Epiphanies, beauty and climate change – an evening with Professor Sophie Grace Chappell

03 March 2020

Acclaimed Oxford philosopher Professor Sophie Grace Chappell, who is currently an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury (UC), makes a case for allowing ourselves to be transformed by beauty in order to better respond to the climate crisis.

  • Sophie_Chappell_NWS

    Professor of Philosophy Sophie Grace Chappell, currently at UC on an Erskine Fellowship, is pictured here pursuing another of her passions – skiing. Her love of nature informs her academic work.

An Evening with Sophie Grace Chappell is a free community event at UC’s Arts Centre location on 3 March, 6-7.30pm.

Following on from her research into epiphanies, those moments that radically shift our understanding, the presentation examines how we need to change as individuals and as a society in order to respond adequately to the climate crisis. This is, at least partly, a matter of being transformed by seeing the beauty of the world, and our humble place in it.

Having published over a hundred articles on ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, ancient philosophy and philosophy of religion, Professor Chappell has a wealth of expertise to draw on for her exploration of climate change response.

Professor of Philosophy at the Open University, UK, Professor Chappell has held visiting appointments in the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, British Columbia, Stirling, Reykjavik, Oslo and now New Zealand. She was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Edinburgh University.

She is the UK’s first openly transgender philosophy academic, having transitioned in 2014, and campaigns actively on feminist and transgender issues.

Director of the Scots Philosophical Association from 2003-2006, since 2000 Professor Chappell has been Reviews Editor of The Philosophical Quarterly and Treasurer of the Mind Association and was a Governor of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists 2012-2018.

Aside from her academic pursuits, Professor Chappell is also committed and accomplished member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and an active poet and translator of the classical Greek dramatists.

An Evening with Sophie Grace Chappell is a free community event at UC’s Arts Centre location on 3 March, 6-7.30pm in the Recital Room, UC Arts at the Arts Centre, 3 Hereford St.

The Erskine Programme at UC

The bequest by John Angus Erskine enables up to 70 visiting international senior academics to lecture at UC each year to undergraduates and postgraduate students (Erskine Fellowship). Around 25 UC academics are also awarded grants which enables them to travel to overseas institutions to enhance their skills and knowledge (Erskine Grants). Erskine Programme Fellowships are teaching fellowships, not research fellowships, and intended for more senior academics. 


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