2018 ASPECT Graduate Conference

Across disciplinary boundaries, the 2018 ASPECT graduate conference seeks to tackle the topic of interdisciplinarity in the humanities and the social sciences, the opportunities interdisciplinary learning, researching, and teaching offer, and the challenges interdisciplinary programs present from a variety of perspectives including scholarship, publication, teaching and mentoring, and diversity and inclusivity. Graduate students at any level and irrespective of disciplinary affiliation are encouraged to submit abstracts of approximately 300 words based on papers that engage topics related to artistic, aesthetic, social, political, philosophical, cultural, theoretical, ethical, educational, and critical concerns.

We invite papers that engage a variety of contemporary issues about interdisciplinarity as the interdisciplinary and theory-oriented ASPECT PhD program at Virginia Tech celebrates its 10th anniversary with this conference.

Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to: the body and politics; critical approaches to technology and aesthetics; ecological and environmental issues; gender and sexuality; geopolitics and international relations; identity politics; marginalized knowledges; moral and political philosophy; new materialities; writing and history; postcolonialism; post-Marxism and ideology; race and politics; religion and secularity; minority studies; critical security studies; critical pedagogy; and violence and representation.

Theme: “Doing Interdisciplinarity”

2018 ASPECT Graduate Conference – Thursday, March 22nd – Saturday, March 24th

The Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought

 Location: TBA

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Dr. Robert Kirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University. His research is in the area of Critical Theory, critical political economy, and critical institutionalism. He recently secured a large NSF grant to study leadership issues. His presentation for the ASPECT conference will be on the challenges and opportunities for funded research for scholars doing interdisciplinary and theoretical research at the intersection of the social sciences and the humanities.

Dr. Jamie Sanchez is an Assistant Professor and Director of the PhD program in the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University (in Los Angeles county). Her research focuses on Asian cultural politics and religions and the study of ethnic minorities in China (with an emphasis on Inner Mongolia). As a scholar, teacher, mentor, and administrator, Dr. Sanchez has worked on issues of diversity and inclusivity for women (minority women, in particular). Her presentation for the ASPECT conference will offer an assessment of the role that interdisciplinary and intercultural PhD programs can play in fostering diversity and inclusivity in and across the American university/higher learning landscape today.

Dr. Aaron Stoller is currently the Director of the First Year Experience Program at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. Stoller is a philosopher and education theorist who specializes in John Dewey. In particular, his research interests are in the areas of progressive pedagogies and critical university studies. His presentation for the ASPECT conference will speak to educational and pedagogical challenges and opportunities for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary programs in American university settings in the twenty-first century.

Please note that the ASPECT conference will also feature a roundtable discussion on finding an academic job after graduating with an interdisciplinary PhD.

Submit a 300 word abstract to by 5:00pm on Friday, December 8, 2017 to aspectconferencevt@gmail.com. Please provide the following:

  1. Paper title, abstract, and five keywords that best describe your paper.
  2. Names, affiliations, and contact information for each author – please include an email address and contact phone number along with your home institution, the degree you are pursuing, and your area(s) of study.

For more information, visit our conference website at https://aspectconference.wordpress.com/.

Full drafts of conference papers must be submitted to the conference organizers via aspectconferencevt@gmail.com by no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 9, 2017. Conference organizers will circulate final papers to respondents.

Papers presented at the conference may be solicited for peer review and possible publication in an upcoming issue of SPECTRA: the ASPECT Journal (spectrajournal.org). Please forward questions concerning SPECTRA submissions to editor@spectrajournal.org

About the ASPECT doctoral program at Virginia Tech:

ASPECT is a signature interdisciplinary and theoretically oriented doctoral program located in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. Doctoral Students in ASPECT conduct research at the intersection of the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts, with an emphasis on social thought, political thought, ethical thought, and cultural thought. ASPECT works closely with four core departments (History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion and Culture) at Virginia Tech.