Saint Martin’s students will present at University of Oregon philosophy
November 8, 2010
Lacey, Washington — Two Saint Martin's students,
Stevi Garness '11 and Pam Sowers '11, have been invited and will be
speaking at the upcoming Ninth Biennial of Radical Philosophy
Association (RPA) Conference, held this year at the University of Oregon
in Eugene, from November 11-14.
This year's theme is "Violence: Systemic, Symbolic,
and Foundational." Violence penetrates deeply into our contemporary
consciousness and it permeates our everyday experience, from films to
video games to dreams. Among the questions being addressed at this
conference include: What is violence? What kinds of violence are there?
How do systems of oppression perpetuate or institute violence? What role
does violence play in human psychology and social structures?
In her paper, titled “Warfare Past Reason: The Use
of Rape as a Weapon against the Women and Children of the Democratic
Republic of Congo,” Garness raises awareness about crimes against women
in this war-torn country, where rape is routinely deployed as a type of
combat. Her goal is to engage political action to end these crimes
against humanity. In “Corruption in the Museum: Violence for the Sake of
Learning?”, Sowers discusses the morality of anatomical displays
designed for profit, and the rights of prisoners and others to determine
the use and disposition of their remains. The paper shows how these
“bodies” exhibits are rife with human rights violations. Garness is a
double major in psychology and sociology/cultural anthropology. Sowers
is also a double major, majoring in English and philosophy.
Both Garness and Sowers are non-traditional students
who discovered strong interests in philosophy since coming to Saint
Martin’s. Their mentor, Father David E. Pratt, is an assistant professor
in the Saint Martin’s philosophy department. At the RPA conference,
Pratt will be conducting a workshop on sexual objectification and the
feminist philosopher Martha Nussbaum, as well as leading a panel
discussion on violence and film.
For more information, contact Father David Pratt,
assistant professor of philosophy, at 360-438-4309 or
For more information about this conference, visit
Saint Martin’s University is an independent
four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre
wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only
one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares
students for successful lives through its 22 majors and six graduate
programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, and
engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and
religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension
campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia
College, and Tacoma Community College.