Dr. Joanne Birdwhistell, Academy Village
Wednesday, November 13, 2019,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
With a career specialization in Chinese philosophy and culture, Joanne Birdwhistell will speak to developments that began about 2,500 years ago, tracing the ways in which two foundational traditions are particularly relevant in the world today. Originating in a period of political chaos and far-reaching technological, economic, and demographic changes, classical Chinese philosophy focused on ideas that would help establish peace and harmony. Contributions made at all levels of human experience, from the individual to the family, the state and the empire, were seen as necessary to achieve genuine peace. While this period (the 6th-3rd centuries, BCE) witnessed so many proposals that it was called the “period of the one hundred philosophers,” eventually two major traditions of thought emerged as dominant: Confucianism and Daoism. Even today, Confucianism and Daoism remain evolving traditions with many competing facets.
Joanne Birdwhistell is Professor Emerita of Philosophy and Asian Civilization from Stockton University in Pomona, NJ. She taught briefly at the University of Pennsylvania before spending almost 30 years at Stockton. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated valedictorian of her class. After studying in Taiwan for a year, she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Asian Languages.
While her specialty is Chinese philosophy, Joanne has also taught other Asian philosophies and histories, especially those of Japan and India. She has published three books: Transition to Neo-Confucianism: Shao Yung on Knowledge and Symbols of Reality (1989), Li Yong (1627-1705) and Epistemological Dimensions of Confucian Philosophy (1996), and Mencius and Masculinities: Dynamics of Power, Morality and Maternal Thinking (2007), as well as numerous articles on Chinese philosophy. After retiring, she moved to Santa Fe, NM, where she taught continuing education courses for many years in Santa Fe’s Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning. She moved to Academy Village in 2018.
Written by Maria Dobozy, Academy Village Volunteer