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.

26th Annual Conference

Philosophy Graduate Student Union Annual Conference

Social Critique and Kinship

Conference: Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Garey Hall Room 10A

Robyn Marasco PhD, Hunter College & CUNY Graduate Center

Villanova University, Saturday April 9, 2022
Garey Hall Room 10A

Keynote address by Dr. Robyn Marasco
(Hunter College & CUNY Graduate Center)

A central image in utopian and dystopian thought, “the family” has a rich and diverse political and philosophical history.  Recent scholarship on models of family, kinship, and care has included historical surveys of how the family has been resituated as the core economic unit in the neoliberal era, experiments with familial structures and alternatives to them, and even direct calls for abandoning hegemonic forms of the family. 

We invite presentations that engage recent scholarship on topics including but not limited to:

  • Historicizing economic, cultural, and geographical iterations of the family
  • Historic philosophical accounts of the family
  • Marxist analyses of the structural role of family forms under capitalism
  • Feminist, queer, trans, psychoanalytic, critical race, and disability theoretical approaches to the study of families and kinship
  • Reflections on family, kinship, and community
  • Exploring alternative forms of care and kinship


Please submit to for review either: abstracts up to 800 words; full papers up to 3000 words; or panel proposals. For panel proposals, include a description of the panel alongside one abstract per presentation. Presentations should not exceed 25 minutes. This conference primarily solicits graduate student submissions. We welcome academic as well as artistic submissions. We especially welcome work by scholars from underrepresented groups. The conference will be made accessible for Deaf or HH scholars.  For planning purposes, we would appreciate notification of interpreting preferences if possible.

Deadline for proposals: February 1. Decisions conveyed to respondents by February 15.

9:00-9:30 am  Welcome Address (Dean Emory Woodard)

9:30-11:30am Panel I

9:30-10:30: Livia Samson (Humboldt University Berlin, Zoom): Family Abolition: From Capitalism to Communized Care

10:30-11:30: Rhiannon Lindgren (University of Oregon, Zoom): Decolonial Praxis as Reproductive Struggle: Fanon on the Family and the State

11:30-12:30: Lunch

12:30-2:30 PM: Panel II

12:30-1:30: Maggie Castor (Stony Brook, in-person): “Whoz ya people?”:

Considerations on Acknowledging and Upholding Indigenous Sovereignty Outside of  Grounded Normativity

1:30-2:30: Helen Gavin Ross (University of Chicago, in-person): Sacred Precincts

Break: 2:30-3:00

3-5pm: Keynote Address by Robyn Marasco (Hunter College), "The Real Possibility of Physical Killing: A Feminist Reading of Carl Schmitt,"

Break: 5-5:30pm

2021: "Phenomenology and Its Worlds" (virtally)
Keynotes: Alia Al-Saji, PhD, McGill University; Megan Craig, PhD, Stony Brook University

2020: “Phenomenology and its Worlds” (canceled)
Keynotes: Alia Al-Saji, PhD, McGill University; Megan Craig, PhD, Stony Brook University

2019: “Political Epistemologies”
Keynote: José Medina, PhD, Northwestern University

2018: "Resistance: Psychoanalysis and Critical Theories"
Keynotes: Amy Allen, PhD, Penn State University; Jamieson Webster, PhD, Eugene Lang College of the New School

2017:"Philosophies of Incarceration and The Incarceration of Philosophy"
Keynote: Sarah Tyson, PhD, University of Colorado-Denver

2016: “Legacies of Colonialism and Philosophies of Resistance”
Keynotes: Enrique Dussel, PhD, UNAM; Nelson Maldonado-Torres, PhD, Rutgers University

2015: "New Encounters in French and Italian Thought"
Keynote: Jason E. Smith, PhD, Art Center College of Design

2014: "Feminism: Body, Image, Power"
Keynote: Lisa Guenther, PhD, Vanderbilt University

2013:"Apocalyptic Politics: Framing the Present"
Keynote Speakers: Mladen Dolar, PhD, University of Ljubljana; Alenka Zupančič, PhD, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Slavoj Žižek, PhD, Birkbeck, University of London; Catherine Malabou, PhD, Kingston University; John D. Caputo, PhD, Syracuse University and Villanova University

2012: "Critical Theories"
Keynote: Nancy Fraser, PhD, New School for Social Research

2011: "The Return of Metaphysics"
Keynote: Graham Harman, PhD, American University, Cairo

2010: “The Place of Psyche: Politics, Art, Nature”
Keynote: Jonathan Lear, PhD, University of Chicago

2009: “New French Thought”
Keynote: Bernard Stiegler, PhD

2008: “Time, History, Memory”
Keynote: David Wood, PhD, Vanderbilt University

2007: “Philosophy and Sexuality”
Keynote: Alphonso Lingi, PhD, Penn State University

2006: “Materialism”
Keynotes: Daniel Smith, PhD, Purdue University; Jay Bernstein, PhD, New School for Social Research

2005: “Philosophy and Art”
Keynote: Hal Foster, PhD, Princeton University

2004: “Empire, War, Violence”
Keynote: John Protevi, PhD, Louisiana State University

2003: “Psychoanalysis and Philosophy”
Keynote: Sara Beardsworth, PhD, University of Memphis

2002: “Race and Philosophy”
Keynote: Lewis Gordon, PhD, Brown University

2001: “Contemporary Feminist Theory”
Keynote: Tina Chanter, PhD, University of Memphis

2000: “Aristotle”
Keynote: Aryeh Kosman, PhD, Haverford College

1999: “Revolutions in Socio-Political Thought”
Keynote: Bill Martin, PhD, DePaul University

Department of Philosophy
Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Dr. John Carvalho, Chairperson
Alexandra Penkalskyj 610-519-4690 Sr. Administrative Assistant
Dr. Julie Klein, Graduate Program Director
Terry DiMartino 610-519-8997 Graduate Program Coordinator

FAX: 610-519-4639