Session 1: Physics & Metaphysics: Facts, Values, and Reality
Dr. Joseph Petek is Chief Archivist and Associate Editor at the Whitehead Research Project. Dr. Petek received his PhD in Religion / Process Studies from Claremont School of Theology in 2022. He is the Chief Archivist of the Whitehead Research Project and Associate Series Editor for the Critical Edition of Whitehead. He has co-edited three books on Whitehead: Rethinking Whitehead’s Symbolism (2017), Whitehead at Harvard, 1924–1925 (2020), and The Harvard Lectures of Alfred North Whitehead, 1925–1927: General Metaphysical Problems of Science (2021). He is author of Unearthing the Unknown Whitehead (2022).
Paper Title: "Revisiting the Compositional History of Whitehead's Process and Reality"
Dr. Lisa Landoe Hedrick is a teaching fellow in the Divinity School and the College at the University of Chicago. Her current research explores the relationship between Anglo-American theories of language, nature, and metaphysics. She is Book Review Editor of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, the journal of the Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought. She is author of Whitehead and the Pittsburgh School: Preempting the Problem of Intentionality (2021).
Paper Title: "Was Whitehead Telling the Truth? A Recursive Analysis"
Dr. Matthew David Segall is an assistant professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is a transdisciplinary researcher focusing on applications of process philosophy across the natural and social sciences. He is the author of The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency (2014), Physics of the World-Soul: Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology (2021), and Crossing the Threshold: Etheric Imagination in the Post-Kantian Process Philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead (forthcoming). He also blogs regularly at footnotes2plato.com
Paper Title: "Physics Within the Limits of Feeling Alone"
Dr. Timothy E. Eastman, senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (retired) has more than 40 years of experience in research and consulting in space physics, space science data systems, space weather, plasma applications, public outreach and education, and philosophy of science. Dr. Eastman’s interest in philosophy and philosophy of science extends over three decades with several journal publications in philosophy in addition to the SUNY volume. He is on International Advisory Boards for Process Studies and Studia Whiteheadiana (Poland), was lead editor of Physics and Speculative Philosophy (2016, DeGruyter Press). His latest book is Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context (Lexington Books, 2020).
Session 2: New Materialism, Post Structuralism, and Process Philosophy
Dr. Richard Livingston is the Executive Director of the Cobb Institute. He was the Director of Operations from 2019 - 2021, and received his PhD in 2015 from Claremont Graduate University, where he specialized in Philosophy of Religion and Theology. He taught as an adjunct instructor in philosophy and religious studies at four colleges in Southern California from 2011-2019, and has worked in IT since the early 1990s. He holds a Master's Degree in Theology from the University of Chicago (2005) and a Bachelor's Degree in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University (2001).
Paper Title: "Event Horizons: Refiguring the Relation Between Being and God"
Ruth Chadd Garcia-Jaramillo is Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Linn-Benton Community College. She is a PhD Candidate in the Philosophy of Religion (Process Studies) program at Claremont School of Theology, where she is working on her dissertation under the mentorship of Drs. Roland Faber, Philip Clayton and Andrew Schwartz. Ruth is also the Library & Archives manager at the Center for Process Studies, a faculty-based research center of CST. Her areas of research and teaching include topics within global environmental ethics, eco-aesthetics, post-structuralism, de-anthropocentrism, queer studies, and dharmic philosophical/religious traditions. Ruth is also a composer/musician (ruthchaddmusic.com) and enjoys playing harp, trail running, mushroom hunting and surfing the PNW coast whenever possible.
Paper Title: "Parasite in Bed: Performative Events Between the In/Excluded Folds with Whitehead, Serres and Nietszche (or, Towards the Future of Trans-Posthumanism)"
Dr. O'neil Van Horn is Teaching Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH and is currently a Louisville Scholar (2021-2023). He holds a PhD in Philosophical and Theological Studies from Drew University and specializes in the intersections between constructive theology, critical theory, and environmental justice. He has published various articles and book chapters in the fields of theopoetics, constructive ecotheology, and environmental philosophy. O'neil's forthcoming book, On the Ground: Terrestrial Theopoetics and Planetary Politics for the Anthropocene, will be published by Fordham University Press in 2023.
Paper Title: "The Vibrancy of Darkness: Soil and the Impossibilities of Hope"
Dr. Catherine Keller is George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology in The Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University. She works amidst the tangles of ecosocial, pluralist, feminist philosophy of religion and theology. Her books include Face of the Deep; On the Mystery; Cloud of the Impossible; Political Theology of the Earth. She has co-edited several volumes of the Drew Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium, most recently Political Theology on Edge: Ruptures of Justice and Belief in the Anthropocene. Her latest monograph is Facing Apocalypse: Climate, Democracy and Other Last Chances.
Session 3: Brains, Souls, and Self: Process & Identity
Dr. Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes is a Philosopher of Mind and Metaphysics who specializes in the thought of Whitehead, Nietzsche, and Spinoza – and in fields pertaining to panpsychism and altered states of consciousness. He is a research fellow and lecturer at The University of Exeter. Peter is the author of Noumenautics (2015), Modes of Sentience (2021), co-editor and contributor of Bloomsbury’s Philosophy and Psychedelics (2022), the TEDx Talker on ‘psychedelics and consciousness‘, and he is inspiration to the inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.
Paper title: "Process Psychonautics: Whitehead and Psychedelic Research"
Dr. Sheri Kling is an author, speaker, singer, and spiritual mentor who draws from wisdom and mystical traditions, relational worldviews, depth psychology, and the intersection of spirituality and science to help people find meaning, belonging, and transformation. She regularly delivers dynamic “Music & Message” presentations to groups, and offers courses, concerts, and spiritual retreats. Dr. Kling is director of Process & Faith and the John Cobb Legacy Fund and a faculty member of the Haden Institute. She sees her mission as midwifing wholeness in individuals, organizations, communities, and culture. She is the author A Process Spirituality: Christian and Transreligious Resources for Transformation.
Paper Title: "The Inner Eschaton: Self and Divine in Transformation"
Dr. Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and winner of the Royal Society Book Prize and the Wainwright Prize. Merlin received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Merlin is a research associate of the Vrije University Amsterdam, and works with the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks and the Fungi Foundation.
Paper Title: "Mycological Metaphysics: Fungi and Alfred North Whitehead"
Dr. Godehard Brüntrup, S.J. is a German professor of philosophy and member of the Jesuit Order (born in 1957). He studied philosophy in Munich (together with Philip Clayton) and later got his PhD (on mental causation) in Berlin in 1993. He also holds a degree in Catholic theology. He currently teaches metaphysics and philosophy of mind at the Munich School of Philosophy and St. Louis University. He is one of architects of the revival of panpsychism in analytic philosophy for which he began arguing in his introduction to the mind-body problem in Germany in 1993. This book had a significant impact on German theology where younger scholars began to explore the connections between theology, panpsychism, and panentheism. In 2002, during an extended stay as a visiting professor at Fordham University in New York, he began studying Whitehead and process philosophy and was intrigued by the similarities to his own position. He was then one of the co-founders of the German Whitehead Society and organized a number of conferences on Whitehead and process philosophy in Germany. He also was one of the founders of the German "Whitehead Studien" (Alber Publishers). Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, he was one of the lead researchers in two large international projects in philosophical theology from 2012 to 2019. In this context he argued for a concept of panentheism that was inspired by process theology. For several years now he has been working in interdisciplinary projects with empirical psychologists developing a Whitehead-inspired view of the person as a "process of successive mental integration". In 2023 he will be co-hosting the 13th International Whitehead Conference on "Whitehead and the History of Philosophy" - from July 26 to Jul 29 in Munich at the School Philosophy.
Session 4: Art, Beauty, and Creativity: The ABCs of Process Philosophy
Dr. Alexander Haitos teaches philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ashoka University. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Texas A&M University in August 2018. His research interests span the history of western philosophy, with a focus on metaphysics, process philosophy, and the philosophy of art.
Paper Title: "Imagination and Aesthetic Experience: A Whiteheadian Exploration"
Dr. Jeremy Fackenthal is Director of the Common Good International Film Festival and an independent documentary filmmaker and videographer. After completing a PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University, he began using his philosophical background beyond the academy to raise questions and craft narratives. His love for moving images grew together over the course of his adolescence, from his first experience wielding a VHS camcorder to his first 40 minute documentary produced during his senior year in college. In recent years, Jeremy’s work has included video content produced for clients and shorter independent projects. In 2017 Jeremy shot and edited Spitting Fire, a short documentary on spoken word poetry as a means of personal formation for adolescents. His current ongoing project is a feature-length documentary on the life and work of Walter Benjamin and the possibility of art as a site for radical political action.
Paper Title: "Eco Films and Process Aesthetics"
Dr. K. E. Carver is an interdisciplinary scholar focused on the intersection of process metaphysics, postsecularity, psychology, literature, and cultural affect. Her research has spanned multiple fields of study and contexts of application, working across diverse communities including in Continental Europe, Palestine, Israel, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and China. She holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in History and Religion from Baldwin Wallace University; an MTS in Religion and Science & Religion, Literature, and Culture form Harvard Divinity School; and a PhD from the University of St Andrews. Her most recent professional focus has been upon facilitating and widening the aperture for international, intersectional scholarship, working with global universities and education providers to support diverse representation in undergraduate and graduate programs worldwide. She is an author of fiction and poetry, an avid traveler, and a voracious consumer of popular media, to wit: she is currently working on projects exploring portrayals or G/god and Lucifer in modern television, and on expressions of public grieving in the rock and metal music scenes.
Paper Title: "In the Luminous Halo: Woolf, Whitehead, and the Remaining Wonder"
Dr. Helmut Maaßen teaches Philosophy at Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany. He has spent research sabbaticals at Boston University (1990) and Jawarhalal Nehru University, Delhi/India (2000). He taught at Claremont School of Theology/CA in 2007. He has published several books on A. N. Whitehead and Charles S. Peirce and numerous scholarly articles. He is also the International Book Review Coordinator for Germany of Process Studies. He is the editor of the European Studies in Process Thought (ESPT). He is President of the German Whitehead Society (since 2009) and President of the European Society for Process Thought (since 2012). Currently he is working on Aesthetics, especially on the Aesthetics of Music.