As a Seattle-native I did not have to travel far to the Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition (PACT) conference in late September hosted by Seattle University. This was the seventh annual meeting of PACT, with the theme of The Feast. PACT is an organization of philosophers and other thinkers (including artists) focusing on Continental philosophy in contrast to the other predominant mode of Western philosophy, called Anglo-American.
IDSVA had a strong contingent at PACT, including Assistant Professor Christopher Yates, who presented his paper, “Subjects Nonetheless: Knut Hamsun’s Hunger and the Poetics of Self-Deception,” in a session moderated by my fellow third-year student and New York-based arts professional Taliesin Thomas. Significantly for Taliesin and me, this was our first philosophy conference, although we have both presented papers at academic conferences in the past.
Doctoral candidate Kathryn McFadden was unable to attend, but her paper, “Feasting Thought: Origin of Love in a Work of Art,” was read by Chris Yates a session which he also moderated. Kathryn is an independent curator and artist who teaches at the college-level in the Philadelphia-area. Fortunately, Kathryn was able to join the question-and-answer session via Skype.
Doctoral candidate Kate Farrington, an artist and educator based in Massachusetts, presented her paper, “‘Place’ through a Feast of the Five Senses: A Philosophical Consideration of Robin Kahn’s 2012 art project for dOCUMENTA (13): Dining in Refugee Camps: The Art of Sahrawi Cooking.” I had the pleasure of reading my paper, “The Aevum: A Medieval Conception of Time to Feed the Soul in Modern Aesthetics,” during the first day of three-day conference.
It was exciting to be a part of a conference that brought together participants from all over North America and to share in a “feast” of ideas. What was particularly satisfying for me was not only to be able to represent IDSVA at the highest level of scholarly engagement, but to see my fellow IDSVA family members and feel once again in person their support and encouragement. For me it has been quite a transformation, as a studio artist who struggled (and perhaps still does!) over writing artist’s statements for my own exhibitions, to evolving into the artist-philosopher eager to dive deep into the verbal expression of ideas.