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College News

St. John Fisher College to Host 4th Annual Philosophy Day


PITTSFORD, N.Y., November 1, 2006-St. John Fisher College will celebrate "Philosophy Day: Philosophy and Popular Culture" on Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16 in the midlevel of the Golisano Gateway on campus. "World Philosophy Day" is observed throughout the world as an occasion for people to reflect upon the importance of critical thinking, peace, international cooperation, and the love of wisdom. The sessions at Fisher are free and open to the public.

The events will begin on November 15 at 6:15 p.m. with a presentation titled "Existential Counseling" by Mary McHale, a Fisher graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling program. At 7 p.m., Father Leo Hetzler, C.S.B., Emeritus Professor of English at Fisher, will give the keynote presentation, "Max Brand: The Poet/Philosopher and Writer of Western Novels." A reception, sponsored by the Alumni Office, will follow at Lavery Library.

On November 16, sessions will begin at 8 a.m. and are scheduled through 9 p.m. Topics include "Philosophy and Education," "Philosophy and Science Fiction," "Philosophy in Popular Culture," "Philosophy and Communication," "Philosophy and the Creative Arts," "Philosophy and the Emotions," and "Philosophy in the 21st Century."

Presenters include Lynne Bartholomae, Immediate Past President of the Popular Culture Association; Heidi Northwood, Chair of the Nazareth College Department of Philosophy; David Suits, Chair of the RIT Department of Philosophy; Thomas Stone, Founder of, an international philosophy web site; and several members of the St. John Fisher College faculty and student body.

Philosophy Day is sponsored by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), an agency of the United Nations. UNESCO was founded in November 1945 and is dedicated to furthering the education of the world beyond classrooms and the publication of scientific breakthroughs. "World Philosophy Day" will take place in Marrakech, Morocco on November 15-17.

For more information about Philosophy Day at St. John Fisher College, please contact Dr. David White at (585) 385-8375 or, or Dr. Tim Madigan, at (585) 385-5259 or

The full Philosophy Day schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, November 15

6:15 - 7 p.m.
Mary McHale (St. John Fisher College Student): Existential Therapy

7 - 8 p.m.
Father Leo Hetzler, CSB: "Max Brand: The Poet/Philosopher and Writer of Western Novels.
Max Brand was the pseudonym of Frederick Faust (1892-1944), a prolific author of such Westerns as Destry Rides Again, Outlaw Breed, and The Untamed, as well as hundreds of other works. Father Hetzler is one of the leading authorities on Brand's life and work and will discuss how he used classical references, such as Greek mythology, as an inspiration for his fiction. Brand was an expert on using philosophy to enliven his popular works.

A reception will follow in Lavery Library with a special display on "Westerns in Popular Culture" arranged by Diane Lucas, the Head of Reader Services and campus archivist.

Thursday, November 16

8 - 9:30 a.m.
Participants: Welcome by David Pate, St. John Fisher College Dean of Arts and Sciences; Ed Scutt (Actor, Director, Writer, and retired high school Language Arts teacher): "Making Our Own Meaning"; Sarah White (Rochester City School District School Psychologist): "The Role of the School Psychologist"; Katrina Arndt (St. John Fisher College): "Special Education and Autism in Popular Culture"; Alex Eustice (Nazareth College): "Confucianism and Nietzsche"

9:30 - 11 a.m.
Participants: Nick Di Chario (St. John Fisher Alum): a reading from his novel A Small and Remarkable Life; Joe Lanzalaco, CSB (St. John Fisher College): "The Matrix"; David Suits (RIT) and Dougie Bicket (St. John Fisher College): "Invasion of the Body Snatchers - the 1956 and 1978 versions"; James Moran (Daemen College): "Gattaca"; Tim Madigan (St. John Fisher College): "The Incredible Shrinking Man"

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Participants: Barb Lowe (St. John Fisher College): "A Bronx Tale"; John Seem (St. John Fisher College): "A Critical-Existential Analysis of the Novel Damage"; Aviva Dove-Viebahn (University of Rochester): "The Recurring and Uncertain Pleasures of ‘Sex and the City'"; Jim Trammell (St. John Fisher College): "The Passion of the Christ"; M.J. Iuppa (St. John Fisher College): "The Power of Poetry"

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Keynote Address: Lynn Bartholome (Monroe Community College and Immediate Past President, Popular Culture Association): Lilith in Popular Culture

1:45 - 3:15 p.m.
Tom Stone (founder of "Philosophy Resources on the Internet"); Clairissa Breen (Temple University and St. John Fisher College alum): "The Philosophy of Deviance: Positive and Negative Manifestations of Difference"); Paul Fuller (St. John Fisher College): "Sociology and Popular Culture"; David Baronov (St. John Fisher College): "The Real Terror"

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Participants: Steve Huff (St. John Fisher College); George McDade (Monroe Community College) and Tim Madigan (St. John Fisher College): "Dracula Meets Aristotle but Not Vice Versa: A Reader's Theater Production"; Dee Hogan (St. John Fisher College): "Memoirs in the 21st Century"; Norm Davis (Impresario, Kona Coffee Poets): "The Ukelele as a Windowless Monad"; Jim Bowers (St. John Fisher College): A performance from his CD "No Apology"

4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
Participants: Zoje Stage (Filmmaker): A Showing of her film "Best of Luck"; David White (St. John Fisher College): "Bishop Butler on the Emotions"; Heidi Northwood (Nazareth College): "Plato and Emotions"; Jessica Charles (St. John Fisher alum): "Philosophy and Beauty: The Conundrum"; Open Discussion on the Philosophy of Rejection

6:15 - 7:30 p.m.
Dinner Break and Open Discussion Time

7:30 - 9 p.m.
Participants: Michael Brown (Harley School) and the Flower City Philosophers. The Flower City Philosophers, a group of young people interested in philosophical issues, will present skits, short films and other materials to show the continuing relevance of philosophy to the current generation. Topics include: "What Is Flower City Philosophy?"; Expressive Therapies: Music and Philosophy; Philosophy in High School: The Harley Philosophy Roundtable; The Values of a Value-Free Man: Freedom, Rationality and Morals.

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