• Humanities Major

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy & Humanities


Department Information

Office Contact:

Philosophy Office: CB 507

Humanities Office: CB 211H

Phone: 801-863-8352

Mailstop: 173


Advisor: Kindra Amott

Email:  kindra.amott@uvu.edu

For Appointments: 801-863-8352

Phone: 801-863-6717

Office: CB 506H


Department Chair: Leslie Simon

Associate Chair: Shannon Mussett

Humanities Director: Kim Abunuwara

Upcoming Events

Colloquium: Anne Peterson, University of Utah: Aristotle on Animals

OCTOBER 5, 2017 • 3–5 PM • Classroom building 510

The Sonosopher (Alex Caldiero)/Por Que No Records Showcase with The Nods

August 22 • 8 PM • Urban Lounge (241 s 500 e SLC, UT) • Free

Happenings in Humanities: Sarah Dawn Newell, Illustrator

september 19, 2018 • 7 PM • UVU Student Center 213 A&B

Shuja Haider & Leigh Johnson on Artificial Intelligence & the Uncanny Valley

september 20, 2018 • 2:30–4:30 PM • UVU Fulton Library Lakeview Room 428

Happenings in Humanities: David Brothers, Photographer & Filmmaker

october 17, 2018 • 7 PM • UVU STUDENT CENTER 206 A&B

Happenings in Humanities: Jake Buntjer, Artist

November 7, 2018 • 7 PM • UVU STUDENT CENTER 206 A&B



Past Events




The Sonosopher (Alex Caldiero)/Por Que No Records Showcase with The Nods


2018 G. Lawrence Anderson Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

APRIL 13, 2018

Symposium on Religious Pluralism & Democracy

MARCH 29–30, 2018

Happenings in Humanities: Natasha Hoffman, Filmmaker & Painter

MARCH 28, 2018

Ronald G. Knapp Lecture: Architecture Over Water

MARCH 13, 2018

Colloquium: Jonathan Neufeld, College of Charleston, on Art & Civil Disobedience

MARCH 8, 2018

2018 Humanities Symposium

FEBRUARY 21-22, 2018

Business Ethics & China Conference

FEBRUARY 15, 2018

Colloquium: Bill Martin, DePaul University, on Marxism & the Secular

FEBRUARY 9, 2018

High School Ethics Bowl

JANUARY 27, 2018

Seed, Shell, Ash: A Poetry Reading with David Allen Sullivan

January 18, 2018

Graduate School Q&A Session

NOVEMBER 10, 2017

Colloquium: Matthew Strohl, University of Montana, on Why Food Authenticity Matters

november 6, 2017

Sustainability Day

OCTOBER 25, 2017

A Conversation with bell hooks

SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Welcome to the Rubber Room: A New Film By Trent Harris

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017

Contours of Knowledge: An Interdisciplinary Conference

MARCH 28, 2017

Maureen Eckert Lecture: Feminist Logic

MARCH 14, 2017

Ramy Adly Lecture & Oud Performance

MARCH 1, 2017

Responding in Utah to the Global Refugee Crisis

NOVEMBER 12, 2016

2016 Society for Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy Conference

OCTOBER 20–22, 2016

The Task of Thinking: Heidegger, Wonder, & Philosophy

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Workshop on the Philosophy of Games

OCTOBER 14–15, 2016

Tani Barlow Lecture: Advertising China

OCTOBER 11, 2016

18th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum: Social Justice & Bioethics 

OCTOBER 6–8, 2016

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Moral Responsibility Conference

March 26–27, 2015



French & German Philosophy Reading Group

Phenomenology of PerceptionAssistant Professor of Philosophy Thomas Bretz will again be running informal French and German language philosophy reading groups this Fall 2018. Please contact him if you're interested in participating: tbretz@uvu.edu.

Faculty Excellence Awards

UVU SealThe Department of Philosophy & Humanities is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Shaw and our longtime adjunct professor Shannon Atkinson have both won Faculty Excellence Awards this year. The purpose of the Award, administered by UVU's Faculty Senate, is to recognize full-time and adjunct faculty who have made significant contributions to UVU's mission through demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In addition, Dr. Elaine Englehardt has been named the recipient of the Dean's Award for Service this year—yet another well-deserved honor for our Distinguished Professor of Ethics. Congratulations to Professors Shaw, Atkinson, and Englehardt!

Thi Nguyen in Print

Thi Nguyen ClimbingAssociate Professor of Philosophy C. Thi Nguyen has recently published multiple new pieces of writing. The first is "Cognitive Islands and Runaway Echo Chambers: Problems for Epistemic Dependence on Experts" in Synthese. The second is a pop essay on the aesthetics of rock climbing in Philosopher's Magazine, and is available to read for free online. The third is a survey on the philosophy of games for Philosophy Compass. You can also check out Dr. Nguyen's blog, Objectionable, for more great content and info about his work.

Business Ethics & China Conference

Tim StratfordRing in the Chinese New Year on February 15 at the Business Ethics & China Conference. The event will be held at 10 AM in the UVU Student Center 206C. The event will feature Tim Stratford, a businessman and policy expert from Bejing, China. It is free and open to the public. 

"Ethics and US-China Economic Relations," will be the theme of the event and the title of Mr. Stratford’s address. The conference will explore ways that fundamental differences in the two economic and political systems create different expectations in the ways the two countries ought to be conducting business with one another. Ethical problems can arise within the gaps in these systems.

Mr. Stratford will speak from 10–11:15 AM. From 11:30 AM–1 PM a panel discussion on “Ethical Business with China” will be held featuring Dr. Jingdong Liang, Dr. Sam Liang, Dr. Alex Yuan, Dr. Hong Pang and Dr. Leo Chan. They are professors at Utah Valley University with a variety of background interests in ethics, business and China. Their discussion with Tim Stratford will focus and practical and professional ethical differences between the countries.

2018 Humanities Symposium

2018 Humanities SymposiumThe Humanities Program at UVU is pleased to announce that the 2018 Humanities Symposium on "Literature, Art, and American Lives" will be held Februrary 21–22, and invites faculty from all departments to submit a presentation proposal for the event. We will be investigating narratives and other creative forms of representing lives of American individuals, in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, the visual arts, film, music, dance, performance, and theater, as well as in digital media and the internet.

UVU Ethics Bowl Team

2017 UVU Ethics Bowl TeamOn November 11th, the Utah Valley University Ethics Bowl Team, comprised of team members Rebecca Bair, Mallory Scott, Jhana Aristondo, and Jake Young, competed in an applied ethics tournament at Utah State University. In a field of ten teams from colleges and universities in the Wasatch Region, they earned one of two bids to the National Ethics Bowl tournament to be held in Chicago, Illinois in March of 2018. Congratulations to the team and to coach Dr. Jeffrey Nielsen—best of luck at Nationals!

bell hooks Residency

bell hooksUVU's Department of Philosophy and Humanities, in conjunction with the offices of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center for the Study of Ethics, and the Office of Student Affairs, will welcome award-winning cultural theorist, philosopher and social advocate bell hooks for a week-long residency September 18-21.

Hailed as one of the “100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life” by Utne Reader, hooks’ writings cover a broad range of topics incorporating issues on feminism, race, class, education, mass media, and engaged pedagogy.

hooks will engage the UVU community in “A Conversation with bell hooks” on Wednesday, September 20th at 12 p.m. in UVU’s Ragan Theater. The address is general admission seating and open to the public. There will be an extended question-and-answer session following her introductory remarks. For more information on hooks, her visit, and her history with UVU, please see our press release.

KC Hooker Presidential Internship

KC HookerWe are proud to announce that Philosophy major KC Hooker will be serving as the 2017-2018 Presidential Intern to UVU President Matthew S. Holland! The Presidential Internship program affords students the unique opportunity to build their resumés while working with the University's Cabinet members, engage in mentoring with leaders from around UVU, and network with various industries through internship excursions. The internships are paid and selection is highly competitive. Congratulations, KC!


Summit LogoSUMMIT: The Sustainable Mountain Development and Conflict Transformation Global Knowledge and Action Network is an NGO founded and directed by our department member, Dr. Michael Minch. SUMMIT has now officially launched and is building the world’s largest database regarding sustainable development and conflict transformation/peacebuilding. In addition, the SUMMIT Knowledge and Action Network is developing SUMMIT Research, Development, and Peacebuilding Centers (with associated projects) on the ground in West Africa, Haiti, the Balkans, and elsewhere. For more information, please visit the SUMMIT website.

Sam Liang in Print

Remaking China's Great CitiesAssociate Professor Samuel Y. Liang's recent book, Remaking China's Great Cities, has received attention in major media outlets in the past months. Articles published by CNN and The New York Times have both mentioned Dr. Liang's work. Be sure to check them out!

Spiraling the Spiral Jetty

As part of a core emphasis on engaged learning at UVU, Senior Artist in Residence Alex Caldiero, Lecturer Jorgen Hansen, and Honors Program Coordinator Tiffany Nez organized an outing to Robert Smithson's legendary earthwork, Spiral Jetty, and the Great Salt Lake as part of the Honors Ethics and Values, and Environmental Humanities courses. The students not only studied and engaged with the cultural and environmental significance of Spiral Jetty and the Great Salt Lake, but participated in a performance written and choreographed by Alex Caldiero, and produced as a film by Jordan Goodrich! Here is the finished product: