Annual Conference

The annual philosophy conference at Villanova University has been a tradition since 1996. Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU), it began as one of the first graduate philosophy conferences in Continental philosophy. Now open for faculty as well as graduate students, the conference has drawn participants from all areas of philosophy as well as from around the world.

21st Annual Philosophy Conference

Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union

“Legacies of Colonialism and Philosophies of Resistance”

Keynotes: Dr. Enrique Dussel (UNAM) & Dr. Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Rutgers)

April 14-15, 2016

Villanova University

Call For Papers

Millions throughout the world continue to struggle with the consequences of our colonial histories, both in the "first" and "third" worlds. Decolonization is thus an ongoing process that currently has no end in sight, and it implicates intellectuals, politicians, and citizens in all parts of the world. The conference invites participants to join in this process by thinking collectively about the remnants of colonialism's past and the possibility for a decolonized future. Such a project necessarily involves a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, political economy, history, cultural studies, and anthropology among others, as well as interpenetrations among such disciplines.


The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes graduate students and faculty to submit papers of approximately 3000 words (including co-authored work), suitable for a 20 minute presentation, to be considered for our conference. Full papers will be strongly prioritized, though abstracts are also welcome (approx. 500 words). Authors submitting promising abstracts will likely receive feedback along with a suggested date by which to submit a more complete paper.

Please send any inquiries and submissions, prepared for blind review, by January 10, 2016 to


paper/panel topics:

1.      How is theorizing about our colonial histories continually important for understanding and affecting our present? For example, should we consider the contemporary world colonial, postcolonial, neocolonial, imperial, or are these historical categories no longer sufficient?

2.      Especially taking into account the multiple racial and ethnic divisions that comprise the binary between colonizer and colonized: How have race relations in former colonies affected philosophies of liberation and political projects? How have these philosophies and these projects affected race relations?

3.      How have the struggles of oppressed genders affected philosophies of liberation and political projects? How have these philosophies and these projects affected the situations and thought of oppressed genders?

4.      How have colonial and neocolonial regimes inherited, manipulated, and altered sexual practices and identities?

5.      How does and how should decolonial theory confront the policies and power structures of neoliberalism in both the “first” and “third” worlds?

6.      We also encourage papers on Liberation Philosophy, Liberation Theology, Epistemologies of Ignorance and Resistance, Feminist Epistemologies, Philosophy of Race, and all other topics that might enliven the discourse of decolonial thought.

Suggested figures:

Linda Martín Alcoff, Gloria Anzaldúa, Samir Amin, Homi Bhabha, Amílcar  Cabral, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Césaire, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Vivek Chibber, Enrique Dussel, Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Ranajit Guha, Jamaica Kincaid, María Lugones, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Joseph Masad, Achille Mbembe, Albert Memmi, Walter Mignolo, Kwame Nkrumah, Jasbir Puar, Aníbal Quijano, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and others.