Coronavirus & Philosophy Department Events, Visits, Talks

A reader has asked I create a post that can serve as a place for people to share information about how the coronavirus is affecting events in philosophy departments, including visits from prospective graduate students, small workshops, and guest lectures.

Please share information in the comments about how your department is responding to the spread of the virus.

You can share information about your university’s policies and warnings here.

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Thomas Hofweber
Thomas Hofweber
3 years ago

UNC Chapel Hill has decided to cancel its prospective graduate student weekend in light of the coronavirus outbreak, the uncertainties that come with travel in the near future, and restrictions that the University has imposed on travel. We will hold videoconferencing events instead, including information sessions on our graduate program and one-on-one conversations with faculty and present graduate students. We also plan to reimburse prospective students for travel costs, up to the originally offered amount, that they have already incurred and can’t get back by canceling their trip now. Despite all this, you should still come to UNC!

– Thomas (Director of Graduate Admissions at UNC)

3 years ago

As Dr. Hofweber made clear, UNC’s cancelled their grad student visit weekend, and according to someone I know who’s been admitted this cycle at Harvard, they’re also cancelling their grad student visiting weekend. I’ve personally scheduled 3 different visits to other programs, and I’d really like to know sooner rather than later if they too are deciding to cancel their visit things. Obviously one of the big factors in cancellations of various events is making sure that people who’re paying to travel aren’t just going to lose their money. Hopefully schools who decide to cancel events will still be able to reimburse those they invite for travel for costs that those invited can’t recover.

Sophia Connell
3 years ago

It’s a strange situation, indeed. I am to give a talk in Rome at Sapienza University on March 16th. Although the US government advises not travel to Italy, the UK government is only advising not to travel to 10 towns in Northern Italy.
I am still not sure what I will do.
I have a feeling something will happen to prevent my even getting there — like cancelled flights or a stricter ban on travel.

Martin Lenz
3 years ago

In Groningen, we already had a few cancellations, mostly by individual speakers (from Italy and Moscow). Our university upadetes advice almost daily now. Restrictions are not too strict right now, but of course we don’t want to put people at risk either. So some of us are sitting on the fence, for instance with regard to a workshop scheduled for for 19-20 March.

Fingers crossed for everyone, not least for those having to travel or commute.

Rineke Verbrugge
3 years ago

Also in Groningen, we had to cancel our Grolog (Groningen logicians) seminar of 26 March because a workshop just after that in Amsterdam has been cancelled due to the virus. Our speaker’s plane ticket (from Italy) would have been paid by the workshop.

Christine Straehle
3 years ago

The University of Hamburg now prohibits any events with more than 110 participants, and encourages departments to evaluate ‘absolute necessity’ of events for 50-100 participants, where necessity is defined by teaching needs. We are also prohibited from professional travel to at risk countries.

3 years ago

Southern Society for Philosophy & Psychology’s annual conference this coming week was just cancelled (with the possibility of rescheduling).

Peter Finocchiaro
Peter Finocchiaro
3 years ago

Well, our department — Wuhan University — is doing the best that it can.

Our semester started a few weeks after the city-wide quarantine went into effect. We have been teaching all of our classes online, and are continuing to do so. Most of our semester activities (colloquia, etc.) have been cancelled. The summer conference that I was organizing — Explaining Philosophy 2020 — has also been cancelled.

It’s hard to predict what the effects will be moving forward. But we’ll not be able to do much beyond the bare essentials until we regain access to the city and the university.

Alexander Guerrero
3 years ago

Joint statement from some NJ/NY/CT area departments:

In response to the continued spread of COVID-19 and to help in the collective effort to slow the rate of its spread, we will not be holding in-person visits for admitted and wait-listed prospective PhD students. We are instead offering online, virtual opportunities for admitted and wait-listed students to meet with faculty and graduate students at our respective programs, aiming to provide prospective students as much information about our programs as we can while following the guidance of public health experts. (Details being arranged directly with each of our admitted and wait-listed students.)

With wishes of safety and good health to all,

Columbia Department of Philosophy
CUNY Department of Philosophy
NYU Department of Philosophy
Princeton Department of Philosophy
Rutgers Department of Philosophy
Yale Department of Philosophy

3 years ago

Johns Hopkins also cancelled on-campus visits for prospective graduate students. We are also covering expenses and arranging meetings on-line.