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Bard College Students and United States Military Academy at West Point Cadets Present Three-Day Conference Exploring Issues Surrounding Equality

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Bard College and the United States Military Academy at West Point present a conference entitled “Equality—More or Less?” from Wednesday, April 12 through Friday, April 14. The conference takes place in Blithewood Manor on the Bard College campus and is presented by Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard College; Graham Parsons, assistant professor of English & philosophy at West Point; and Robert Tully, professor of philosophy at West Point. The programs are free and open to the public and no reservations are required. For more information please contact Chilton at
The topic of equality reaches into every area of human culture: local politics, national identity, international relations; political science, philosophy, jurisprudence, and literature; religious institutions; the military; economics; psychology; sociology; and history. Problems focused on equality have broad dimensions of theory and practice, contrasting what should be and what can be with what is.  The examination of what equality means in these different areas holds up a mirror to ourselves.
Running in tandem with joint courses at both institutions, the interdisciplinary conference follows from earlier collaborations, “Can War be Just?” (2012), published as Just War in Religion and Politics by the University Press of America (2013), and “Intolerance: Political Animals and Their Prey,” a 2015 conference, now in press under the same imprint with Hamilton Books.
“Equality—More or Less?”
A conference emerging from the collaborative project of
Bard College and the United States Military Academy at West Point
Hosted by the Institute of Advanced Theology and Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College
Chairs: Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard College
Graham Parsons, Assistant Professor of English & Philosophy, West Point
Robert Tully, Professor of Philosophy, West Point
April 12–14, 2017
Blithewood Manor, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 12504

Wednesday, April 12
4:15 p.m. – Chair: Robert Tully
Marina van Zuylen, Bard Clemente Course academic director; professor of French and comparative literature
Keynote address: “The Clemente Course Experiment: How the Humanities Have Helped Veterans and Underserved Students”
5:15 p.m. – Chair: Ethan Quinones, Bard College
Bruce Chilton, “Equality in Paul of Tarsus: More and Less”
5:45 p.m. – Chair: Eric Bleys, Bard College
Richard Davis, professor of religion and Asian studies; director of Religion Program, Bard College
 “Gandhi and Caste: Inequality More or Less”
6:30 p.m. – Dinner at Kline Commons
8:00 p.m. – “Equality Is a Luxury We Can No Longer Afford”: a debate among West Point cadets and Bard students
Bard College                                        West Point
Eric Bleys                                           Johanna Forbes
Midori Barandiaran                             Matthew Kelley
Ethan Quinones                                  Morgan Landers
Nina Olshan                                        Alex Laval-Leyva
Thursday, April 13
9:15 – Chair: Nina Olshan, Bard College
Morton Ender, professor of sociology, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, West Point “The (Un)Lucky Seven: Majority-Minority Relations in the U.S. Army”
9:45 a.m. – Chair: Victoria Halpin, Bard College
Graham Parsons, “Families and Armies in Traditional Social Contract Theory”
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – Chair: Bruce Chilton
Robert Tully, “Inequality in Skepticism”
11:00 a.m. – Chair: Bruce Chilton
Courtney Morris, assistant professor, Department of English & Philosophy, West Point
“Kantian Equality, More or Less”
11:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch at Kline Commons
1:30 p.m. – Chair: Graham Parsons
Robert J. Goldstein, director, West Point Center for the Rule of Law; Graduates Chair in Constitutional and Military Law, West Point
“Equality Deferred: A Litany of Discrimination”
2:00 p.m. – Chair: Robert Tully
Brandon Archuleta, assistant professor of American politics, Department of Social Sciences, West Point
“Rise of the Policy Subsystem: Reevaluating Civil War Pension Policy”

2:30 p.m. – Chair: Bruce Chilton
George W. Gawrych, Charles Boal Ewing Chair in Military History, West Point
“Equality and Diversity in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey”
3:00 p.m. – Chair: Antonio Gansley-Ortiz, Bard College
Tehseen Thaver, assistant professor of religion, Bard College
“Accessing the Qur'an: Abdolkarim Soroush and Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari’s Reformist Discourses on the Nature of Revelation”
3:30 p.m. Break
3:45 p.m. – Dominique Townsend, assistant professor of religion, Bard College
“Ultimate Equality and Conventional Hierarchy: A Tibetan Buddhist Approach to Power”
4:15 p.m. – Chair: Lila Kraus, Bard College
Shai Secunda, Jacob Neusner Associate Professor in the History and Theology of Judaism, Bard College
“Meritocracy or Old Boys Network? The Talmud and Equal Access Information”
4:45 p.m. – Chair: Midori Barandiaran, Bard College
Hugh Liebert, assistant professor of American politics, policy, and strategy, Department of Social Sciences, West Point
“Minding Gibbon’s Manners: Unwritten Rules and the Rhetoric of Equality”
5:30 p.m. Dinner Break at Kline Commons
Friday, April 14
9:15 a.m. – Chair: Ian Ullmann, Bard College
Christopher Jacobs, assistant professor, Department of Law, West Point
“Selecting a Military Court-Martial Panel: A Study in Inequality”
9:45 a.m. – Chair: Robert Mills, Bard College
Robert Barnsby, Cyber Law Fellow; assistant professor, Department of Law, West Point
“The Bullpen Car of Computer Network Defense: Why the Unequal Treatment of Individual Hacking Victims Is No Longer Necessary under International Humanitarian Law”
10:15 a.m. – Chair: Jess Zaccagnino, Bard College
Darya Pushkina, associate professor of international relations and political science; associate dean for international students, Smolny Institute (St. Petersburg State University and Bard College)
“UN Peace Missions and Protection of Civilians: Equality versus Efficiency?”
10:45 a.m. – Chair: Jeremy Wolf, Bard College
David Frey, associate professor of history; director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, West Point
“Inequality in Advance of Destruction: The Wehrmacht’s Practice and Promotion of Inequality in Operation Barbarossa”
Break and farewell
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This event was last updated on 08-25-2017