Northern New England Philosophy Association Conference

The annual conference of the Northern New England Philosophical Association (NNEPA) will occur at Keene State College from October 14 to 15, 2016.

The Department of Communication and Philosophy is hosting this event thanks to funding from the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research, the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, the Center for Creative Inquiry, and a private donation.

Faculty from multiple disciplines and universities across the country will present their research at the NNEPA conference. Graduate students and undergraduates will also share their scholarship.

The conference will feature two panels of student presentations on Friday October 14th:

Session A: 10-11am Huntress 005

Chair: Allyson Mount (Keene State College)

Deliberative Democracy and Institutions of Higher Education

Sara Jane LaFleur (Keene State College)

Conceptualizations of Schizophrenia

Ambrose DeMarco (College of the Holy Cross)

The Missing Puzzle Piece of Multiculturalism: Education

Rachel Lally (Keene State College)

Session B: 11 am-12 pm Huntress 005

Chair: Nicholas Germana (Keene State College)

Impact of Implicit Metaphysical Commitments on The Theory of Moral Deference

Gabriella Hulsey (Wheaton College)

Outside Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre

Margaret Del Giudice (University of New Hampshire)

Capitalist Hindrances to Moral Willing: Lessons from Kant and Marx

James Patin (Clark University)

In addition to student presentations, a highlight of the event is the distinguished keynote speaker, Laurence Thomas, who is a Professor of Philosophy and Political Science of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Dr. Thomas is an expert in social, political, and moral philosophy, and has published about case studies related to American slavery, the Holocaust, and sexual rights.

A full schedule for the conference is available here, and abstracts for the presentations can be found here.

Senior Project Gets Political

In Professor Amber Davisson’s fall senior project course, students are getting the opportunity to learn about political campaigns both in the classroom and out in the real world. As part of the class, each student is doing a service project either with a presidential campaign off-campus or the American Democracy Project here at Keene.

A and O

Seniors Alyson Chase and Olivia Sloan worked with the American Democracy Project to educate Keene students about Constitution Day.


Senior Jenna Cormier (on the right) is working with the Hillary Clinton campaign here in Keene




Fall Advising Session

A note from Professor Nigel Malcolm, our department chair:

The advising session for the Department of Communication and Philosophy will take place on Tuesday, October 4 from 6-7:30 pm at the Alumni Center, Centennial Hall (just across Main Street).

You should attend this session prior to registering for classes for the spring 2017 semester. We will help you:


  • Get a head start on picking classes for next semester
  • Get information on COMM-379 Internship and COMM-479 Senior Project.
  • Learn about internships, senior project, choosing minors, undergraduate research, time-management, and advising for intended majors.
  • Enjoy some free pizza!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Communication and Philosophy Department Welcome New Students!

ChitraNew students moved on-campus this week at Keene State College, and the Communication & Philosophy Department was there to greet them. Faculty members welcomed new students at an orientation session on Thursday. Students had a chance to learn about the variety of research and teaching specialties in the department. Also on display were the many opportunities for co-curricular activities – from debate team and Lambda Pi Eta to study abroad and internships!

Welcome new students!




Communication and Philosophy Living/Learning Community

Next week we will be welcoming to campus our first department Living/Learning Community.

Emily and Jamie

Dr. McGill-Rutherford and Dr. Landau

The Communication and Philosophy Living/Learning Community will be led by Dr. Jamie Landau, Associate Professor of Communication, and Dr. Emily McGill-Rutherford, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. All the students in the LLC will take Dr. Landau’s COMM 175: Introduction to Communication Studies course in the Fall and Dr. McGill-Rutherford’s PHIL 220: Ethics course in the Spring. In addition to the courses, the community will engage in a variety of activities outside the classroom.

Residential Life gives this description for the community:

“We all communicate, whether we talk with friends and family, deliver public speeches, engage in debate in class, or post pictures to social media. But why do we communicate? What are some theories and philosophies that guide why we think, speak, and see in the ways that we do? And how might we communicate more ethically? How should we resolve major ethical questions and moral dilemmas about abortion and euthanasia, for instance? In this LLC, students will develop skills in communication, critical thinking, and debate to learn and defend different worldviews in person and through media.”


The new Keene State College Living and Learning Commons is home to 11 LLCs this fall

First year students in the community will be living together in the newly constructed Keene State Living and Learning Commons.

Welcome to campus!

Dr. Davisson in the news

This summer, Assistant Professor of Communication Amber Davisson has been in the news!

On July 2, National Public Radio interviewed Dr. Davisson for an article about the presidential election and fan fiction. Dr. Davisson is an expert in digital communication, politics, and popular culture. As Dr. Davisson explained to NPR, “We’re talking about voters who have a really emotional attachment to candidates,” much like people are fans of Star Trek or Britney Spears.

About a month prior to that on June 14, Keene State College’s Office of Marketing and Communications interviewed Dr. Davisson for an article about her new co-edited book on digital ethics and how she teaches students about digital technology. For example, Dr. Davisson said, “We wanted to develop a book for the classroom. We really focused on controversies and case studies, to spark class discussion.”





Celebrating seniors!

Award winners Sp16Tomorrow is the big day when the Class of 2016 at Keene State College graduates! But this week kicked off with a celebration of senior Communication majors.

On Monday, May 2, more than 30 students presented their undergraduate research at the Senior Project Conference of the Department of Communication and Philosophy.

Some students were also inducted into the honors society, Lambda Pi Eta. Associate Provost Glenn Geiser-Getz (who has a doctorate in Communication) gave an inspiriting speech at that event, as well as five students along with an alum were honored with awards for their academic excellence and spirit.

Faculty look forward to hearing about the career successes of graduating seniors and seeing other students back on campus in the fall.

Speech Contest sparks discussion about new media

Speech Contest Sp16 speakerAfter the Lambda Pi Eta Speech Contest this past Thursday, April 21 in the Alumni Center, many audience members couldn’t stop talking about new media technologies.

From speech topics related to the detrimental impact of texting on face-to-face interaction to how social media distracts youth from paying attention to the news and the world around them, select students enrolled in IHCOMM 171: Public Speaking put their oral communication skills to the test in front of a large audience.

Speech Contest Sp16 winnersThis year, Olivia Fischetti won the speech contest, while Abbygail Vasas came in second, Cameron Slack came in third, and Jessica Waldo came in fourth. Congratulations to each student speaker!

Thanks to Bedford/St. Martin’s book publishing company for sponsoring prizes for the winners.

The Speech Contest is an annual event run by Lambda Pi Eta, which is the honor society for communication students at Keene State College.



Students present at Academic Excellence Conference

AEC 2016 photo-WatersWhat do the television show “Friends” and the film G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) have in common?

They were the focus of media studies conducted by two Communication majors who presented their research at Keene State College’s 16th annual Academic Excellence Conference on April 9, 2016.

A Communication major and Film Studies minor, Erin Waters applied feminist film theory and the method of visual rhetorical criticism to examine how “Friends” shows the personal and professional progress women have made on screen, but that inequality between women and men still exists off screen. In fact, Erin’s poster presentation won the People’s Choice Poster Award at the conference!

AEC 2016 photo- PereiraA Communication major and Public Relations minor, Matthew Pereira applied theories of masculinity and sexuality along with the method of ideological rhetorical criticism to discover that G.B.F both reasserts and reshapes norms of the ideal man, but that more diverse representations of gay men are needed in media.

The faculty mentor for these undergraduate research projects was Dr. Jamie Landau.