Why be a member of the APA?
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I have two reasons for my being an APA member. First, the history of impartiality of the APA Program Committees in accepting or rejecting submissions to the contributed paper sessions is impressive. Second, the APA is currently becoming more inclusive regarding what constitutes philosophical problems and concerns by incorporating Non-Western philosophy under its banner.
Montana State University
The APA does much more than put on meetings, important as that is; it is also a powerful voice for the health of the discipline. A strongly worded letter from the Board of Officers to a university president can help save a department from extinction; I have seen this happen several times. Now more than ever, the APA needs to keep and expand its authority, and for this a robust membership is essential.
Johns Hopkins University
I often have a very heavy teaching schedule. So I use the APA meetings as an efficient way to stay up-to-date in my areas of concentration. After attending a meeting, I can return to my various campuses and share the very latest philosophical research with my students. As a bonus, the APA meetings now offer regular Teaching Hubs—two days of collaborative discussion designed for philosophers who are interested in high-quality teaching.
I value my APA membership because it helps me be a better teacher. Each year I bring a group of about ten undergraduate philosophy majors to an APA conference. The experience is transformative. They meet people whose work they’ve read, and come to see themselves as full members of a living community of thinkers. And, I get to reconnect with those exquisite philosophers who put teaching first at the Teaching Hub.
Ball State University
The APA supported my work and invited me into the philosophical community at all stages of my career, from when I first submitted a paper to a meeting as a graduate student, to when I began as Secretary-Treasurer of the Pacific Division last year. Throughout that time I have seen the APA grow stronger through the innovations and efforts of succeeding generations of philosophers who recognize how effective and valuable contributing to the work of the APA can be. I'm grateful to be a part of such a dynamic professional community.
Lewis & Clark University
I am a proud member of the APA because it is devoted to enriching and sustaining philosophy as a discipline and a profession. The APA is becoming an even better organization through progressive and thoughtful leadership around issues of inclusion and diversity, as well as encouraging philosophers to play a more active role in public media. APA conferences remain the best way to stay current on trends and new work in philosophy, especially beyond one’s own more narrow specialty, and provide an important way to introduce new members to the broader philosophical community.
Being part of the philosophical community is one of the most valuable things to me. I cannot imagine this community without the APA.
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
University of California Merced
Early in my PhD I was encouraged by savvy faculty members to become a member of the APA so that I could submit papers and hopefully develop my CV. Since doing so however, I've come to appreciate that the real value and significance of the association lies not only in its ability to provide professional development experience, but in the fact that, by making space for a growing array of philosophical voices and movements, it can help render young philosophers sensitive to the various struggles currently facing the discipline, and put them in touch with the ideas that will shape it in the years to come.
The APA does what no other entity is equipped to do, building the infrastructure within which we do our work, from putting on discipline-wide meetings to systematically addressing the gender gap. I feel so lucky to be a philosopher: I support philosophy by supporting the APA.
Dominic McIver Lopes
University of British Columbia
Why am I a member of the APA? Speaking philosophically, I take myself to be a part of a community of philosophers, and the APA is the association through which that community organizes events to undertake activities through we can become better philosophers and which can marshal our collective strength to support our fellow philosophers who face a range of challenges in other intersecting communities. If we ourselves don't take up the responsibility of self-governance and of footing the bill that this work costs, the association will not exist and at best the community will be a fragmented one. Speaking more pragmatically, I appreciate the regional conferences and the role the APA plays in bringing philosophers with diverse interests together. In these challenging times, it is important to preserve a vehicle for collective action. And I take the responsibility of academic self-governance seriously, both at my home institution and in professional organizations.
Simon Fraser University
It is hard to imagine philosophy without the APA. How would we get to know philosophers outside of our subspecialties? How would we reward excellence and achievement with prizes? How would we ever get hired or hire young philosophers? How would we fight inequity in our profession? I remain a member in order to make all of this possible.
I've been a member of the APA since grad school, and this year I became a Lifetime Member. Philosophy as a field is thriving, in no small part because the APA fiercely advocates for faculty, students, and publicly engaged work. I value my APA membership because I think we all have a duty to share in this stewardship.
University of Notre Dame
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I confess that I have been a pro forma member of the APA for many years, not thinking much about what it does. Having been nudged into running for and becoming a member of the Board of Officers, I realize how active and responsive the association has become, such as its recent establishment of a graduate student council. We are facing profound changes occurring inside and outside the discipline. I urge you to join or renew your membership.
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