Past Conferences

3rd Biennial Philosophy of Disability Conference

March 6-7, 2020

Our conference features papers that engage with disability studies from a philosophical point of view. We are honored to have as our featured keynote speaker this year Professor Elizabeth Barnes of the University of Virginia, who will be giving a lecture called “Gender without Gender Identity: Cognitive Disability and the Need for Gender Inclusion.”


Conference Schedule:

Friday, March 6, 2020:

3:30-3:45pm: Welcome Reception – Opening Remarks by Scott M. Williams (UNC Asheville)

Section 1

3:45-4:30pm: “Ameliorative Inquiries into the Concept of Disability” (Matthew Palynchuk, McGill University; Graduate Student)

4:30-5:15pm: “Valuing Disability In Itself: A Constitutive Account” (Khang Ton, University of California, Davis; Graduate Student)

5:15-5:30pm: Break

Section 2

5:30-6:15pm: “Beyond Beauty: The Venus and Other Deformed Bodies” (Yujia Song, Salisbury University; Assistant Professor)

6:15-7:00pm: “Epistemic Arrogance, Moral Harm, and Dementia” (Frances Bottenberg, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Lecturer)

7:00pm: Dinner

Saturday, March 7, 2020:

8:15-9:00am: Breakfast

Section 3

9:00-9:45am: “A New (Old) Social Model” (Rachel Levit Ades, Arizona State University; Graduate Student)

9:45-10:30am: “Psychological Disability: Taking Seriously, Taking Care” (Alana Wilde, University of Virginia; Graduate Student)

10:30-10:45am: Break

Section 4

10:45-11:30am: “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disability Narratives” (Michelle Panchuk, Murray State University; Assistant Professor)

11:30-12:15pm: “Disability, Human Flourishing, and Second-Person Relationships” (Audra Goodnight, Villanova University; Postdoctoral Fellow and Matthew Shea, University of California, Los Angeles; Postdoctoral Fellow)

12:15-2:00pm: Lunch

Section 5

2:00-2:45pm: “Profound Intellectual Disability as Neutral Simpliciter” (Ally Peabody Smith, University of California, Los Angeles; Graduate Student)

2:45-3:30pm: “When is it Wrong Not to Have a Child? Parent-Centered Reasons and Conditionally Opting In” (Meredith McFadden, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; Assistant Professor)

3:30-3:45pm: Break

3:45-4:30pm: “You Are Too Stupid to Know Anything: Epistemic Injustice and Cognitive Disability” (Caroline Christoff, University of Minnesota, Duluth; Visiting Assistant Professor)

4:30-5:00pm: Break

Keynote Presentation

5:00-6:15pm: Gender without Gender Identity: Cognitive Disability and the Need for Gender Inclusion” (Elizabeth Barnes, University of Virginia; Professor)

6:15pm: Dinner

For more information and to register for the conference go to:


21st Annual Southern Appalachian Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

February 7-8, 2020

A symposium providing a professional-style philosophical forum for aspiring undergraduates to present significant and original work.  All papers are evaluated by blind review process.  Judges from universities with important graduate programs award prizes for the top three presentations. This year’s winners were:

1st Prize – David Kraus, Covenant College – “Affections and Empathy: Is There a Way Forward on the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance?”

2nd Prize – Matthew Tuten, Western Carolina University – “Mnemotechnology, Transgression, and the Genealogy of the State in Nietzschean Philosophy”

3rd Prize – Noah McKay, Covenant College – “The Many-Persons Argument for Dualism”

Our distinguished judge and keynote speakers this year were Dr. Jay L. Garfield of Smith College and Dr. Daniela Vallega-Neu of The University of Oregon. Dr. Vallega-Neu’s keynote lecture was “The Dis-Appearance of Soul” and Dr. Garfield’s was “The Second Person.” All conference events were held in Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall.



2020 Conference Papers

2018 Conference Papers


14th Annual Southern Appalachian Undergraduate Philosophy Conference