Conference on Social Justice to Honor Professor of Philosophy Bill Bywater

April 11, 2012 – Allegheny College is presenting a one-day conference on social justice on April 20 in honor of Bill Bywater, who is retiring this year after 44 years at the college. Bywater is a professor of philosophy and senior faculty in women’s studies at Allegheny.

The conference, which will include presentations by four philosophers, will take place in the Tillotson Room of the college’s Tippie Alumni Center. All four presentations are free and open to the public.

Two assistant professors of philosophy from Michigan State University will speak. Kyle Whyte will speak on “Indigenous North American Environmental Ethics and Leopold’s Land Ethic: A Critical View” from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. Kristie Dotson will speak on “Fixing Philosophy? A Conversation with Bill Bywater” from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

George Yancy, associate professor of philosophy at Duquesne University, will speak on “Courageous Listening and the Importance of a White Ally” from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m.

The conference will culminate with a presentation from 8:10 to 9 p.m. by Elizabeth Spelman, professor of philosophy at Smith College. The title of her talk is “On Taking Out the Trash.”

During his tenure at Allegheny College, Bywater has been instrumental in broadening the scope of Allegheny’s curriculum by working to establish programs in black studies and women’s studies. He was the inaugural recipient of an award to recognize faculty achievement in campus leadership, the pioneering of new teaching methodology and creative course development.

Earlier this year he was honored with an Inclusive Excellence Leadership Award, for his work in promoting diversity on campus.

The conference on April 20 is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Women’s Studies Program at Allegheny College.