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Call for Papers
A Symposium for Honoring
—and making use of—William James:
In the Footsteps of William James
The William James Society is planning a long-weekend symposium, August 6-9, 2010, to honor the life of James on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of his death. In the spirit of James, the symposium, “In the Footsteps of William James,” will be an opportunity to explore the local settings of James’s life and to reflect on James’s ability to encounter experience afresh and approach problems creatively.
The symposium will therefore have two dimensions and we seek presenters for both:
1. with the symposium taking place at Chocorua, NH, and Cambridge, MA, we call for presenters familiar with his life in either or both places who could serve as guides for the participants; there are some residents in both places that will already be serving this role, so our primary call is for our second dimension;
2. for a symposium as much about the public intellectual significance of James’s thought as his scholarly contributions, we call for presenters who can address issues of historic and contemporary relevance as illuminated by James’s life and work, for sessions to include topics such as these:
- The Pragmatist Turn, and its potential for reconciling disputes and fostering common sense in public discourse,
- Values Voters and Valuing Citizenship, on the uses of his theories for comprehending differences and encouraging listening, and his speaking out against social injustice,
- Educational Renewal, from James’s own classroom experiences to his talks to teachers and about education, to his potential to foster opening of minds,
- Spirituality and Belief, with James in anticipation of the endurance of religion and spirituality in secular settings and of theories for embracing differences of belief,
- Mental Health, from his theory of habits to his inspirations to help people with addiction and to encourage the research in positive psychology,
- Appraisals of James by his colleagues, friends, students, and successors in various fields.
Please send an abstract of 100 words and a brief description of qualifications to the William James Symposium Committee by January 15, 2010 to: