Looking Back: Department News From the Past

The NC State Memorial Belltower in the Fall

1967/68: PHI 309, Marriage and Family Living, is dropped from the philosophy curriculum. Tom Regan (Ph.D., Virginia) is appointed as assistant professor of philosophy. He is promoted to associate professor in 1972 and professor in 1978. He publishes numerous books and articles, including The Case for Animal Rights (University of California Press, 1983), and becomes an internationally acclaimed advocate of animal rights. He serves as department head from 1995 to 1998 and retires in January 2002. The first Tom Regan Lecture commemorating Regan’s work in ethics will be held at NC State on September 21, 2018. Further information about this event will be posted on the department’s homepage by August 1. 

1977/78: 3,065 students enroll in the department’s courses during the regular academic year, an increase from 2,508 in 1976/77; but the number of philosophy majors falls from 27 to 21. Fourteen faculty members attend over thirty professional conferences, giving the department a new level of visibility at such events. James Moorhead (Ph.D., Yale), assistant professor of religious studies, publishes American Apocalypse: Yankee Protestants and the Civil War, 1860-1869 (Yale University Press, 1978).

1987/88: Visiting speakers include Edward C. Dimock (Chicago), John Martin Fischer (Yale), Hans Frei (Yale), Christopher Hill (University of Arkansas), Jerrold Katz (City University of New York), Mark Sagoff (Center for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland), Sydney Shoemaker (Cornell) and Shemaryahu Talmon (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Christine Pierce (Ph.D., Syracuse), associate professor of philosophy, and Donald VanDeVeer (Ph.D., Chicago), professor of philosophy, publish one of their three co-edited books, AIDS: Ethics and Public Policy (Wadsworth, 1988). Robert Metzger (Ph.D., Columbia), associate professor of philosophy, retires after thirty years at NC State.

1997/98: 3,877 students enroll in the department’s courses during the regular academic year. Eighty-five students register for the major in philosophy and twenty-eight for the major in religious studies. Tony Stewart (Ph.D., Chicago), associate professor of religious studies, receives a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for the 1997 calendar year, which he spends as a Jubilee Fellow in South Asia at the University of Pennsylvania. Bruce Mullin (Ph.D., Yale) and William Adler (Ph.D., Pennsylvania), previously associate professors of religious studies, are promoted to professor. Mullin resigns at the end of the academic year to take up a position at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Edwin Martin, Jr. (Ph.D., MIT), department head from 1989 to 1995, resigns after nine years as a professor of philosophy at NC State to take up a position at Rutgers.

2007/08: Visiting speakers include Alan Carter (Glasgow), J. Michael Dunn (Indiana), William Lycan (UNC Chapel Hill), Amelie Rorty (Harvard), Elizabeth Spelke (Harvard) and Stephen Yablo (MIT). Gary Comstock (PhD., Chicago), professor of philosophy, begins a two-year fellowship at the National Humanities Center in Fall 2007. Members of the religious studies faculty publish three books: Karey Harwood (Ph.D., Emory, assistant professor), The Infertility Treadmill: Feminist Ethics, Personal Choice, and the Use of Reproductive Technologies (UNC Press, 2007); William Adler (Ph.D., Pennsylvania, professor), Iulius Africanus, Chronographiae: The Extant Fragments (with Martin Wallraff, de Gruyter, 2007); and Mary Kathleen Cunningham (Ph.D., Yale, associate professor), God and Evolution: A Reader (Routledge, 2007). Katie McShane (Ph.D., Michigan), assistant professor of philosophy, resigns to take up a position at Colorado State University.

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