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College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of
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Rochester NY 14623-5604


Copyright ©2008–2011
Department of Philosophy,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Department of Philosophy

Last updated 14 April 2015

Coming Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Need a campus map?

Call for Papers

6th RIT Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

to be held at RIT

Friday 8 May 2015

  • Deadline for submission: 1 April 2015.
  • Papers (no longer than 3000 words) may be on any topic in philosophy.
  • Submit papers in MS Word format to Prof. Ryan Johnson,
  • Details on program, location and accommodations: TBA.
  • Questions? Contact Prof. Ryan Johnson,

Sponsored by
the Undergraduate Philosophy Club at RIT,
the Department of Philosophy,
the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics, and
the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Philosophy Club

Meets 4 PM Fridays
Location: TBA.

Topic for 17 April: TBA

Everyone welcome.

Contact Club President, Nathan Saint Ours:

Tuesday 28 April
3:30 pm
Campus Center Reading Room

Anne Schwan
(Edinburgh Napier University)

“Mediating Prisoners’ Voices:
Women, Class and Incarceration”

This talk reflects on some of the methodological challenges involved in conducting feminist recovery work, based on the research completed for my monograph Convict Voices: Women, Class, and Writing about Prison in Nineteenth-Century England (University of New Hampshire Press, 2014). It will focus on questions of privilege, cross-class relations and mediation in the process of creating a platform for prisoners’ voices, illustrated by short examples from early twentieth-century suffragette prison writing. The talk will briefly consider to what extent such an analysis can provide a template for examining contemporary representational strategies in the context of women’s imprisonment.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and
the Department of Criminal Justice

Thursday 30 April
3:30 pm
Eastman 2000

Michael Brown

“Public History and the Public Interest:
Teaching the Ethics of Telling the Past”

To whom or what are public historians responsible when they interpret the past for audiences outside the academy? In its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the National Council on Public History states that “ethical practice” among public historians “implies a responsibility to serve the public interest”. As teaching controversial cases in American public history brings home, however, both publics and their interests are plural and contested. Rather than settling debates about how we ought to tell the past, the invocation of the public interest is itself an occasion for debate about which publics historians are responsible to and under what circumstances. By entering such debates themselves, students present diverse ethical approaches to public history that, in a culture often characterized as galloping toward the future, point to the ongoing moral significance of the past.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Friday 8 May
Titles, times, and rooms: TBA

6th RIT Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy

Please consult the Call for Papers above.

Here is a PDF of the conference poster.

Friday 8 May
3:30 pm
Louise Slaughter, Rooms 2230 and 2240

RIT Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy Keynote Speaker


Karen Frost-Arnold
(Hobart & William Smith Colleges)

“Trust, Accountability, and Online Anonymity”

Wikipedia vandalism, Twitter pranks, and hoax blogs are now familiar features of our online lives. A common response to these perceived abuses maintains that mechanisms of accountability are necessary to ensure the epistemic value of internet communities. Some advocate for removing anonymity from online communication. Others demand more investigations into the real-world identities behind online personas. In this talk, I discuss some of the commonly overlooked pitfalls of such online accountability. I show that accountability mechanisms can damage communities’ ability to both disseminate true beliefs and weed out errors.

Sponsored in part by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

For further information on upcoming events, contact

Professor Tim Engström, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Office: Liberal Arts 3106
Phone: (585) 475-2457