The Literature & Philosophy Workshop at the University of Chicago, now in its sixth year, works across traditional disciplinary boundaries to encourage an ongoing conversation that transcends historical and geographic divisions. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: philosophy as literature, philosophy of literature, and philosophy in literature; the mutual influence of literary theory, critical theory, and philosophy proper, especially ethics and the philosophy of language; and related forms of cultural production, e.g. visual and performing arts, myth, ritual, rhetoric, psychology (especially in the tradition of talk therapy). We are committed to honoring the integrity of literature and philosophy, not collapsing one into the other, or otherwise forgetting the twinned objects of our inquiry, and we take it as axiomatic that philosophy and literature are indispensable to human knowledge and self-knowledge.
The Workshop provides a forum for discussion among graduate students, faculty, visiting scholars and writers interested in questions raised at the intersection of literature and philosophy. Our participants gather biweekly to discuss dissertation chapters, works in progress, published articles, and classic works relevant to our topics. Our presenters receive valuable commentary and discussion on their research projects to date, and their offerings allow participants to encounter thinkers, texts, and areas of research they might not otherwise come across in the course of their studies. As a vibrant intellectual community, we prepare graduate students for a professional life of broad intellectual engagement: relating some of the oldest human questions to current developments both in and out of the academy. A highlight of the 2015-16 academic year will be our two-day conference, scheduled for November, titled “Community, Reason, Tragedy.” More information about the conference can be found here.