capacity we already count on in our best environmental writers, educators, scientists, and policy analysts. His article explores the nature and function of imagination in deliberation; examines part of the conventional repertoire of English-language metaphors for conceiving ecosystemic interdependence; and contextualizes ecological imagination as a type of relational imagination.
“A Fulbrighter in Kyoto, Japan: Ecological Imagination, East and West” is the title for a faculty colloquium hosted by Prof. Steve Fesmire (Philosophy) April 7. It will be held from 12 – 1 p.m. in Terrace 124. This presentation explores some eastern and western intellectual resources for conceiving interrelatedness, briefly explains the notion of ecological imagination, then explores some aims for contemporary moral education if it is to contribute to greater environmental responsibility.
An article on Green Mountain College and Vermont by Prof. Steven Fesmire (Philosophy and Environmental Studies) was recently published in Japanese translation in the journal Human and Environmental Forum. The journal is published by Kyoto University's Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies. View the article here.
Steven Fesmire (Philosophy & Environmental Studies) recently presented a paper on "Ecological Imagination in Moral Education, East and West" at Beijing University of Foreign Studies in Beijing, China. The December 2009 conference explored intersections between the social and moral philosophies of John Dewey and Confucius. At the conference Fesmire was presented with the new 2009 Peking University Press translation of his book John Dewey and Moral Imagination. The book is part of a new American Philosophy Translation Series co-edited by Roger Ames (University of Hawai'i) and Larry Hickman (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale).
Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) was one of six education professionals to be featured in a discussion in the December 2009 issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record. The group talked about "why some professors are keeping sustainability out of their classrooms and how to bring all, or at least more, hands on deck." Paul Rowland, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, served as moderator for the discussion.
Prof. Steve Fesmire (Philosophy) served as a guest on the Vermont Public Radio show Vermont Edition November 18. He spoke with host Jane Lindholm and guest Joanne Bourbeau from the Humane Society on the topic of animal cruelty in light of the USDA closure of an organically certified slaughterhouse in Grand Isle, Vt. Steve teaches a course on animal ethics.
Green Mountain College will host Prof. Chae Young Kim of Sogang University, South Korea, from November 27 – December 1. On November 30, from 4-5:30 p.m., he will give a public presentation on the topic of "Korea's New Shamanism." During his stay he will also be visiting classes including Images of Natures, Asian Philosophies and World Religions. Prof. Chae Young Kim is among the most highly regarded religious scholars in South Korea today. He is a Christian pluralist deeply respected by Christians, Buddhists, and New Shamanists in Korea, and is the translator of William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience into Korean. He’s also well connected with Fulbright Korea, both as a host and a grant recipient.
Prof. Steve Fesmire (Philosophy) travels to Beijing in December to participate in an international conference at Beijing University of Foreign Studies that will kick off an eight-volume Chinese translation series with Peking University Press. Steve's book, John Dewey and Moral Imagination (Indiana University Press, 2003) is among the eight volumes selected for translation in the American Philosophy Translation Series. The translation will appear later this year, and the conference will include an “author meets translator” discussion as well as paper presentations on current research by the eight authors. The conference is funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
On October 29, GMC's world religions class hosts an interfaith dialogue titled "Hospitality: Uncovering Our Common Ground in Judaism, Christianity and Islam." The dialogue begins at 1 p.m. in the East Room. It features a panel of speakers including Rabbi Doug Weber, Imam Djafer Sebkhaoui and Father William Davidson, and concludes with a 45 minute question and answer period. The event is sponsored by the GMC Chaplain's office, the provost's office and the dean of the faculty.
Prof. Meriel Brooks (Biology) and Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) gave presentations at the International Conference on Human Ecology at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, June 29 – July 3. Throop further developed his research program on virtue ethics, extending it into the area of social sustainability. He chaired the sessions on philosophy and human ecology and presented “Strengthening Social Sustainability: The Role of Higher Education.”
A contingent of GMC faculty, staff and students hosted presentations and workshops during the Eighth Greening of the Campus Conference in Indianapolis Sept 20 - 23. The conference was co-sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) co-facilitated a workshop on greening the curriculum. Bill, who serves on the AASHE Board of Directors, will be helping to plan a national scale program to infuse sustainability throughout liberal arts and pre-professional programs.
President Paul Fonteyn, Provost Bill Throop, Sustainability Coordinator Amber Garrard and Communications Director Kevin Coburn collaborated on an article published this month in the Climate Neutral Campus Report, a publication and companion website produced by Kyoto Publishing in cooperation with Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The article charts GMC's 15-year focus on sustainability and highlights steps the College is taking to reach carbon neutrality by 2011.
From mosques and Jewish centers to Hindu temples, GMC students in two of Prof. Mary Jane Maxwell’s (history & religious studies) classes are learning about world religions through experience and ongoing dialogue. Recent field trips have taken them to places of worship in Albany and Rutland, and upcoming campus events promise to bring religious leaders to campus.
After a visit to the Al-Fatemah Islamic Center in Albany, students remarked that they were most impressed by the mosque’s openness, warmth, generosity, hospitality, and especially their overall message of peace. This is the second year that GMC students have traveled to Al-Fatemah and the newfound friendship has resulted in an exchange of speakers between the Albany Muslim community and GMC.
Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) published an article in the April 2009 issue of Currents, a monthly publication from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The article, titled “True Colors: Are your Campus Sustainability Efforts Deep Greening or Greenwashing?,” discusses how to integrate sustainability into the culture of an institution, and how to harness sustainability stories for fundraising and student recruiting.
Introducing sustainability concepts into environmentally focused courses can be accomplished easily enough, but how can colleges and universities weave sustainability into all academic subjects? This was one of the topics of a round-table discussion featured in the October 2008 issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Green Mountain College Provost Dr. William Throop (Philosophy) was one of five nationally recognized leaders who participated in the discussion moderated by Dr. Geoffrey Chase, dean of undergraduate studies at San Diego State University. Bill shared insights about the development of GMC’s ground breaking environmental liberal arts program. “We go through all of the different standard distribution areas in a liberal arts curriculum and find ways people can make their courses relevant to contemporary issues related to sustainability,” he said.
Provost Bill Throop (Philosophy) recently gave a presentation titled "Ecological Humility and Effective Leadership: A Meditation on Leadership in the Age of Climate Change" at the annual meeting of the Society for Human Ecology (SHE), where he serves on the board of directors. Recently, he also presented his paper, titled "Environmental Virtues and the Aims of Restoration," at a conference on “Human Flourishing and Restoration in the Age of Global Warming” at Clemson University.
Provost Bill Throop discusses how Green Mountain College weaves sustainability into the curriculum in an interview in the September edition of The Greentree Gazette.
The article, titled "The Leap from Carbon Footprint to College Curriculum," includes interviews with four higher education experts who are at the forefront of a "paradigm shift" away from "traditional information-heavy curricula" to one that highlights the "interconnectivity of environmental, economic and social issues." Throop discusses the College's ELA curriculum and the faculty's commitment to "interdisciplinary project-based programs."
Prof. Steven Fesmire (Philosophy) presented at the International Network of Philosophers of Education (INPE) conference, held August 9-12 at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan. His paper was titled “Ecological Imagination in Classical American Pragmatism and the Kyoto School of Philosophy.” This was a preliminary study for Fulbright-funded research which he will pursue at Kyoto University during spring and summer 2009. He aims in this research to help clarify, develop, and critique aims for environmentally-responsive citizenship education in the U.S. and Japan.
Provost Bill Throop has been appointed to the board of directors for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). His nomination was unanimously approved at an April 12-13 meeting in Lexington, KY. Bill will serve a two-year term ending December 31, 2010. AASHE is a member organization of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada working to create a sustainable future. Their mission is to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
Prof. Steven Fesmire's (Philosophy & Environmental Studies) book John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics (Indiana University Press, 2003) will appear soon in Chinese translation with Peking University Press, China's top university press. The book is being translated by Xu Peng, Visiting Fellow at the Institute for American Thought, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The 2007 Sophomore Symposium will kick off on Thursday, March 15 with a guest lecture by world-renown philosopher, Dr. Walter Sinott-Armstrong, in a talk entitled, “From Moral Philosophy to Moral Neuroscience: How Our Paradigm is Shifting” on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Gorge of Withey Hall. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is a Professor of Philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies at Dartmouth College. He has also served as Visiting Professor at The John's Hopkins University and Princeton University. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he is also author of several books, including Moral Dilemmas & Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic (with Robert J. Fogelin), as well as God? A Debate between a Christian & an Atheist (with William Lane Craig) and Moral Skepticisms.
Provost Bill Throop has announced that a new minor in Religious Studies has been approved by President Jack Brennan and will go into effect in the fall of 2007. The program will be directed by Prof. Heather Keith, who says this is an excellent step forward in meeting growing student demand for religious studies offerings. "Many students have requested either a major or a minor in religious studies in recent years," says Keith. "Our world is changing quickly and an understanding of world religions is essential to understanding human culture, politics, and values."
The new 18-credit minor has both cross-cultural and interdenominational strengths. College Chaplain, Shirley Oskamp, teaches very popular courses in World Religions and Stories of the Spirit. Both have an international focus and ask students to think about religious beliefs outside of the context of beliefs they might already hold. Prof. Roger Ireson teaches courses in the history of the Judeo-Christian tradition (including philosophies from Hebrew, Greek and early Christian traditions). And Keith teaches Asian Philosophies regularly, which surveys the major traditions of Asia.
Provost Bill Throop was invited to join a dozen environmental philosophers from around the nation for a two-day meeting (February 9 and 10) on "The Future of Environmental Philosophy." The University of North Texas, which offers the only Ph.D. in environmental philosophy in the country, hosted the meeting. Holmes Rolston, Baird Callicott, Bryan Norton and Dale Jamieson were among those who wrestled with questions about how to strengthen this relatively new field of philosophy and about which new directions for graduate education and research were warranted by our global environmental challenges.
The GMC philosophy club, Agora, and the philosophy department presented Dr. Randall Auxier in a special talk on Tuesday, February 6 in the campus Coffee House (lower level of Moses Hall). Auxier is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University and editor of Library of Living Philosophers. His article, “Killing Kenny: Our Daily Dose of Death” will be featured in the forthcoming book, South Park and Philosophy (2007 Open Court, Edited by Richard Hanley). The talk is free and open to all.
GMC’s Agora Philosophy Club traveled with twelve students and Professors Steve Fesmire and Heather Keith to Williams College recently to see a presentation by George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Democratic party chair Howard Dean, in his foreword to Lakoff's recent book, Don't Think of an Elephant!, credits Lakoff as “one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement.” Professor Lakoff hosted a discussion of American politics with the GMC group at the Williams Inn after his talk.