Keynote Addresses by Melvin Rogers

“American Philosophy in Black”

Melvin L. Rogers is the Scott Waugh Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at UCLA. He is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008; 2012 [pb]), as well as editor and contributor to John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (Pennslyania State University Press, 2012-2016), and John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (Ohio University Press, 2016).

His research interests are in political philosophy, with a focus in democratic theory, American and African-American political thought, classical and contemporary pragmatism (especially the philosophy of John Dewey), and issues in religion, race, and politics.  The title of his keynote addresses is “American Philosophy in Black.”

Rogers will deliver two keynote addresses at SIAP 2017. Please see the schedule for details.

Changes for 2017 Summer Institute

Please note some important changes to this year’s Summer Institute.  We have a new lodging site this year if you plan on staying in the Dorms on Campus.  We will be in the Global Scholars Hall which is just behind the Knight Law School with a very short walk to the events.  We also have a new way to register.  This year you will register online for both the institute and lodging (in the dorms) and pay with a credit card.  No more sending in a check or money order!  IMPORTANT NOTE:  ON-SITE REGISTRATION WILL BE $300 FOR TENURE TRACK FACULTY, $180 FOR CONTINGENT FACULTY, AND $80 FOR STUDENTS SO PLEASE REGISTER AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE!Please check out the accommodations page for more information regarding the Global Scholars Hall and other nearby lodging options.

Summer Institute Overview

The Summer Institute in American Philosophy is designed for faculty members, advanced graduate, and postdoctoral students in philosophy and related disciplines interested in research and study of Pragmatist and American philosophy. This year, the institute will again be held at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon July 10 – 15, 2017.  The program is centered around discussion-intensive plenary panels concerning central problems, figures, and themes in the tradition. These are led by a panel of distinguished experts and spans multiple sessions over two or three days.  In addition, Our keynote speaker this year will be Melvin Rogers, author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality and the Ethos of Democracy.  This year’s plenary sessions include some devoted to key figures such as William James, Vine Deloria Jr., Gloria Anzaldua, and W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as sessions on teaching figures such as John Dewey, Jane Addams, Josiah Royce, Charles Peirce, and Richard Rorty in a wide variety of philosophy classes.

The program includes time away from campus to visit the Oregon coast, hike in the nearby Cascade mountains, or enjoy a tasting at Willamette Valley wineries. Participants typically gather each night at nearby restaurants and pubs to continue the day’s discussions. Housing is available at local inns as well as (at a very affordable rate) in one of the University of Oregon residence halls.

Plenary sessions on key figures (subject to change):

Mariana Alessandri and Alex Stehn (both at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) will present on the work of Gloria Anzaldúa.  Alessandri focuses on existentialist thinkers, who express their ideas through philosophy, literature, and poetry as well as issues concerning borders: physical, linguistic, mental, psychological, and existential. Stehn focuses on U.S.-American and Latin American Philosophies, especially as they illuminate problems in Ethics, Social & Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion.  Click here to access readings for the Anzaldúa session.


Harvey Cormier (Stony Brook University) will present on the work of William James. Cormier’s research interests include pragmatic ethics; animal rights; justifications for affirmative action; realistic, idealistic, and pragmatic theories of truth; “Black philosophy” and arguments for the reality of “race” and against individualism; Cornel West’s “prophetic pragmatism.”  He is the author of The Truth is What Works: William James, Pragmatism, and the Seed of Death.


Amir Jaima (Texas A&M University) will present on the work of W.E.B. Du Bois. Jaima’s research interests include Aesthetics and Africana Philosophy. Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, and Continental Philosophy. He is also a novelist and has a number of working “literary” projects that both inform and are inspired by his philosophical work. Click here to access readings for the Du Bois session.


Scott L. Pratt and Leilani Sabzalian (both at the University of Oregon) will present on the work of Vine Deloria Jr..  Pratt’s research interests include American philosophy, African American philosopy, and Native American philosophy, with specific interest in the work of John Dewey, Vine Deloria Jr., William James, Josiah Royce, Jane Addams, C. S. Peirce, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Sabzalian is a Postdoctoral Scholar of Indigenous Education at the University of Oregon. Her research examines the ways K-12 schools reproduce colonial discourses through educational policy and practice. Click here to access readings for the Deloria Readings.

Plenary sessions on teaching key figures (subject to change):

Kim Garchar (Kent State University) will present on teaching the work of Josiah Royce.  Garchar’s work focuses on ethical theory, clinical ethics, and American pragmatist philosophy.  One of her key papers is titled “Sin, Sorrow and Suffering: A Roycean Response to These Deeper Tragedies of Life.”


Maurice Hamington (Portland State University) will present on teaching the work of Jane Addams. Hamington’s work endeavors to provoke a different way of thinking about ethics by integrating feminist care theory, American pragmatism, and philosophies of embodiment.  He has written extensively about care ethics.  His books include The Social Philosophy of Jane Addams and Embodied Care.  He was also editor of Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams and co-editor of Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism.  Click here to access readings for the Jane Addams session.

Gregory Pappas (Texas A& M University) will present on teaching the work of John Dewey. Pappas works within the American Pragmatist and Latin American traditions in ethics and social-political philosophy. His most recent publication is Pragmatism in the Americas, a work on the philosophical connections between American Pragmatism and Latin American Philosophy. He is also the author of John Dewey’s Ethics: Democracy as Experience.


Michael Raposa (Lehigh University) will present on teaching the work of Charles Peirce.  Raposa’s research interests fall within the areas of modern western religious thought and the philosophy of religion. His books include Peirce’s Philosophy of Religion and Meditation and the Martial Arts. He is working on a book entitled Theosemiotic, an application of Peirce’s semiotic theory to certain issues in philosophical theology.

 Chris Voparil (Union Institute & University) will present on teaching the work of Richard Rorty.  Voparil’s work bridges debates in philosophy     and political theory around questions of democratic theory, ethics, social justice, and marginalized voices, using the American pragmatist   tradition.  He is the author of Richard Rorty: Politics and Vision, and co-editor of The Rorty Reader and Pragmatism and Justice.  Click here to access readings for the Rorty session.

The Summer Institute in American Philosophy at the University of Oregon in 2017 is made possible by generous sponsorship from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon,  Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, The William W. Knight Law Center (Jim Horstrup), Oregon Humanities Center, UO Center for the Study of Women in Society, UO Division of Equity and Inclusion, UO Department of Ethnic Studies & the Native American Studies Program, and UO Political Science.