Graduate Student Groups

Eastern Philosophy Reading Group

This reading group meets bimonthly to read and discuss important classical texts in Eastern thought, and how these texts continue to influence contemporary Eastern philosophy. Our objective is to supplement our understanding of Western philosophy by developing a healthy appreciation for and working knowledge of Eastern philosophy. We will start by examining key selections from a few different Chinese religious traditions, including Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism by reading, as our main text, Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden’s Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. After this, we will evaluate current contributions from scholars of Eastern thought on contemporary philosophical questions. This group also will provide a great forum for invited guest speakers and for graduate students to present their own work in progress.

For more information or if you would like to participate in any way, please contact Gordon Shannon or Colin Hickey.

Gender & Philosophy Group

In order to make use of the extraordinary strength this department has in feminist philosophy as well as philosophy of gender and related areas, we’ve started the Graduate Student Gender and Philosophy Group. The purpose of this group is to get graduate students interested and invested in philosophical work in these areas, as well as providing a forum for graduate students to talk about the philosophical issues in these areas with each other and with the faculty.To accomplish these goals, we’ve scheduled several two-hour blocks for individual faculty members to come and discuss with us. The format of these meetings is a short (15-20 minute) presentation by the faculty member on an issue or issues of their choosing, then a group discussion about those issues.

Please contact Cassie Herbert for more information or if you plan to attend.

Georgetown Graduate Student Coalition for Gender Diversity in Philosophy

The Graduate Student Coalition for Gender Diversity in Philosophy is a graduate student group that seeks to identify and address issues specific to gender minorities in the Philosophy Department by meeting regularly and collectively developing and implementing strategies for improvement.

The Graduate Student Coalition for Gender Diversity in Philosophy values shared awareness of the difficulties faced by women in our department and how recognition of these difficulties can contribute to long-term enhancement of department climate. The group strives to provide a space for gender minorities and allies to discuss their experiences and call attention to persistent issues and professional challenges gender minorities are likely to face.   

The Graduate Student Coalition for Gender Diversity in Philosophy also works to design new ways to meet the needs of women graduate students and equip them to effectively respond to challenges they face as gender minorities. Allied faculty members are also invited to attend select meetings to offer their insights and experience, collaborating with graduate students to develop strategies for solving problems.

While the central focus of the group is on gender minorities in our department, we are fervent allies for other underrepresented groups in philosophy. We hope that our work will lead to efforts to address and combat racism, homophobia, ableism, size discrimination, and other climate issues in philosophy. We view tackling these issues as central to our own mission, both because members of the Graduate Student Coalition for Gender Diversity in Philosophy identify with multiple underrepresented groups, and also because we view them as vitally important for the advancement of philosophy.

For more information or if you would like to participate in any way, you may email the Coalition.

Graduate Student Writers’ Workshop

The Graduate Student Writers’ Workshop is a small group of philosophy graduate students who meet two or three times per month in order to ‘workshop’ a paper by one of its members. The presenting member of the group distributes her or his paper a week in advance, and all members are expected to read it prior to the meeting. Each meeting is kicked off by a commenter, who presents a very brief overview of and some critical reactions to the paper. The goals of the group include: helping one another to grow and polish pieces of philosophy that are in relatively early stages; providing practice runs for conferences or job talks; providing feedback on chapters of our peers’ dissertations; learning about one another’s interests; and improving all members’ skills at giving and receiving feedback. The group meets on Fridays when there is no departmental speaker, and is restricted to philosophy graduate students.

Latin American Philosophy Group

The Georgetown University Latin American Philosophy Group is dedicated to exploring and engaging a wide range of works in Latin American philosophy. The group meets once per month during the school year, and each month will have a different theme, focusing on a short reading, lecture, or film. Group members collaborate to choose topics and will take turns leading discussion. When possible, readings will be available in both English and Spanish/Portuguese. We welcome faculty and students from a wide range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, philosophy, literature, cultural studies, history, area studies, and politics. For more information, email Clark Donley or Francisco Gallegos.

Minorities and Philosophy

Georgetown’s Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter is a coalition of graduate students and faculty members who focus on “(a) minority issues in the profession, (b) theoretical issues regarding philosophy of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, disability, native language, etc, and (c) philosophy done from minority perspectives” ( In particular, Georgetown’s map chapter aims to get more undergraduate students from underrepresented groups excited about philosophy and involved with the philosophy department.

Contact person: Nabina Liebow

Georgetown Philosophy Pedagogy Group

The Georgetown Philosophy Pedagogy Group is a loose affiliation of graduate students who presently are or will soon be teaching their own classes. Participants visit other classes and receive visits in theirs, both of which occasions provide an opportunity for critical observation and collaborative exploration of any number of issues related to teaching as it happens in the classroom. All participants gather together near the end of each semester to collectively reflect on visiting experiences and discuss issues related to teaching that are broader ranging than what happens in the classroom, including syllabus and class design, assessment, and use of technology. Participation is voluntary, but designed to be a minimal imposition while yielding useful results.

Contact person: Mike Barnes

20th Century European Philosophy Workshop

This workshop is a forum for graduate students in the Philosophy Department who are working on and interested in the texts, thinkers and topics associated with 20th Century European Philosophy (understood broadly). It provides a setting for intense, high-level discussion in which the participants’ background, and interest, in the relevant material can be assumed. Meetings are devoted primarily to presentation and discussion of graduate student papers or dissertation chapters, and secondarily to critical discussion of a text or texts from the 20th Century European tradition. The workshop also invites outside speakers on occasion. In addition to its academic function, the workshop serves a social function. It brings together graduate students from all stages of the program — and outside the program — who are united by a common philosophical interest.

For more information, please contact Matt Shields.