News and Events

Upcoming Events

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

August 22

2018 Student Ethics Symposium

April 17, 2018

2018 G. Lawrence Anderson Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

April 13, 2018

Ellie Anderson Lecture: "The Virtues and Dangers of Empathy"

April 13, 2018

Colloquium: Katharina Paxman, BYU, on Hume on the Minds of Women

April 5, 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

Happenings in Humanities: Jann Haworth, Mixed-Media Artist

February 27, 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

Happenings in Humanities: Ryan Trimble, Photographer

January 31, 2018

High School Ethics Bowl

January 27, 2018

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

January 18, 2018

Happenings in Humanities: Michael Berry, Image Framer

November 14, 2017

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

Happenings in Humanities: Gretchen Reynolds, Puppeteer & Performance Artist

October 10, 2017

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

October 5, 2017

2017 Ethics Awareness Week

September 26–29, 2017

A Conversation with bell hooks

September 20, 2017

Welcome To The Rubber Room: A New Film By Trent Harris

September 14, 2017

Ethics Across the Curriculum Faculty Summer Seminar: Ethics, Media, & the Public Good

May 9–12, 2017

Graduate School Q&A Session

April 24, 2017

Contours of Knowledge: An Interdisciplinary Conference

March 28, 2017

2017 Humanities Symposium

March 15–16, 2017

Maureen Eckert Lecture on Feminist Logic

March 14, 2017

2017 G. Lawrence Anderson UVU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

March 13, 2017

Globalism and You: The Crisis of Neoliberalism

March 7–9, 2017

Ramy Adly Lecture & Oud Performance

March 1, 2017

Colloquium: Eric Stencil, UVU, on Malebranche on Occasionalism

February 24, 2017

Graduate School Q&A Session

November 30, 2016

Interreligious Engagement in a Global Context

November 16, 2016

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

Visiting Scholar Seminar Series on Inclusivity: Engaged Learning in Philosophy

October 19 & 24, 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 and Bioethics

October 6–8, 2016

2016 Ethics Awareness Week

September 26–30, 2016

2016 J. Bonner Ritchie Dialogue on Peace & Justice Conference: Women, War, & PEACEbuilding

March 23–25, 2016

2016 Humanities Symposium

March 23–24, 2016

2016 G. Lawrence Anderson UVU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

March 2, 2016

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Moral Responsibility Conference

March 26–27, 2015


French & German Philosophy Reading Group

UVU SealAssistant 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:



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 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 second 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 G. Lawrence Anderson Undergraduate Philosophy Conference Call for Papers

Ellie AndersonUtah Valley University's annual G. Lawrence Anderson Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will be held April 13, 2018. This year's topic is: Empathy & Inequality, Present & Future. The submission deadline for abstracts is February 23, 2018. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Ellie Anderson, Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Pitzer College. Please submit!


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.

Laura Guerrero Fellowship

Laura GuerreroOur own Assistant Professor Laura Guerrero has been awarded a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies! The fellowship offers Buddhist studies scholars support for their research and writing by allowing for time free from teaching and other responsibilities. Dr. Guerrero will thus be taking leave for the next year to work on her book project. We'll miss her here at UVU but congratulate her on this well-deserved opportunity!

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!

Melvin Davila Martinez Presentations

Melvin Davila MartinezPhilosophy major Melvin Davila Martinez will be presenting his paper, "Dissolving Harrop's Semantic Paradox Concerning Moral Error Theory," at three upcoming conferences: the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, the 2017 SUU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Our Department is highly committed to fostering undergraduate research and engaged learning experiences, and we encourage everyone to attend the presentations. Congratulations, Melvin!

Call for Papers

We are happy to have two new calls for papers out for undergraduate students. The first is for our undergraduate philosophy journal, Sophia, with papers due February 3rd. The second is for the G. Lawrence Anderson UVU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, with papers due February 15th. Please submit!


Summit LogoSUMMIT—an NGO founded and directed by our department member, Dr. Michael Minch—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.

Welcome to Kindra Amott

The Philosophy & Humanities Department is pleased and excited to announce that Kindra Amott has joined us in the capacity of Academic Advisor, moving over from her former role as Advisor for the Department of Languages & Cultures. Having previously worked as an Administrator for our Department, she knows it inside and out, and is supremely qualified for and committed to ensuring the success of our students. Welcome back, Kindra!

Samuel Liang in Print

Remaking China's Great CitiesAssociate Professor Samuel Y. Liang's recent book, Remaking China's Great Citieshas 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:

Laura Guerrero Fellowship

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Laura Guerrero for being awarded a Presidential Fellowship for Faculty Research. This marks the second year in a row one of our faculty members has received the Fellowship, with Assistant Professor Eric Stencil being awarded in 2015.

Brian Birch Fellowship

Professor Brian Birch was recently named as the first fellow in the Marlin K. Jensen Scholar and Artist In Residence Program by The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah as part of its Mormon Studies initiative. The Jensen Program hosts prominent scholars with expertise in Mormon Studies or renowned artists who explore the relationship between faith and art in their work. Congratulations to Dr. Birch!

Elaine Englehardt in Print

Distinguished Professor Elaine Englehardt's paper "Ethics Across the Curriculum: Prospects for Broader (and Deeper) Teaching and Learning in Research and Engineering Ethics" was recently published in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics. The paper builds on her longstanding and excellent work with the Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) initiative here at UVU, which eventually precipitated not only EAC as a scholarly movement, but also the associated Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum.

Welcome to Thomas Bretz

The Philosophy & Humanities Department is delighted to announce that Dr. Thomas Bretz will be joining the faculty in Fall 2016 as Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Dr. Bretz works on Environmental Philosophy, Phenomenology, Feminist Theory, and Derrida. Welcome to UVU, Dr. Bretz!

2016 Ph.D. Placements

The Department of Philosophy & Humanities is pleased to announce that four of our graduates will be entering Ph.D. programs in the fall of 2016:

  • Kris McLain, BA 2016, will be entering the Philosophy Ph.D. program at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Jeffery Pannekoek, BA 2014, MA 2016 Colorado State University, will be entering the Philosophy Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee.
  • Jason Sayre, BA 2015, will be entering the Philosophy Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University.
  • Betty Stoneman, BA 2015, will be entering the Philosophy Ph.D. program at Emory University.

This reflects and bolsters our departmental record of placing our graduates into quality, nationally-ranked graduate programs. Congratulations Kris, Jeffery, Jason, and Betty!

Eric Stencil in Print

Congratulations to Associate Professor Eric Stencil, who has two papers forthcoming: “Malebranche on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Particular Volitions” (with Julie Walsh) in vol. 54, no. 2 (2016) of the Journal of the History of Philosophy; and "Arnauld, Power, and the Fallibility of Infallible Determination" (with Julie Walsh) in History of Philosophy Quarterly. These come on the heels of the recent publication of his paper “Possibility and Essence in the Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence” in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

Ethan Johnson Grant

Philosophy major Ethan Johnson has received an Undergraduate Research Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant to assist Professor Shannon Mussett with research for an upcoming book project. The grant was awarded by The Scholarly and Creative Activities Council at UVU, which works to guide, support, facilitate, and advocate for research and scholarly activities across campus. Congratulations, Ethan!

Cori Evensen Presentation

Philosophy major Cori Evensen will be presenting her paper “Defending Infinity” at the Second Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Southern Utah University on February 6th, 2016.