All posts by Stephen

Philosophy Across Disciplines – Newcastle Philosophy Student Conference 2020 – 5th June

Philosophy Across the Disciplines is a student-led conference held at Newcastle
University every year. The conference allows students in the Philosophy
Department to present papers which are usually based on the
dissertations/projects carried out in each stage. Each talk will last around 10-15
minutes and gives students the chance to experience and practice presenting an
academic paper, but in a more relaxed setting with their peers. After the students
have presented their papers, they can submit them to be published in the
Newcastle Philosophy Undergraduate Journal.

The conference has been developed to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of
philosophy, showcasing the ways in which philosophy may enrich and itself be
enriched by research within other disciplines, hence the name ‘Philosophy Across
Disciplines’. This conference isn’t just for students studying philosophy at
Newcastle University, it is open to students from any disciplinary background
and from any university – so long as their research is engaging with a certain
level of philosophy. Although generally, it is catered mostly towards students in
our own department, as the whole ethos of the conference echoes that of our
project module, where we engage with a ‘non-philosophical’ topic or object in a
philosophical way.


The conference provides a great opportunity for students who want experience
with speaking at academic conferences, or for those who otherwise want to
improve and evidence their public speaking skills – either to boost their
confidence or to show on their CV. If you are planning on pursuing further study,
then presenting a conference paper looks fantastic on Masters/PhD applications,
as it is highly advantageous if you can demonstrate your motivation and expertise
with reference to non-compulsory academic achievements, such as conference
papers and journal publications, when applying for highly competitive
postgraduate positions and funding opportunities. It is also a good thing in
general to be able to refer to when applying for jobs, especially ones that involve
project deadlines and public speaking.

The deadline for applications is the 27th of March.

Applications should be made through the form
available at the following link:

Coffee and chat drop ins in the new Henry Daysh Cafe (with free coffee or similar beverage)

I’ll be running a ‘coffee and a chat’ session tomorrow, and then on each Monday until the end of term.   

Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 25th of February) I’ll be down in the new Henry Daysh Café, on the ground floor of the building, between 14:30 and 15:30. If anyone wants to drop in for a chat, whether about philosophy or about anything else, come along and there will be a free coffee or other drink from the new café for you.  

That’s right – free coffee or other drink! The one thing I ask is that you bring your own cup, as the new café there is a ‘bring your own cup’ place.  

I’m going to keep holding these coffee drop-ins for the rest of term but on MONDAYS from NEXT week (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd March) at the same time (14:30 to 15:30). 

All philosophy students are welcome to come along.  


Thinking Differently in Philosophy

The ‘Thinking Differently in Philosophy’ Conference run on the 22nd of November was an interesting event in which eight speakers presented on the topic of thinking differently.

Thanks to all of the speakers, including our two guests, Tom Moynihan and Enrico Monacelli, and our six student speakers, many of whom were presenting in public for the first time.

We hope to run similar events in future years, giving our students the chance to see young thinkers in action, and to participate in formal academic events themselves.

Tom Moynihan – Thinking Differently for 50,00 years: A History of the Human Mind as Crucible of the Counter-to-Fact
Tom’s Q & A session.
Student Panel on ‘thinking differently’ (l to r) Izzy Mitcham, Valentina Di-Maio, Joshua Kaluba, Mary Redfearn
Enico Monacelli – The Genesis of Thought From Early Psychoanalysis to Negrastani’s Intelligence and Spirit

Philosophy Challenge Day – 4th November

This will be on the afternoon of Monday 4th November, from 13:00 to 18:00 in the BALTIC art gallery on the quayside. The event should be appearing on your timetables now.

It is the ‘philosophy challenge day’. Challenge days are run by most schools in the university. They offer students the chance to:

  • Develop a wide range of skills deemed crucial by a vast array of employers over a short period of time
  • Find examples to use on your CV and in interviews
  • Work with peers outside of your lectures
  • Gain experience in problem solving for an organisation
  • Find potential employment opportunities
  • Work with alumni and find out about potential paths for after university

The structure of the day is that you will be set a challenge by the staff at the BALTIC, relating to improving its current operation. You will then have a few hours to create a pitch explaining how you would solve the challenge, and then present this pitch to a panel of BALTIC staff and Philosophical Studies alumni. All materials and food are provided on the day – though you may want to bring laptops or tablets with you to help produce your pitch.

More information will follow over the next weeks – for now, the important thing is to KEEP THIS DATE FREE.


How do I get to BALTIC?

Just walk don Northumberland street and across the swing, Tyne or Millennium Bridges. The Baltic is pretty unmissable – it is a huge building on the Quayside that says BALTIC FLOUR MILLS in big letters. The green ‘QUAY LINK’ buses go from Haymarket (opposite the university) to the Quayside every few minutes.

Is this compulsory?

Yes it is. It is a timetabled event, and we expect everyone to attend. Attendance will be closely monitored.

Is this in consolidation week?

Yes it is, so we know that everyone is not timetabled to be anywhere else that day. Consolidation week is not a half term or a holiday, and is not something that most subjects in the university have. It is a chance to catch up on reading, but it is part of term time and you are expected to be in Newcastle and available for timetabled events.

Do I need to take anything?

No, pens and paper will be provided, and food. You may want to take a laptop or tablet, so you can get online when planning and developing your pitch.

I don’t quite understand what this is???

Have a look at a similar event run by English, and you should get a better idea.