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Philosophy Graduate Students' Association

Submitted by schnell on Thu, 11/21/2013 - 2:42pm

The Philosophy Graduate Students’ Association (PGSA) includes all graduate students in the philosophy department and provides a safe space for students to be among their peers to discuss and vote on issues that affect them. Participation in the PGSA gives students a chance to gain experience with the sort of departmental service tasks that may be needed later in their careers. Additionally, the PGSA facilitates the planning of graduate student events and social gatherings, such as the annual graduate student conference and the annual reading week dinner that takes place every February. The PGSA meets at least four times per year and executive positions for the PGSA run from May 1st to April 30th.

  • Contact the PGSA by email at
  • Visit A Philosophers Take, a group blog site with contributors from the graduate student community at UCalgary, as well as alumni on a broad range of philosophical topics.

2019-2020 PGSA Executive 

President: Nigel Freno
Vice President: Bonnie Chin
Treasurer: WeiDong Sun
Secretary: Brent Odland
Graduate Colloquium Coordinator: Nima Khodabandeh

The Annual Graduate Student Conference

Every year, the PGSA votes on topic proposals for the graduate student conference. A committee of graduate students organizes and hosts this event led by one or two student conference directors and a faculty advisor. Students gain experience in organizing a conference that can include securing keynote speakers, student presentations, commentary, creating budget proposals, funding applications, organizing blind review of submitted papers, calls for papers, and catering events. The conference typically ends with a reception at a local restaurant for all speakers and conference attendees to provide an informal environment for further discussion. The graduate conference receives strong support from the department and has been funded in the past by the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.

  • The 2019 Graduate Conference was held May 2-3 on the topic, "Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Obligation." Keynote speakers were Derk Pereboom (Cornell) and Ish Haji (Calgary).
  • The 2018 Graduate Conference was held May 3-4 on "Philosophy of Biology". Keynote speakers were Roberta Millstein and Marc Ereshefsky.
  • The 2017 Graduate Conference was held May 3-4 on the topic "Ethics in the Age of Science." Keynote speakers were Katrina Sifferd (Elmhurst College), Gregg D. Caruso (SUNY-Corning), Samir Chopra (CUNY-Brooklyn College), and Allen Habib (University of Calgary).
  • The 2016 Graduate Conference was held May 27-28 on the topic "Logic & Language." Keynote speakers were Gila Sher (UCSD) and David Liebesman (Calgary). Organizers were Stephanie Reyes and Aaron Thomas-Bolduc

2018-2019 PGSA Executive 

President: Ananya Chattoraj
Vice President: Eric Bohner
Treasurer: Hannah O'Riain
Secretary: Nima Khodabandeh
Graduate Colloquium Coordinator: Timothy Perkins

2017-2018 PGSA Executive 

President: Josh Stein
Vice President: Soohyun Ahn
Treasurer: Elena Tumasz-Jordan
Secretary: Evangelian Collings
Graduate Colloquium Coordinator: Celso Alves Neto

2016-2017 PGSA Executive

President: Brian Hanley
Vice President: Sarah Vooys
Treasurer: Samara Burns
Secretary: Brandon Beasley

2015-2016 Related PGSA Positions

Graduate Representative Council Student Representatives: Alison McConwell and Rob Armstrong
Faculty Department Student Representative: Brian Hanley
Graduate Colloquium Director: Brian Hanley
Minorities and Philosophy Representatives: Stephanie Reyes and Monte Forester

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