Friday, January 30, 2009

New Institute for Philosophy in Public Life

I am writing to announce the new Institute for Philosophy in Public Life and the many opportunities it offers philosophers (and those working in philosophy) including fellowships, a public radio show, film festivals, and, eventually, a journal and a digital archive of lectures and discussion groups. I hope you take the opportunity to peruse our website at

More information follows below, but the first broadcast of our philosophy call-in radio show Why? Philosophical discussions about everyday life is on February 8, at 5 p.m. on Prairie Public radio (North Dakota’s public radio network). It will be simulcast live on the web at: I invite you to listen and call in.

The mission of the institute is to bridge academic research in philosophy and general audiences. We at IPPL are committed to the belief that all philosophical research is relevant to day to day life (even the most obscure stuff) and that what is needed is a “translation” of the technical or jargon-filled work. General audiences will respond to what we do, we just have to get their attention.

More than just a continuation of the philosophy and popular culture fad (books which, incidentally, I welcome), the IPPL is committed to fostering scholarly research at the university as well as more generally accessible work outside of it. I hope we offer something that interests you whether it is a program you wish to listen to (or see), a teaching tool for your students, research materials that you might find useful, or a fellowship.

Some highlights of the next few months:

Why? Philosophical discussions about everyday life: possibly the world’s first call-in philosophy talk show. Broadcast on the second Sunday of every month on Prairie Public radio, WHY? will feature professional philosophers and others talking about their research and taking calls from the audience. The show is simulcast live on the web and will be archived for streaming and podcasts. The direct link is here:

Regional and visiting fellowships: IPPL offers national visitors the opportunity to work in their own office at the University of North Dakota and have full access to the library and network for two weeks. This includes a stipend, housing and travel costs, and the opportunity to purchase research materials housed at our library. Regional scholars can receive a similar fellowship with one-year access to the library and office so that they can come and go while working on their long term projects. These fellows also receive a stipend. We will begin considering applications for the 2009-2010 fellowships in March.

The direct link to information about fellowships is here:

Some of our current fellows are listed here:

“Art & Democracy Film Festival,” a monthly film festival in downtown Grand Forks, ND, during which philosophers and community members can get together and view movies and discuss them afterwards. The direct link to our schedule is here:

Much more will be happening over the next year as the institute expands its programming, I hope you find it a useful tool and consider working with us on your project.

If you have any questions, do feel free to contact me.

The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life is funded as a partnership between the University of North Dakota College of Arts & Sciences and the North Dakota Humanities Council

Dr. Jack Russell Weinstein

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion

Director, Institute for Philosophy in Public Life

University of North Dakota

Box 7128

Grand Forks, ND 58202-7128

(701) 777 - 2887


Web page:


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