Department News

12th East/West Philosophers’ Conference: Call for Proposals



MAY 22-29, 2020

The 12th East/West Philosopher’s Conference will be dedicated to the topic of walls. While walls can be physical, they can also be psychological, social, political, economic, and ontological. Understood metaphorically, walls are any real or virtual barrier to the uninhibited flow of people, products, affects, and ideas.

In his poem, “Mending Walls,” the American poet Robert Frost famously opined: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.” And yet it might be said that we are living at a time in which many people are coming to believe that “good fences make good neighbors.” Ours is apparently an era in which differences of histories, cultures and identities are engaged as sources of insight, but also one of populist retrenchment—a period in which cultures, peoples, and nations have begun turning inward, shunning many of the promises that globalization made regarding the prospects of economic, political, and cultural exchange and interdependence. In recent years, we have witnessed the crumbling of international alliances, the emergence of trade wars, a reinvestment in notions of national sovereignty, an increasing number of disputes over borders, and many expressions of populist discontent regarding migration and changing demographics.

Wall building for the purposes of protection and identity reinforcement are not new. The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, and in modern times, the Berlin Wall,are all ideological-cultural artifacts intended to separate and consolidate. Yet, after decades of rhetoric about interdependence-generating globalization, what are the sources of current and often fervent desires to distinguish radically between what is “ours” and what is “theirs”? What are their root causes and their likely outcomes if put into action? Are there prospects for reversal and transformation? And most importantly, how should we understand, relate, and respond philosophically to this new “age of insularity?”

We invite participants to reflect upon the significance of constructing, deconstructing, scaling, circumventing, penetrating and “tagging” walls. What does it mean to put up and take down walls—whether within the context of interpersonal relationships, among groups within national borders, or among members of the international human community? Which walls are the most pressing sites of struggle? How do the world’s various philosophical traditions dispose us to think about the notion of the wall? How should philosophy understand the processes, practices, and ideologies of insularity? And, what prospects do conversations among various world philosophies open for thinking through these walls?

Of special interest are panels and papers that explore the constructed nature of the “walls” between nations and cultures, but also between the private and public spheres, between ethics and economics, between the human and the natural sciences, between disciplines, between classes, genders and generations, and between the academy and societies it serves.


Jonardon Ganeri, Bimal Matilal Distinguished Professor in Philosophy, University of Toronto. “Bridges and Doors: The Importance of the Interjacent Intellectual

Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley “What Kinds of Boundaries Sustain Democracy and the Earth? Thinking in the Inter-regnum Between the National and the Global


We invite proposals for individual papers and panels. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract to the Conference organizers via:

Submission Timeline: November 1, 2019

Notifications of acceptance for abstracts and panel proposals received by the November 1 will be sent out by December 15, 2019.We have established an early submission timeline to facilitate faculty applying to their own institutions for travel funding.

Abstracts received after November 1, 2019 will be vetted as received, taking into consideration the late submission. The absolute deadline for abstract submissions is March 15, 2020. After this, we will not be able to accommodate additional proposals.

Final Papers Due: April 15, 2020


Hosted in keeping with the Hawaiian Islands’ spirit of aloha, there is no registration fee for the Conference. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all registered presenters, as well as an opening reception and final dinner. The Conference does not provide lodging or travel support, but economical lodgings of various kinds are readily available in Honolulu.

For lodging at East-West Center’s Lincoln Hall, please contact Lincoln Hall directly at 808-944-7816 and reference “EWPC 2020,” when booking your reservation. 


For more than three-quarters of a century, the East-West Philosophers’ Conference series has hosted a dialogue among some of the world’s most prominent philosophers of their time. The dialogue began in 1939 when three University of Hawai‘i visionaries—Professors Charles A. Moore, Wing-tsit Chan, and Gregg Sinclair—initiated the first East-West Philosophers’ Conference in Honolulu. Its aim was to explore the significance of Eastern ways of thinking as a complement to Western thought, and to distill a possible synthesis of the ideas and ideals that are aspired to in these unique traditions. Comparative philosophy has evolved from this earliest idea to pursue a mutual respect and accommodation among the world’s cultures, with conferences continuing to be held in 1949, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2011 and 2016. Each of these conferences focused on a theme chosen as a vital issue of its time.

This conference series has been successful in fostering dialogue among philosophical traditions, and was instrumental in the establishment of the East-West Center on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i in 1960. Philosophy East & West, now one of the leading journals on comparative studies, was founded in 1951 as a forum that continues this same dialogue. Conference volumes from papers presented at these conferences have been published by the University of Hawai’i Press to share with and promote further discussion on its theme within the world academic community.


The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.

The University of Hawai’i is a Research I institution, founded in 1907, that has identified Asia and the Pacific as one of its selected area of excellence, with many of the centers in its School of Pacific and Asian Studies ranked as National Resource Centers. The University of Hawai’i Press is one of the leading international publishers of scholarly monographs and journals on Asian cultures.

We anticipate that this forthcoming conference like the previous eleven will be an historical event. We look forward to welcoming you to the Islands.

Roger T. Ames, Peter D. Hershock and Tamara Albertini, Co-Directors

2019 Uehiro Graduate Philosophy Conference: Call for Papers

Cross Currents: Affects, Sentiments and Emotions

April 22-24, 2019 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Monima Chadha, Monash University Dr. Jesse Prinz, The Graduate Center, CUNY Dr. Sean Smith, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

DEADLINE: February 15th, 2019

Send abstracts/papers to The Uehiro Graduate Student Philosophy Conference showcases exceptional work by graduate and advanced undergraduate students in all fields of philosophy. A limited number of travel awards will be available to support presenters. The theme of the 2019 edition is cross-cultural exploration of affects, sentiments and emotions. The conference will pay close attention to the affective realm, in itself and insofar as it relates to theories of the self and the self in the social and political world. Possible paper topics include but are not limited to the following: theories or taxonomies of affects or emotions, affects and the formation or constitution of consciousness, selfconscious emotions, distinctions between affective states and emotions, affective neuroscience, political affects and emotions, affective bias, affective socio-political norms, historical conceptions of sentiments, affects and emotions, comparative and crossdisciplinary perspectives on emotions and personhood, morality, politics, culture, psychology and aesthetics. Other related topics will be welcome. Email abstracts and full papers to Papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation. In the body of the email include: 1) Your name, 2) Title of the paper, 3) Institutional affiliation, 4) Contact information (email, phone number, mailing address), and 5) Whether you would like to be considered for a travel award. Send documents in word format with no identifying information for blind review. Priority will be given to complete papers. Notification of acceptance will be sent by March 1st 2019. All submissions will be considered for possible publication in the Uehiro Conference Proceedings, published in the past by Cambridge Scholars Press. To view past volumes, visit the website at =true&Sid=false.

2018 Uehiro Graduate Philosophy Conference: Call for Papers


Cross Currents: Persons and Selves

March 7-9 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Mehdi Aminrazavi, University of Mary Washington

Dr. Mark Siderits, Seoul National University 

 DEADLINE: December 31, 2017

Send abstracts/papers to

The Uehiro Graduate Student Philosophy Conference showcases exceptional work by graduate and advanced undergraduate students in all fields of philosophy.

The theme of the 2018 edition is “Persons and Selves.” It aims to explore how the metaphysics and ethics of personhood, self and identity are understood across cultural contexts. This subject includes, but is not limited to, conceptions and taxonomies of personal identity, self-knowledge, subjectivity, the metaphysics and formation of the self, comparative and cross-disciplinary perspectives on personhood, ethical issues in personhood, distinctions between individuality and community, and the relevance and value of identity in the contemporary world. There are, of course, many other worthwhile topics and any other relevant viewpoints are welcome.

Email abstracts and full papers to Papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation. In the body of the email include: 1) Your name, 2) Title of the paper, 3) Institutional affiliation, 4) Contact information (email, phone number, mailing address), and 5) Whether you would like to be considered for a travel award. Send documents in word format with no identifying information for blind review. Priority will be given to complete papers. Notification of acceptance will be sent by January 20th 2018. All submissions will be considered for possible publication in the Uehiro Conference Proceedings, published in the past by Cambridge Scholars Press. To view past volumes, visit the website at

2016 SACP Conference – Imagination

The Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy will be holding their 48th annual Conference at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii from June 2nd through June 5th, 2016. The theme of the Conference is “Imagination”

The Program can be found here: SACP Schedule 2016.Bockover18

The following students from the department will be presenting papers:

Ian Nicolay

Amit Chaturvedi

Joel LeBel

Elyse Byrnes

Josh Stoll

Kuan­‐Hung Chen

Sydney Morrow

2016 East-West Philosophers’ Conference Update

Abstracts and Program

Working abstracts and program are now available for the coming 11th East-West Philosophers’ Conference: “Place”. The conference will take place Wednesday May 24-Tuesday May 31, 2016 at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

View Abstracts

View Program

If you have a smart phone you can download the companion app which includes the abstracts, program and more at


1.Is there a registration fee?
No, the conference is free for all invited participants and guests, and it is open to the public.

2. How do I register for the conference?
There is no pre-registration for the conference. Please visit the conference information table, located in the garden-level room where breakfast and lunch will be served each day of the conference, to pick up your conference materials.

3.May I attend the conference if I am not a presenter in the conference?
Yes, the conference is open to the public. However, the conference materials and meals are for presenters only.

4. Are meals provided?
Breakfast and lunch are provided for all presenters on each of the conference days at no charge. Pupus, light fare, and beverages are provided at the opening reception and the evening reception at Waikiki Aquarium for presenters and their guests. Dinner is provided at the closing reception for presenters and their guests. Participants are responsible for their evening meals on the remaining days.

5. May I attend the conference receptions if I am not a presenter in the conference?
Only conference presenters and their spouses and families may attend the receptions, which will be held on May 24, 27, and 31.

6. What accommodations are available for conference presenters?
Anyone presenting in the conference may request housing from the East West Center (, as well as anyone who is an alumnus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa or the East West Center. However, only accommodations for plenary panelists and keynote speakers will be paid for by the conference. All concurrent session presenters are responsible for their own accommodations.

There are many reasonably-priced hotels in Waikiki, which is a short bus or taxi ride from the University of Hawaii campus.

7. Where can I park?
Parking is not provided. Visitors may park in designated visitor parking around the university campus. A map of visitor parking locations can be found here:
Rates are included on the map

8. Where is there food available on campus for guests?
There are various restaurants located on campus during select weekday hours. Please visit for options and hours of operations.


Housing Information

To help you in your preparations for attending the Conference, we are including here a list of accommodation suggestions. The conference will take place on the campus of the East West Center at the Imin Conference Center, located adjacent to the University of Hawaiˋi Mānoa Campus.  While staying on campus is convenient, the accommodations are limited and do not include air conditioning. The climate in Hawaiˋi in late May is generally quite pleasant, but some people will prefer the relative quiet and climate control afforded by accommodations off campus.

The East-West Center has a limited number of rooms available in the graduate student dormitories Hale Manoa and Hale Kuahine. These are conveniently located a 2 minute walk from the Conference center, but offer very simple accommodations with shared cooking facilities and shared bathrooms. Hale Kuahine is female only. Reservations can be requested from January 15, 2016 at

Other options are as follows:

(a) Waikiki is the tourist epicenter in Honolulu and is readily accessible to the University by bus or car (roughly 15-20 minutes in most cases). If you plan on renting a car, do take into account the parking costs at the hotel and on campus. In Waikiki:

– Aqua Hotels and Pacific Beach Hotel are good mid-priced accommodations.

– Most other hotel options are going to be $155+ per night and a search on Expedia or will be your best bet.

(b) Home-shares like and are ideal for groups of three or more and can save quite a bit. You must make a user profile in order to reserve the listing.

(c) The Manoa Valley Inn is a unique, historic bed and breakfast near the western edge of the campus, a pleasant 5 minute walk to the Conference Center.

(d) University Hostel is very near the University and reasonably clean. (There are also many hostels in the Waikiki area, but be sure to read the reviews before you book.)

For More Information About the East-West Philosophers’ Conference Click Here