2024 Presentations & Events

“A Journey to Lascaux: On the Role of Intention, Aesthetics, Emotion, and Ethics in Interpreting Prehistory”, Society for California Archaeology Annual Meeting: Considering Cultural Landscapes, Riverside, California, March 7-10, 2024.

“Structures or Intentions? Meaning in Adorning Bodies from Barthes to Grice to Darwin”, Institut Français de la Mode, Dresscodes Seminar, Paris, France, January 24, 2024.

ABSTRACT: We adorn the body for a number of reasons. There are, of course, the practical reasons. I
put on a thick sweater when I feel chilly, add some socks when I shiver as my feet touch the cold
bathroom tiles. But I don’t just put on any sweater or any socks. The sweaters and socks in my
home are there for a reason, brought into my space because of reasons that outstrip just the
practical. Clothes also communicate to others. In the 1950s and 1960s Roland Barthes undertook
what is seen as the most exhaustive attempt to codify clothing as a language. Going through
French fashion magazines Elle and Jardin des Modes he applied a semiotic approach attempting
to isolate the links between signifier and signified–between some part of a garment and the thing
it stands for. However, I will argue that the semiotic approach fails and opens up the possibility
of another approach. In Adorning Bodies (Bloomsbury 2022) I argue that the right approach to
understanding the meaning of clothing follows in the tradition of philosopher of language Paul
Grice. In particular, I argue that his distinction between natural and non-natural meaning can
apply to much of what we do with bodies and adornment. I also will present and defend my own,
new category of meaning called imitation of natural meaning which builds on Grice. And finally,
I will explain how our adornment practices connect with theories by Charles Darwin and are
shared by animals, who also engage in imitation of natural meaning.

2023 Presentations & Events

“Adorning Bodies”, Georgetown University, Aesthetic Perception Graduate Seminar, February 7, 2023.

“A Journey to Lascaux: On the Role of Intention, Aesthetics, Emotion, and Ethics in Interpreting Prehistory”, Philosophy and Biology Shop Talks Conference, Appalachian Mountains, University of North Carolina, June 5-8, 2023.

“A Journey to Lascaux: On the Role of Intention, Aesthetics, Emotion, and Ethics in Interpreting Prehistory”, 4th Lisbon International Conference on Philosophy of Science, Lisbon, Portugal 12-15 July, 2023.

“A Journey to Lascaux: On the Role of Intention, Aesthetics, Emotion, and Ethics in Interpreting Prehistory”, Society for California Archaeology & Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, (INAH) Centro INAH Baja California, Annual Southern Data Sharing Meeting, ‘Las Californias’, Ensenada, Baja California, October 19-22.

“Why Minor in Cognitive Science?” Panel Discussion with Dr. Laura Getz & Dr. Jennifer Olsen, University of San Diego, KIPJ C-D, October 24, 2023.

“Adorning Bodies” Author Meets Critics Panel “The Aesthetics of Fashion” with Gwenda-lin Grewal, Kate Moran, & Nick Pappas, The American Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, November 15-18, 2023.

 

Past Presentations, Events, Field Work, Etc.

2022

Organizer, Moderator “Past and Future of USD’s Repatriation of Cultural Heritage Materials”, University of San Diego, December 5, 2022. Organized with Kevin Guerrieri and Angel Hinzo.

“Number Technology and the Human Experience”, Panel at Interdisciplinary Forum, University of San Diego, October 22, 2022.

“Adorning Bodies”, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, October 14, 2022.

“Adorning Bodies”, University of the Third Age, University of San Diego, September 15, 2022.

“Relevance Theory & the Social Realities of Communication”, Philosophy of Linguistics and Language Conference, Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 5-9, 2022.

“Adorning Bodies”, San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books, University of San Diego, August 20, 2022.

2021

Illume College Lecture: Literary Slumming: Slang and Class in Nineteenth-Century France – Eliza Jane Smith, PhD“, Comments & Event Moderator, USD Humanities Center, December 6, 2021.

Social Media, Profit, and Protection: Addressing the Allegations Against Facebook“, Roundtable speaker, USD Humanities Center, October 21, 2021.

“Philosophical Perspectives on Communication by Prehistoric Bodily Adornment”, Society for California Archaeology Southern Division Meeting, Joshua Tree National Park, October 15-17, 2021.

Co-Organizer (with Corey Barnes) of On Race and Philosophy, conference hosted by the Humanities Center and Department of Philosophy, University of San Diego, February 22-23, 2021.

2020

“Obligations to Others, Part 1”, University of San Diego, Kappa Delta Sorority, July 12, 2020.

“Obligations to Others, Part 2”, University of San Diego, Kappa Delta Sorority, July 19, 2020.

Research trip to University of Auckland, New Zealand, and University of Sydney, Australia, planned for August 2020, postponed due to COVID-19*.

Philosophy of Linguistics and Language, Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2020, cancelled due to COVID-19*.

“Meaning in Bodies & Bodily Adornment”, Philosophy Colloquium, University of Nevada, Reno, Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Session Chair for Stephen Davies Author Meets Critics Session for Adornment (Bloomsbury 2020), American Society for Aesthetics Eastern Division Meeting, via zoom, Thursday, November 12, 2020.

2019

“A Gricean Proposal for Communication by Bodily Adornment”, Philosophy of Linguistics and Language, Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 9-13, 2019.

“Coffee Would Keep Me Awake: Sperber & Wilson’s Relevance Theory”, Phi Sigma Tau: The Philosophy Club, Florida International University, April 9, 2019.

Archaeological Dig with PIs William Pestle and Carmen Laguer Diaz, University of Miami, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, March 7-17, 2019. Photos from the dig can be viewed here.

“Making Meaning Manifest”, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, February 25, 2019.

“Making Meaning Manifest”, University of Miami, Philosophy of Film Club, Miami, FL, February 19, 2019.

“Making Meaning Manifest”, FIU Philosophy Department, Miami, FL, February 14, 2019.

2018

“Women in Philosophy: Deirdre Wilson“, Women in Philosophy Banquet, Phi Sigma Tau: The Philosophy Club, Florida International University, November 27, 2018.

“Philosophical Perspectives on Communication by Prehistoric Bodily Adornment”, Visual Authority: Its Philosophy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Institut für Philosophie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, September 27-28, 2018.

“Consciousness and Making Manifest”, A Conference in Honor of Michael Devitt’s 80th Birthday, Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 10-14, 2018.

Interpreter in Tino Sehgal’s “This Situation“, Museum of Art + Design at MDC, Miami, FL, March 31-April 29, 2018.

Comments on “Fashion as Play”, American Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting, Eastern Division, Philadelphia, PA, April 20-21, 2018.

“Tree Trimming: Four Non-Branching Rules for Priest’s Introduction to Non-Classical Logic“, Phi Sigma Tau: The Philosophy Club, Florida International University, February 27, 2018.

“Artistic Capacities, Mindreading, & the Archaeological Record”, Gregory Currie Workshop, University of Miami, February 1, 2018.

“On Prum’s Theory of Biotic Aesthetics”, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, Savannah, Georgia, January 4, 2018.

2017

“Philosophical Perspectives on Communication by Prehistoric Bodily Adornment”, Digging Deeper: Philosophical and Archaeological Perspectives, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, December 2, 2017.

“On Prum’s Theory of Biotic Aesthetics”, Florida Philosophical Association Meeting, College of Central Florida, Ocala, Florida, November 4, 2017.

“Fashion & Philosophy”, Philosophy-in-Manhattan, New York, New York, Sunday, October 22, 2017.

“Systems of Dress: A Gricean Proposal for Communication by Bodily Adornment”, Fashion: Now & Then Conference, LIM College, New York, Friday, October 20, 2017.

“Seeking Speaker Meaning in the Archaeological Record”, Science Studies SeminarCUNY Graduate Center, New York, March 3, 2017.

“Incompleteness & Interpretation”, Great Incompletes: Italy’s Unfinished Endeavors, Columbia University, February 4, 2017.

2016

“Reference Through Instruments”, Science Studies Seminar, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, September 30, 2016.

“Consciousness & Making Manifest”, 7th Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication Conference, University of Split, Croatia, June 10-12, 2016. *Received Best PhD Student Paper Award*

“Systems of Dress: A Gricean Proposal for Communication by Bodily Adornment”, Cognitive Science Seminar, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, February 26, 2016.

2015

“Cooperation with Multiple Audiences”, School of Philosophy Thursday Seminar Series, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, December 10, 2015.

“Systems of Dress: A Gricean Proposal for Communication by Bodily Adornment”, Philosophy Research Seminar, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, November 27, 2015.

“Meaning Through Things”, Symbols and Communicative Behaviour in Pleistocene Hominins Workshop, University of Sydney, Australia, November 21-22, 2015.

“Systems of Dress: A Gricean Proposal for Communication by Bodily Adornment”, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry Seminar, University of Sydney, Australia, November 19, 2015.

“Metaphysics of Meaning”, Logic & Metaphysics Workshop, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, October 26, 2015.

“Cooperation with Multiple Audiences”, Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, Interuniversity Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 7-11, 2015.

“Reference Through Instruments”, Bucharest Colloquium in Analytic Philosophy: Meaning and Reference, European Society for Analytic Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania, June 19-21, 2015.

“Women in Analytic Philosophy”, SWIP-Analytic Invited Panel, presented with Kate Pendoley, Hypatia and the APA Committee on the Status of Women Conference: Exploring Collaborative Contestations and Diversifying Philosophy, Villanova University, PA, May 28–30, 2015.

“Reference Through Instruments”, Envisioning Science Conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, February 27, 2015

2014

“Why We Implicate: Revising Pinker’s Game-Theoretic Proposal”, CUNY Pragmatics Workshop: Relevance, Games, and Communication, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, October 14-15, 2014

“Reference Through Instruments”, The British Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference, St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK, September 19-21, 2014

“Maxim of Politeness, Please”, 6th Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication Conference, University of Malta, May 30 – June 1, 2014

2013

“Tree Trimming”, Saul Kripke Center Brown Bag Lunch Lecture, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, December 9, 2013

Comments on “Incompatibilist About What”, Experimental Philosophy: Possibilities and Limits, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, April 5, 2013

“The Inner ‘I’”, Minding the Body Conference, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, March 1, 2013

 

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