Kinds of Expression Graduate Conference

ECOM’s 3rd Graduate Conference, Feb 5, 2022

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Henrike Moll (Psychology, University of Southern California)

Prof. Eli Alshanetsky (Philosophy, Temple University)


Registration form is below. Deadline for submissions is extended to December 31!

Call for papers

The notion of expression is used in a number of seemingly unrelated contexts and ways.Poems, paintings and pieces of music are often said to be expressive of various emotions. There is expressionism in art and varieties of expressivism in philosophy. People, as well as nonhuman animals, are often said to be expressing affective states such as fear, anger, wants; people are also said express attitudes, intentions, opinions, even selves. Groups of individuals (a corporation, an administration), too, are said to express sentiments, attitudes, and intentions. In a different vein, perhaps, we also speak of sentences as expressing propositions, words as expressing concepts, and essays as expressing ideas. Expression is a notion in prevalent use, but until recently it has received surprisingly little direct theoretical attention.

The aim of “Kinds of Expression” is to generate interdisciplinary discussion on varieties or types of expression that are of interest to philosophers, psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists (among others). We encourage contributions that discuss the notion of expression as it has been used in different domains. Below are some examples of potential topics (in no particular order):


  • The relation between expressive behavior and emotions (and other mental states)
  • The linguistic expression of thoughts and other mental states
  • Artistic and literary expression
  • Types of expressive behavior (nonvoluntary, controlled, pretend)
  • How do humans recognize facial (and other bodily) expressions?
  • Expressive behavior in young children and its role in the acquisition of language
  • Dis/continuities between expressive behaviors in humans and nonhuman animals
  • The social/communicative dimensions of facial and other bodily expressions
  • The use of emoji/memes to express emotions and attitudes in online communication
  • Is expressing a form of ‘showing’ (as opposed to ‘telling’/reporting)?
  • What does it mean for a sentence to express a proposition (or for a word to express a concept)?
  • ‘Group expression’: Can an individual express a group’s sentiment or attitude? Can a group express its own opinions/views, etc.
  • Is expressing a kind of illocutionary act?

Submission guidelines:

We invite abstracts – roughly 1,000 words, excluding references – of short papers, suitable for a 30-35-min presentation, by graduate students and postdocs. The papers should be relatively accessible to an interdisciplinary audience and avoid overly technical discussion of ‘in-house’ issues/debates.

Abstracts should be prepared for blind review and include the title of the paper; they should make clear both the topic and the main arguments of the paper. Please send a separate cover sheet with the title of the paper, author’s name, affiliation (if any), and contact information.

Abstracts & cover sheets should be sent to Aliyar Ozercan ( by Dec 31 (midnight). Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than Jan 10.


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