This three-day virtual conference on Hobbes’ perennially controversial work, Leviathan, takes advantage of its academic setting, whose disciplinary borders arguably create something like the “silo effect” much lamented in America’s currently divisive politics. This conference occasions an experiment in the permeability of academic borders, since Hobbes’ book is a cynosure for a remarkable number of academic fields.

Each field inevitably understands the text within the framework of its analytical values and methods, with the result that the different constructions academe has placed on his words have produced as many Leviathans as there are fields which claim him for their own.
On Thursday (12/9) and Friday (12/10), UCI Faculty will be joined by several leading Hobbes scholars from numerous institutions:

Kinch Hoekstra, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, UC Berkeley
Jayne Lewis, Professor of English, UCI
S.A. Lloyd, Professor of Philosophy and Law, USC
James Martel, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State
Ted H. Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alabama
Markku Peltonen, Academy Professor of Philosophy, History and Art Studies, University of Helsinki
Victoria Silver, Professor of English, UCI
Tracy Strong, Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy, University of Southampton and Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego
Keith Topper, Associate Professor of Political Science, UCI

For questions about Thursday and Friday, please contact the organizers: Keith Topper, Associate Professor of Political Science ( and Victoria Silver, Professor of English (

On Saturday (12/11) at 9am PST, UCI graduate students will deliver short papers exploring Hobbes' work as well as disciplinary distinctions and problems in contemporary academic method. They will trace how a given discipline organizes analysis according to its intrinsic assumptions, values, purposes, and modes of engagement with texts.

Graduate student speakers will include:
Juan Carlos “JC” Fermin, English, UC Irvine
Chelsea Lee, English, UC Irvine
Peter Thomas, History, UCLA
Joseph Warren, Political Science, UC  Berkeley
For questions about Saturday's grad conference, please contact the organizer: Holly Weaver, Graduate Student, Political Science (

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