The Glass Half Full Midpoint Collaboratory

A five-day collaborative conference for everyone funded by the project RFPs will be held July 2016 in Colorado.  The title of the conference will be “Hope and Optimism: Interdisciplinary Investigations,” and it will coincide with the end of the first year of funded empirical research, along with the end of some of the philosophy/theology projects and the beginning of the rest. The speakers will include project leaders on funded empirical projects as well as the recipients of philosophy and philosophy of religion awards.  During the conference, people who have not yet begun their funded research will present the ideas and questions that they will explore; the rest will provide updates on their work-in-progress and get feedback from the assembled group.

Each evening will feature an after-dinner keynote speaker. The keynote lectures will feature prominent figures who have worked previously on hope, optimism, and related topics. Their lectures will be lively, engaging, and of interest to both specialists and non-academics.

Many of the individual sessions and all of the after dinner talks will be recorded and made available as videos on the permanent Project website.

The Nature and Norms of Hope Conference

A three-day conference will be held in the spring of 2017 at Cornell, hosted by the Susan Sage School of Philosophy in cooperation with the Program on Ethics and Public Life and the Society for the Humanities. The theme of the workshop will be “The Nature and Norms of Hope,” and will bring together philosophers, social-political theorists, and theologians who have already written on hope to discuss current work-in-progress on hope.  We intend to publish some of the papers as part of a new volume of collected essays on hope.


During the second and third years of the Project, residential fellows and non-residential fellows from The Philosophy of Hope and Optimism and the Hope, Optimism, and God research initiatives will come together to discuss their projects. We will also invite relevant researchers from the empirical side of the project in an effort to spur collaboration across the disciplines, insofar as their work is of relevance to the residential fellows that year. Since the goal is to provide a forum for immediate and informed feedback on work in progress, residential fellows will also have the opportunity to invite other researchers whose work they might profitably engage, in consultation with the Project Directors.

Work-in-Progress Groups

During the residential fellowships at both Notre Dame and Cornell, there will be weekly or bi-weekly research group meetings of the Directors, fellows, post-docs, other team members, and interested faculty and graduate students. Papers would be distributed ahead of the meetings to be pre-read, and authors would receive detailed feedback on their work in progress.


For more details, please visit the project website: