It’s time to celebrate the Philosophy and Religious Studies Good News!


Drawing on the award-winning Virginia Ball Center Seminar, “Muslims in Muncie,” Dr. Elizabeth N. Agnew’s article “On (Not) ‘Humanizing’ Muslims: Challenge and Opportunity in an Oral History Project with American Muslims” has been published in the ORAL HISTORY REVIEW, the leading journal in the field of Oral History. It appeared online in August 2022, and in the print journal edition in late Fall 2022.

Matthew Hotham’s chapter “‘I Too Desired a Child’: Sufi Hagiography, Ibn Khafif, and the Problem of Celibacy” was published in the Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body. He has given numerous conference presentations and public lectures on the topics of Islamophobia and Muslim Futurism. He also became co-editor of the Islam section for the journal Religion Compass. He is excited to teach a new class, RELS 390: Asian Religions in the Fall!
class promotion for RELS 390: Asian Religions in this Good News

Dr. Harrelson has introduced some new courses, including a Health Humanities Capstone that culminates in a student conference each semester. He published an essay called “Racial Fraud and the American Binary” in December 2022, which deals with the academic versions of Rachel Dolezal. He also has an essay forthcoming on Richard T. Greener, which will be the first ever comprehensive analysis of this important person’s philosophy. 

Dr. David Concepción has been very busy this year teaching four new classes in addition to Stance and ethics. He’s now offering a five-week course called “Malarky,” which centers on a famous little book by Harry Frankfurt. He’s also teaching one of Ball State’s new “First Year Seminars,” a special class designed specifically to help students transition to college successfully. Fall 2022, he taught what we believe is the first core curriculum course to come with the designation “High Impact Practice: Undergraduate Research.” By the end of the term the first-semester students in the course presented their own original research to a panel of professors from universities around North America. Lastly, he is teaching an Honors Colloquium focused specifically on climate ethics and policy. After learning the basic science of climate change and how to argue as a philosopher, each student presents a detail-rich recommendation as if they have an audience with an important decision maker.

  • Dr. Concepción had a short piece of writing on the “line up” pedagogy accepted for publication. And he has given a number of peer-reviewed presentations, including one concerning what is morally required of a person if they wish to eventually be thought of as a good ancestor.

Dr. Sarah Vitale has continued her work with the Philosophy Outreach Project. Because of her work with the project, she was asked to serve on the advisory board of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO). She also serves as coordinator of the Muncie Community Schools/Ball State Connections program for the College of Sciences and Humanities. In this role she coordinates visits to Muncie Central High School, allowing high school students to learn more about Ball State and our programs. She also serves as the co-coordinator of the Radical Philosophy Association.

Dr. Jeffrey Fry took a research leave in Spring 2023, during which he has taken several courses at his alma mater in Bloomington. He is preparing a presentation “On Sport and Freedom” for the summer, which he’ll give at Penn State University. 


A small but mighty group of alumni are participating in a bi-weekly Zoom-based reading group. We’ve read some Rawls and some Plato and a whole bunch of other things. If you’re interested in joining, contact Dr. Concepcion.

Derek Gosman (‘13) is now Dr. Goz, not to be confused with a recent Senatorial candidate. He received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Ball State in 2021, has since been licensed as a psychologist, and is now in neuropsychology postdoctoral residency.

Ben Rogers (‘14) has been editing and submitting portions of his first full-length poetry volume. He makes some money selling granola to suburbanite hippies. Recent political developments have inspired him to look for new places to call home.

Current Students

Check out the latest video about Stance!

Ben Brock, graduating with a double major in philosophy and theatre, will be performing as Silvius in The Richmond Shakespeare Festival’s production of As You Like It this summer. He then plans to continue pursuing professional theatre as an actor and fight choreographer in Chicago and New York. 

Ash Totten is graduating with a Bachelor in Architecture, with a focus on social and environmental justice. She will be pursuing a career as an architect and advocate in Boston and New York. 

Rachel Johnson is graduating with a major in philosophy and a minor in history. She plans to pursue a masters in philosophy, focusing on applied ethics.

Activities and Programs

The Philosophy Outreach Project (POP) is excited to hosted its fifth annual Conference for Pre-College Philosophical Engagement on April 19, 2023. Over 100 high school students from around the state will join Ball State students and faculty for a day of interactive breakout sessions and philosophical discussion.

Philosophy and Religion Conversation Hour has been meeting weekly with great attendance and lively discussion. Topics have included Russian Nihilism, the death penalty, ideology, AI, and more.