New APA Grant Winners

The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of its latest round of grants.

A Diversity and Inclusiveness grant of $20,000 was awarded to the “Pluralizing Philosophical Languages and Cultures in the South Texas Borderlands” program. The grant for the program was written by Chris Gomez, Dahlia Guzman, Danny Marrero, Cynthia Paccacerqua, and Alex Stehn of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. They write:

Our project promotes diversity and inclusiveness in philosophy by supporting what we view as our students’ right to access Philosophical Bilingualism, Biculturalism, and Biliteracy (PB3). Situated in the deep south Texas borderlands as the second-largest Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the continental United States, over 90% of our students are Hispanic or Latino/a/x and the majority are bilingual. Therefore, when we include our students in philosophy, that means including them as the bilingual and bicultural students they are and helping them develop philosophical biliteracy. To do this, our project will establish a learning community of seven Philosophically Bilingual, Bicultural, and Biliterate (PB3) faculty who will work together as a team to develop and regularly teach a rotation of ten Spanish (E) and Bilingual (X) PHIL courses, effectively pluralizing the philosophical languages and cultures of both our department and discipline as we seek to broadcast our efforts.

Nine grants were awarded via the APA’s Small Grant Fund. They went to:

  • Dialectic – Angela Barnes (ASU)
    The Dialectic is a High School Philosophy Summer Program at Arizona State University, started in 2021. The Dialectic brings in High School Students (ages 14-18) from all over the Phoenix Valley to participate in a community of inquiry. Each year, the instructors for The Dialectic choose a theme related to what is relevant in the lives of these students to show them how philosophy can be both practical and relevant. The Dialectic aims to not only expose students to philosophy, but to expose them to what it is like to be in an academic environment with others who desire to be there. Toward this end, we want to expand the program with issues of equity in mind, bringing in more students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, including those groups that the Phoenix Metropolitan area is particularly well positioned to include – Latino/as and Urban Indigenous Peoples. ($1,800)
  • Does Philosophy Make Students Better Thinkers? – Michael Vazquez (UNC)
    Does studying philosophy help students to become better thinkers? The proposed project will use data collected by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) to investigate this question, examining traits like reflectiveness, open-mindedness, and critical thinking. HERI has a database with records from thousands of students at schools across the United States. These include records from the start of students’ first years in college and at the end of their graduating years. Using these data, we will compare philosophy majors with non-philosophy majors, examining changes in intellectual traits over the course of the college years. Hence, this project will provide solid and relevant evidence for assessing a common claim about the value of our discipline. Such evidence would be invaluable for those seeking to advocate for philosophy in higher education and beyond. ($2,725)
  • Engaged Political Theory for Our Americas: Philosophizing the Black and Spanish Pacifics – Thomas Donahue-Ochoa (Haverford)
    This project builds on recent efforts by the philosophical community to engage long-ignored voices, to democratize philosophy, and to philosophize neglected aspects of democracy in the Americas. We propose by it to contribute to engaged political philosophy, which spotlights the ideas of scholars in the Global South and at Minority-Serving Institutions, engages the world’s many sources of ideas and institutes, responds to the calls of social movements for ideas that they can use, and partners with the disinherited to combat injustices. We are a coalition of political philosophers coming from the newly-formed Engaged Political Theory Working Group and the Latin American Seminar for Political Philosophy. In this project, we plan to host a conference, held in Mexico City, on the philosophical impacts of seeing our Americas as shaped by Black Americans’ ventures in the Pacific, and by appreciating the key role played by Spanish America in Pacific history. ($3,000)
  • Latinx Philosophy Conference – Sergio A. Gallegos-Ordorica (John Jay)
    This proposal is for the 2024 Latinx Philosophers’ Conference. The first conference was organized by Latin American philosophy graduate students Mariana Noé, Ignacio Ojea, and César Cabezas at Columbia University in 2016. Since then, the conference has been held at Rutgers, Marquette, MSU Denver, and Temple University. This is a yearly conference that brings together Latinx Philosophers from all around the United States. The conference provides a space for Latinx philosophers to share their philosophical work, earn valuable conference-related experience, network with their peers, and establish mentorship relationships. The 2024 conference will be held at John Jay College in April. The keynote speakers are Carolina Sartorio (Rutgers) and Nelson Maldonado-Torres (U-Conn). ($2,400)
  • Mentor Observation Program (MOP) for Small Philosophy Departments – Jack D. Musselman (St. Edward’s) & David Gray (Buffalo)
    Faculty in small philosophy programs often lack access to effective feedback about teaching. Such feedback may come from faculty in other departments who are not familiar with prevailing practices for teaching philosophy, or from a very limited number of philosophy colleagues. We plan to offer faculty in small departments two semesters of support from mentors trained by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT). The mentor would remotely observe early-career faculty (tenure-track, visiting, lecturer, and adjunct or contingent) and provide structured feedback. Mentees would develop pedagogical tools to improve their teaching and have the opportunity to discuss their teaching with colleagues outside of their institution. ($4,000)
  • Philosophy of Mind DRL Blueprint Project – Clotilde Torregrossa (St. Andrews)
    The Diversity Reading List is an expanding online resource of texts written by under-represented authors. Among its projects is the Reading Group Blueprint which asks volunteers to create ready-made reading groups that focus on topics that are typically under-taught in philosophy curricula (e.g., Class, Colonialism, Race and Gender (CCRG), or non-Western philosophy). This allows students anywhere to take matters into their own hands and learn about these topics by following one of these blueprints, and organizing and leading their own reading group. Our proposal is to create three Blueprint on topics in philosophy of mind relating to CCRG. More specifically, we aim at creating blueprints on Chinese Philosophy of Mind, on Feminist Philosophy of Mind, and an all-female blueprint on Embodied Cognitive Science. ($2,625)
  • Re-Indexing the Diversity Reading List in Philosophy – Simon Fokt
    The Diversity Reading List in Philosophy (DRL) is seeking a small grant from the APA to implement a new indexing system for its website. Its current one is based on PhilPapers’s system. But, given lingering equality, diversity, and inclusivity issues within that system, we have developed a new system which improves in all of those regards and is also better catered to researchers and educators alike who are seeking to diversify their work and teaching. As proof of concept, we outlined this system in our paper, ‘Indexing Philosophy in a Fair and Inclusive Key,’ which was published by the Journal of the American Philosophical Association in April 2023. But, with the help of the APA, we would now like to take the next step: implementing it. ($2,000)
  • Social Philosophy Workshop – Yarran Hominh (Bard)
    The Social Philosophy Workshop brings together early career scholars who examine contemporary social and political issues in interdisciplinary fashion. It is held annually at different locations, bringing together participants from the local area with a core group of organizers. Papers are pre-read, with workshop time devoted to commentators introducing and responding to each paper, followed by general discussion. The inaugural Workshop on the theme of “Ontologies of Oppression, Solidarity, and Care” was held in 2022 at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the second workshop (“Identity, Alienation, Emancipation”) was held at Harvard’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics. The 2024 Workshop will be held at Bard College and the 2025 Workshop will be held at Vassar College. The combination of inviting new, local participants to each workshop alongside the benefits of building on conversations from previous workshops has proved fruitful in fostering connections and exchanging ideas. ($1,700)
  • UA Little Rock Ethics and Philosophy Summer Academy – Jana McAuliffe (UA Little Rock)
    The UA Little Rock Ethics and Philosophy Summer Academy (EPSA) will bring up to 25 high school students to the UA Little Rock campus for five days of philosophical community, at no cost to the students. This educational camp aims to engage Arkansas High School students in sustained, collaborative philosophical study. Students will be introduced to a variety of basic philosophical and ethical concepts and develop skills in critical thinking, construction and analysis of arguments, and engagement with philosophical issues in contemporary society. The curriculum will include philosophy seminars and an Ethics Bowl workshop led by experienced UA Little Rock philosophy faculty and experienced High School Ethics Bowl coaches from Central High School in Little Rock. This is a new initiative, but it builds off of our eleven years of organizing the Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl. ($5,000)

The APA’s own announcement of the awards is here.

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