History of the Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA) Conference
The Waterloo PGSA Conference is held on a yearly basis. It hosts Philosophy graduate students from across North America, featuring papers on any topic in philosophy. The Conference usually takes place in the Spring of each year. In the past, the event has submissions from students at top universities around the world, including Oxford, Harvard, Cornell, Brown, and Toronto.
Among the profession at large, the Waterloo PGSA Conference is well regarded as a graduate conference. Past keynote speakers have included Helen Longino, Patricia Churchland, Lee Smolin, and many other accomplished philosophers. This continues in the department's tradition of hosting the highest profile special guest speakers for the purposes of teaching and interacting with the graduate students, which on one occasion included Gareth Evans and GEM Anscombe.
Keynote speakers from past conferences
2016 Keynote: Kristie Dotson [Michigan State University]
2015 Keynote: Julia Driver [Washington University in St. Louis]
2014 Keynote: James Dreier [Brown]
2013 Keynote: Nomy Arpaly [Brown]
2012 Keynote: Helen Longino [Stanford]
2011 Keynote: Diana Raffman [Toronto]
2010 Keynote: Mark Wilson [Pittsburgh]
2009 Keynote: Sanford Goldberg [Northwestern]
More information can be found on the PGSA website.
Highlights from past conferences
Conference Recap: April 8, 2016
The 23rd annual Graduate Conference in Philosophy organized by the PGSA this year was an incredible success! Many excellent graduate students from all over Canada, the United States, and even Australia presented interesting and thought provoking talks. This year's keynote presentation, delivered by Dr. Kristie Dotson in a jam packed room, was insightful and a true highlight. Moreover, attendance and active participation from our faculty and students ensured that the talks were always lively and never dull.--Phillipe Beriault, PGSA Conference organizer
Conference Recap: March 20, 2015
The PGSA held their 22nd Annual Graduate Student Conference with Professor Julia Driver as the keynote speaker. Graduate students from universities across Canada and the United States presented on topics relating to 20th century analytic philosophy, epistemology and practical reasoning. Professor Driver presented her paper "Virtue and Moral Deference" which was thought provoking and positively critiqued during the question and answer period.--Dylon McChesney, PGSA Conference organizer
Conference Recap: Apr. 3, 2014
The papers submitted and accepted this year were excellent and the presentations were no less so. Many philosophical topics were up for discussion, from the philosophical analysis of recalcitrant emotions, to the politics and morality of authority and deference. Attendance and participation from our graduate students, faculty, retired professors, guests, keynote speaker and others made this conference a success.--Ben Nelson, PGSA Conference organizer
Conference Recap: March 27, 2013
The quality of the papers submitted and accepted this year was outstanding and the presentations were philosophically engaging and thought-provoking. There were lively discussions on various philosophical topics, including the role of desires in decision-making, a new account of weakness of will and different kinds of moral responsibility, just to name a few. Attendance and participation from our graduate students, faculty, retired professors, guests, keynote speaker and others made this conference a huge success.--R. Abdool, PGSA President, and N. Haydon, PGSA Conference organizer