Ben Mutschler is featured in a narrative episode on inoculation and vaccination in early America on the podcast, “Ben Franklin’s World”.

In support of his book, The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England (Chicago, 2020), Ben has given virtual public talks locally at Grass Roots Books and the Academy for Lifelong Learning and at archives that were central to his research, including the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, MA) and American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA). The latter event will be re-broadcast on C-SPAN later this spring.

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Nicole von Germeten, professor of history and director of the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, participated in a book panel sponsored by Iberian connections at Yale University and the Yale University Spanish department.

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Youjin Kong was quoted in a Wall Street Journal piece about benchmarks in AI, commenting on biased data sets and changes in the understanding of human intelligence.

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Joel Zapata, history assistant professor, had an online publication titled “Remembering Cesar Chavez’s Tactics is Key to Empowering Workers and Consumers,” in The Washington Post, March 31, 2021.

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Courtney Campbell was featured in Who goes first? Vaccine rollout forces stark moral choices (Associated Press) as well as

‘It’s just a matter of time’: Inmates detail horrid conditions amid COVID spike in Oregon prisons (Oregonian) Courtney Campbell, a professor who has taught medical ethics at Oregon State University for the past 30 years, said risk of infection is so much higher in prisons that the argument for moving inmates ahead in the vaccine queue is a compelling one.

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Allen Thompson delivered the keynote address at the Uehiro Graduate Student Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (via zoom) on Philosophy: The Environment.

The talk was titled “A World They Don’t Deserve: Moral Failure and Deep Adaptation,” which will be published in The Oxford Handbook of Intergenerational Ethics. Thompson also led a workshop on environmental ethics and the climate crisis for the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit Earth Day event.

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Stuart Ray Sarbacker presented a lecture at the Oxford University Center for Hindu Studies entitled “Tracing the Path of Yoga: Four Elements of Mind-Body Discipline.”

The lecture was based on his new book, Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (State University of New York Press), which will be released on January 1st.

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Oregon State University to host Phish academic conference

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host an academic conference devoted to the improvisational rock band Phish from May 17 to 19.

Stephanie Jenkins, an assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State, is organizing the conference. She has been a Phish fan since 1995, saw her first concert in 2003, and has seen about 150 since then.

Jenkins, who arrived at Oregon State in 2012, has taught classes about the philosophy of Phish, held public philosophy events at Phish concerts and, as part of the classes, taken students on field trips to Phish concerts.

“I was always interested in the connection between Phish and philosophy,” Jenkins said. “I just didn’t think it was something I was allowed to do. But I have really supportive colleagues here at Oregon State. They encouraged me to develop the class and that has now led to the conference.”

The conference, which will take place in Oregon State’s Memorial Union, will include more than 50 presentations from researchers from more than 20 states and Canada. Presentation titles include: “Phish’s Improvisation in Light of Talmudic Scholastic Practice,” “‘This Your First Show?’: White Racism and Subcultural Capital in the Phish Community” and “The Neuroscience of the Jam: A research paradigm to study brain inactivity underlying improvisation in Phish.”

Jenkins will give a presentation, as will one of her co-organizers of the conference, Natalie Dollar, an associate professor of speech communication at Oregon State University, Cascades. Dollar is a Phish fan and has also conducted research on the Grateful Dead.

Two students who took Jenkins’ Phish class last summer will be part of the Student Scholar Panel during the conference: Lynnea Fredrickson, an OSU-Cascades student, and Michael Moran-Kay, a philosophy major at Oregon State’s Corvallis campus.

Two community panels will include prominent members of the Phish community. A question-and-answer panel will feature board members of the Mockingbird Foundation, a nonprofit organization run by Phish-fan volunteers that raises funds for music education programs. Benjy Eisen, a music writer and co-author of Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, will host a panel at the conference, and sign books. Eisen co-wrote the book with Bill Kreutzmann, one of the founding members and drummer for the Grateful Dead.

The conference also includes an exhibition fair, art show, concert and documentary screening.

The exhibition fair will provide opportunities for businesses and artists from the Phish community to display, promote, and sell their work. Conference organizers are still accepting participants for the exhibition fair.

The art show, “Below The Moss Forgotten: Phish in the Pacific Northwest,” will feature promotional materials and fan-created artwork that trace the band’s growth in the Pacific Northwest during the past nearly 30 years.

There will be a soft premiere of the documentary, “We’ve Got It Simple,” a film by, for, and about Phish fans. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the film’s director, Michael Ryan Lawrence.

Finally, Left on Wilson, a Eugene-based band, will perform Friday, May 17 at Demaggio New York Pizza, 151 NW Monroe Ave., #102 Corvallis. Music begins after 10 pm. The concert is free for registered conference attendees.

Registration is now open for the conference. The early registration rate is $125 for the weekend and includes admissions to all conference events. Day passes will be available for $75.

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Listen to an interview with Dr. Nicole von Germeten about her new book “Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico”

Nicole Von Germeten, “Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico” (U California Press, 2018)


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Kudos to Dr. Rena Lauer on her recent Medieval Academy Publication Subvention award!

We are very pleased to announce  that the 2018 Medieval Academy Publication Subvention has been awarded to Rena Lauer (Oregon State University) to support the publication of her forthcoming monograph, Colonial Justice and the Jews of Venetian Crete (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press).

The Medieval Academy Book Subvention Program provides grants of up to $2,500 to university or other non-profit scholarly presses to support the publication of first books by Medieval Academy members. For more information, click here. For a full list of subvented books, click here.

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