Category Archives: travel

Women’s March on Washington

I’m thrilled to say that on January 21st, I’ll be joining what will likely be hundreds of thousands of others for the Women’s March on Washington. There is something amazing about the experience of publicly and collectively expressing what you value most deeply; I always look forward to opportunities to do that.

But on this occasion, I’m especially thankful that I’ll be meeting up with personal friends of mine who will be coming from various places across the country. While we are different in terms of gender, race, age, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, political commitments, professions, and in all sorts of other ways, we all share a commitment to transforming our communities into ones in which the rights, dignity, and safety of all are protected and respected.

I hope you’ll join us in spirit, if not physically at one of the sister marches nearest you.

European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions in Athens

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting a paper at the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions (EPSSE) in Athens, Greece. I have to say that it was a wonderful experience!

I also presented at the group’s inaugural conference in Lisbon in 2014, and both times, it was the kind of conference I really look forward to: the attendees included people from all sorts of different places who were friendly and supportive while still giving interesting and challenging feedback, which was informed by a wide range of different philosophical methods and areas of expertise. I highly recommend EPSSE to anyone who has a philosophical interest in the emotions!

I would like to mention just a handful of my favorite talks from the conference, which include “Admiration and Moral Responsibility,” by Alfred Archer, “Affective Consciousness and Moral Responsibility,” by Alex Madva, “The Break-Up Check: Testing Theories of Romantic Love in Relationship Terminations,” by Pila Lopez-Cantero, “Moral Regret and the Psychological Constitution of the Kantian Agent,” by Katherine Giambastiani, “Emergent Emotion,” by Elaine O’Connell, and “Scaffolded Affectivity,” by Achim Stephan and Sven Walter. Now if only my paper would revise itself in light of everything I learned …

Exploring Collaborative Contestations and Diversifying Philosophy

Deeply nestled into multiple feet of snow, with more on the way, I’m longing for spring and so looking forward to presenting a paper at the Hypatia and APA Committee on the Status of Women conference being hosted by Villanova University in May. The joint conference is itself a great idea, Philadelphia is a wonderful city, and my last Hypatia conference (the 25th anniversary one in Seattle) was nothing short of stellar, so there is plenty to be happy about right there.

But wait, there is more! I’m adding some extra specialness by taking the train from Boston to Philly. I rode Amtrak from Iowa to Boston with my family as a kid, went back and forth between Portland and Seattle multiple times on Amtrak, made it from Denver to Iowa in a blizzard on a train, and have had some unforgettable trips on trains in Europe and Morocco. Despite the major unpleasantness of that seemingly endless trip out of Denver, I really enjoy the experience of being on a train. Of course, train travel also emits much less carbon than going by car or plane, so that is one more thing to paste a smile on my face (although it doesn’t make my toes any warmer)!

Vegetarian Food in Portugal and Spain

One of the things I like most about traveling is tasting new foods and learning about other cultures through their food-related practices. Being a vegetarian can complicate this a bit, but I had no trouble finding plenty of delicious vegetarian food at reasonable prices everywhere I went in the Iberian peninsula!

Vegetarian or not, there is lots to enjoy in the food culture of Portugal and Spain. Since I do my best writing early in the day, I like the practice of eating meals later (than most Americans do). I also enjoy being in a restaurant where the assumption is that you want to take the time to enjoy your food, rather than be rushed or interrupted regularly. In my experience, Portugese and Spanish people take a lot of pride in their cuisine, and are pleased to bond with others by sharing it!

In case you are interested in some recommendations, here are a sampling, in no particular order:

Lisbon, Portugal: Lisbon has tons of excellent and inexpensive food, and since almost everyone can and is willing to speak some English, knowing little to no Portugese won’t be an obstacle to a happy belly. Consider trying: Jardim do Sentidos, The Green Room, Taste of Lisboa (a food tour: I recommend the one at Campo de Ourique), Cruzes Credo, Pois Cafe, La Creperie da Ribeira, Santini, Primo Basilico, Casa Nepalesa, Time Out’s Mercado de Ribeira, Queijaria Nacional, and/or Restaurante Oasis. There were so many places I wanted to try that after five weeks in Lisbon, I still had only made it about halfway through my list!

Guimaraes, Portugal: I wasn’t in Guimaraes for long, but Cor de Tangerina was so good that I went there multiple times.

Madrid, Spain: There seem to be a lot more vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly food options in Madrid than when I visited a friend there in 2007. Some of my favorites include: Yerbabuena,  Restaurantes Vegetarianos ArtemisaGuaranga Transcendental FoodMercado de San Miguel, Indian Aroma, El Estragon Vegetariano, and/or Phuket.

 

EPSSE in Lisbon

Last night, I returned to the US after nearly two months of writing and traveling in Portugal and Spain. How did I manage to pull off that trip, you might ask? A paper of mine, called “Jealousy and Self-Respect,” was accepted for presentation at the first annual conference of the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions (EPSSE), which took place in Lisbon, Portugal, and I was fortunate to receive some faculty development funds to pay for my plane ticket and conference registration fees. Thank you, Colby-Sawyer College!

In my presentation, I explained an argument that some people have used to defend the claim that the emotion jealousy can help maintain or enhance morally valuable relationships, which can in turn ground people’s morally valuable self-respect, and thus that some jealousy is morally praiseworthy. I then discussed multiple objections to that argument, and concluded that the argument should be rejected. I got lots of productive feedback during the lively Q&A, and I look forward to presenting some similar material in a faculty colloquium at CSC in the coming academic year.

The whole conference was a truly wonderful experience. Philosophy of emotion is has grown a lot in recent years, but it is still very unusual to have an entire conference devoted to it, so spending three long days with other philosophers of emotion is a rare treat. During the conference, I saw 32 presentations by people from 6 continents about a huge range of philosophical issues! I learned an immense amount, met dozens of lovely and stimulating people, reconnected with some folks I already knew, and came away with pages of notes and ideas relating to both teaching and research that I look forward to drawing from well into the future.