NOWAR 6: Call for Abstracts

Posting here on behalf of David Shoemaker, who is pleased to announce the next NOWAR (citation: private communication).

This is a Call for Abstracts for the 6th biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR 6), hopefully to be held live and in person in New Orleans, LA on November 4-6, 2021 (see below for qualifications). Abstracts are now welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility (but especially pertaining to the theme mentioned below). Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy — including psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more — are quite welcome. Check back to Shoemaker’s personal website for any updates.

This year I’m very excited to announce that NOWAR will be co-sponsored by the LATAM Free Will, Agency and Responsibility Project, directed by Santiago Amaya and Manuel Vargas and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Part of our aim this year is to broaden the welcoming reach of NOWAR to all those doing exciting new work in Latin America on agency and responsibility, so we encourage philosophers from Latin American and/or affiliated to Latin American Universities to send their abstracts.

This year’s NOWAR will have a broad theme: Non-Ideal Agency and Responsibility. We especially welcome abstracts that will speak to this theme in some way. The theme is deliberately vague and wide-ranging, but it may include, for a very partial list, work on marginal agency, slips, mistakes, poor formative circumstances, mental disorders, impulsiveness, alienation, and, in a meta- fashion, what non-ideal agency even consists in (and much, much more).

Abstracts are due no later than NOON (CST) on April 15, 2021. They should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages (excluding bibliography, regular font and margins, etc.), be saved as a PDF file, and be prepared for anonymous review. Send them by e-mail to David Shoemaker: (please include your name and affiliation in only that email). A program committee will evaluate submissions, and decisions will be communicated by early June. The authors of all accepted abstracts will be expected to provide drafts of their essays for distribution to NOWAR attendees four weeks prior to the workshop, present a 30-minute version of their ideas at the workshop, and then commit the final versions of their essays (subject to external review) to the eighth volume of Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility (which is expected to be published in mid-2023). Those who presented at the fifth NOWAR (in 2019) are ineligible to present at this one.

The 2021 workshop, also co-sponsored by the ongoing support of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University, as well as new support from Cornell University, will have two keynote speakers: Cheshire Calhoun (Arizona St.) and Hanna Pickard (Johns Hopkins). There may also be one more invited speaker. To ensure time for informal discussion and networking at the workshop, and to meet OUP’s page limit demands for the Oxford Studies volumes, there can be no more than eleven presentations at the workshop, and so no more than 8-9 submitted abstracts will be selected for presentation. The decision will be made on a variety of dimensions, including quality, relevance to the theme, promise for the OSAR volume, and fit with the program.

Here’s the thing, though: NOWAR can be nothing but an in-person event. New Orleans is its primary home, and among the great joys of the workshop are the excellent dinners and nightlife associated with hanging out together in New Orleans. If that cannot occur, then the workshop will be postponed for one year and we will try again in 2022 (in New Orleans). In order to properly accommodate travel plans and hotel reservations, a final announcement will be provided one way or another by September 1, 2021. If we have to postpone, all those who have been accepted for presentation will be invited to present instead in the 2022 NOWAR.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.