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Graduate Student Activities

In addition to their regular course work and dissertation research, graduate students in Philosophy participate in a number of scholarly and extra-curricular activities. Each year the graduate students organize and run a Professional Development Seminar, which affords them the opportunity to meet regularly as a group to present and discuss their dissertation research. The activities of the Seminar also include occasional visits from various faculty members, who are invited to discuss salient points of professional development. Many of the graduate students also participate in ongoing reading groups devoted to particular topics and/or philosophers; representative topics of recent reading groups include feminist theory, American philosophy, semiotics, critical theory, Spinoza, Collingwood, Aristotle, and Heidegger. In recent years, reading groups have also been formed for intensive philosophical study in the original languages of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin. The graduate students in philosophy also interact both formally and informally with graduate students and faculty members from other departments at the University, including English, Comparative Literature, Classics, Political Science, Architecture, Sociology, and History. Finally, the graduate students in Philosophy are very active professionally. In the past few years, graduate students have received departmental funding to present their research at the meetings of the American Philosophical Association, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, the Merleau-Ponty Circle, the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, the Semiotics Society, the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, and the Southeast Medieval Studies Association.

Graduate students in Philosophy are also active in various sporting endeavors, including Intramural softball and basketball, bowling, hiking, and the Penn State dance club. Many of the students are also musicians, and they often gather for impromptu performances and jam sessions. Students generally find Penn State to foster a collegial and stimulating atmosphere for their studies and research.