Philosophy Symposiums & Roundtables

2024-2025 Philosophy Symposia Series

A documentary & community conversation in support of improved ways to understand, think about & respond to the complexities of homelessness as a community.

Our “Toward a Better Understanding of Homelessness” public philosophy project is a response to growing unhoused populations at home & abroad, and a more general and important call to adequately understand the multi-faceted nature & complexity of homelessness.  At its core, the project is an invitation to carefully reflect on these complexities and an opportunity for improved ways of thinking and responding together.

While inquiries into homelessness are not new, making philosophy central (both in terms of approach and questions asked/explored) can be a helpful lens and bring to the fore important considerations for both those experiencing homelessness and those responding to it.  

Project Timeline: Interviews and recordings will take place in the summer of 2024 through late Spring/early Summer 2025, film creation & editing in the Summer of 2025, and the film screening & community discussion in Fall of 2025.​

Fall 2023: How Do We Think About Our Ancestors? (Legacy)

Our 2023 philosophy symposia series looked at what it means to be at the interface of loss and legacy.  In Fall, we examined the question “How do we think about our ancestors?” with guest scholars Ellen Baumler, Bill Milton, and Daniel Gardiner at our symposium (held at the Helena Avenue Theater on October 19th) and considered a similar question focused on our military and ancestors in service by way of a WW1 Memorial documentary & community conversation (conducted in Reeder’s Alley on November 2nd).  Both events were facilitated by community philosopher David Nowakowski.  Access resources & watch the audio-video recording here!

Spring 2023: How Do We Think About Grief? (Loss)

How Do We Think About Grief?

In this first philosophy symposium in our 2023 Loss & Legacy series, we looked at grief and death through the lens of aesthetics, combining art, literature, history, culture and science into a broad, unified philosophical and humanistic understanding.

Our symposium featured guests scholars Krys Holmes, Tim Holmes & Ashby Kinch.  Facilitated by Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Julianna Breit, the event involved a combination of presentation, Q & A, and lively community conversation…all with a touch of theatrical, aesthetic flair.

Spring 2023: The Business of Death (Loss)

The Business of Death

Despite the commonality, and frankly, inevitability, of death, its taboo nature does not lend itself well to emotional or practical preparation. Death is a topic that the media rarely touches – at least in terms of the day-to-day practicalities of death work. In this second event in our 2023 Loss & Legacy series, in the form of a film & community conversation, we explored some of the practicalities and “business” of death.  We watched a documentary that lays bare this “mysterious” process and invited rich discussion about what goes into how to prepare ourselves and others, what roles people play & the impact of such work, and some of the broader social & philosophical considerations therein.  Our film & community conversation was held in the evening in Reeder’s Alley Convention Center and facilitated by Merlin Student Scholar Fellow Julianna Breit.


Want to learn more about some of our other philosophy-based community events & socials?  Click on the applicable link(s) below:

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