Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Nationalism, War, and Peace: JDS Call for Proposals

John Dewey Society Panel on Dewey and Philosophy:
2018 Theme: Nationalism, War, and Peace

Due: November 15, 2017

The John Dewey Society calls for paper proposals for its panel on Dewey and Philosophy (formerly called the Past Presidents’ Panel), to be held at its annual meeting, in conjunction with the American Educational Research Association meeting in New York City on April 12 and 13, 2018.

Is it possible to build a lasting peace? What does war accomplish? Dewey discusses such ideas and more in many writings around the time of First World War, 100 years ago. War and violence indicated for Dewey a breakdown of democratic deliberation. Nation states were at war early in the last century, and in our time, we are seeing a rise in nationalism, and at the same time, the breakdown of societies that become rife with terrorism and social chaos.

As we approach the centennial of the armistice, we invite proposals that not only address Dewey’s many writings on nationalism, war, and peace, but that use these thoughts to shed light on current concerns. Dewey wrote on the consequences of war and pointed to new social arrangements such as a “federated world government” declaring, “It is because, in the end, autocracy means uniformity as surely as democracy means diversification that the great hope lies with the latter. The former strains human nature to the breaking point; the latter releases and relieves it—such, I take it, is the ultimate sanction of democracy, for which we are fighting” (“What Are We Fighting For?” MW11: 105-106).

While this list is not exhaustive or directive, submissions might take up questions such as:
·      Can we say today that we are fighting for democracy, and if so, what does that mean?
·      In light of the century since Dewey’s writings on WWI, what has changed, and how relevant are Dewey’s thoughts to the conflicts in our world today?
·      How is Dewey’s time both similar and different to ours regarding nationalism, war, and peace?
·      What other understandings of the causes of war have we come to since Dewey’s time when he stated “Warlikeness is not of itself the cause of war; a clash of interests due to absence of organization is its cause” (“Morals and the Conduct of States,” MW11: 125).

How to Submit

Submit all proposals (prepared per instructions below) for individual papers via email with an attachment as a Word document. All proposals are due by midnight Eastern time November 15, 2017, via email to Sarah Stitzlein, John Dewey Society President-Elect, Professor, University of Cincinnati,; Any questions - contact Sarah Stitzlein directly via email.

Proposals accepted for presentation in this panel of the John Dewey Society will be notified by January 15, 2018. Full papers of up to 5000 words (excluding references) will be due no later than April 1, 2018 for the discussant to prepare remarks.

Proposal guidelines

Part 1 (submit in the body of your email message with the subject line JDS Proposal)

(1.) Title of your paper and theme your proposal addresses
(2.) Your name, title, institutional affiliation (if any)
(3.) Your address, phone, email
(4.) An abstract of up to 100 words

Part 2 (in an attached Word document with all identifying information removed for anonymous review)

(1.) Title of your paper
(2.) A descriptive summary of your paper (maximum length 1000 words), explaining your paper and its significance, especially in relation to the selected theme. List several references to place your contribution in the broader scholarly conversation.

About The John Dewey Society (

Founded in 1935, the purpose of the Society is to foster intelligent inquiry into problems pertaining to the place and function of education in social change, and to share, discuss, and disseminate the results of such inquiry.