The philosophy department is fortunate to offer three speaker series: the Mary Lou Littlefield Lectures, the Jim Grunebaum Lectures, and the Faculty-Student Colloquia.
The speaker series honoring Mary Lou Littlefield was established by her daughter Adele Littlefield Cloutier (class of 1981) and her granddaughter Emily Elise Cloutier (class of 2018). Their shared goal is to inspire and educate students in philosophy and ethics.
Mary Lou worked at Buffalo State from 1972 until her retirement in 1992. During this period, she worked in the Research Foundation, for the Peace Corp office, in the admissions office, and as an administrative assistant to President D. Bruce Johnstone. Throughout her life Mary Lou has placed a strong emphasis on college education and supported the development of numerous Buffalo State students.
The inaugural Mary Lou Littlefield Speaker, April 23, 2018.
Professor Raymond Belliotii, Transform your Destiny
Abstract: What, exactly, is a philosophy of life? Who needs it, and why? In this talk I answer these questions beginning with a story that happened 23 centuries ago, and which resulted in the articulation of one of the most influential philosophies of antiquity, Stoicism. That philosophy is experiencing a comeback in the 21st century, for the simple reasons that it resonates with fundamentals of the human condition, and that it works in practice. We will see how Stoicism can offer a compass to navigate life, to set priorities for what is important, to become better citizens of the world, and even to prepare ourselves for the most difficult test of our character: our own demise at the end of our life.
Professor Pigluicci is a Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center with PhDs in Biology (University of Connecticut) and Philosophy (University of Tennessee), and research interests in philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of pseudoscience, and the relationship between science and religion.
The Jim Grunebaum Speaker Series brings high-profile philosophers to Buffalo State on an annual or bi-annual basis.
The lecture series is endowed by James Grunebaum, professor emeritus of philosophy and humanities.
Grunebaum, who retired in 2005, joined the Buffalo State philosophy faculty in 1971, directed the All College Honors Program (now the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program) from 1987 to 1999, and earned the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997.
A generous donor to the college, Grunebaum remains active in the department colloquia and Ethics Bowl.
2015-2016 Inaugural Grunebaum Lecture April 4, 2016.
Professor Erik Schmidt, Thinking through Shakespeare: Finding a Model for Philosophical Literary Criticism
2016-2017 Grunebaum Lecture November 14, 2016.
Professor William Cook, Machiavellion Republican Virtues
2018-2019 Grunebaum Lecture February 7, 2019.
Myisha Cherry, Breaking Racial Rules Through Rage
Abstract: It has been argued that members of oppressed groups break "feeling rules" when they express anger at injustice. For this reason philosopher Alison Jaggar and law professor Janine Young Kim refer to emotions such as anger as outlaw emotions and affective transgressions, respectively. But I think more can be said. I shall argue that rage at racial injustice not only breaks feeling rules but "racial rules"--- emotive, cognitive, and behavioral rules that enforce white superiority, entitlement, and respect. Such rule breaking threatens racial domination projects. This helps explain why some are resistant to and critical of rage--particularly the apt, motivational, and productive kinds--and why a person who has this rage is a resistant figure.
Myisha Cherry is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside researching themes of forgiveness and anger as they relate to black victims of anti-black racism. Her expertise is in ethics, moral psychology, and social & political philosophy.
Started in 2006 by Professor Kimberly Blessing, the faculty-student colloquia is designed to provide a forum for faculty and students to present and discuss each other’s work, in a congenial and supportive environment. It also has the added benefit of preparing Buffalo State students for submitting their work to regional and national undergraduate conferences and journals.
More details about the series can be found on our Faculty-Student Colloquia webpage.
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