Society of Scholars
The Society of Scholars is an intellectual community of humanists of diverse generations, academic ranks, and departmental affiliations who contribute to and learn from one another’s work. Each year, approximately eight faculty and three dissertation research fellowships support members of the Society of Scholars. Scholars in year-long residence at the University of Washington may be invited to participate as well. The group meets biweekly throughout the year to discuss their research in progress.
2022 - 2023 Society of Scholars
2019 - 2020 Society of Scholars Fellow
Joel Alden Schlosser (he/him/his)
Refusing Mere Existence
“Refusing Mere Existence” explores how the philosophical asceticism developed by Cynics, Stoics, and Epicureans in antiquity might inform a broader politics of refusal today. Refusal has become a keyword in contemporary movements including Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and Idle No More. Focusing on reshaping the bodies and souls of participants toward more abundant life, philosophical asceticism links ethical concerns with the self to political concerns with the collective. Intentional practices like friendship, writing, and free speaking cultivated alternative social and political spaces, languages, and subjects rather than simply withdrawing. Ancient asceticism offers today’s movements new bodily and ethical practices to free subjects and collectives from domination.