Congratulations to our dear Nina Tatomirovic who was awarded a prize for “Excellence in Epistemology” at the 23rd Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at the State University of New York in Oneonta. Nina delivered a talk on “Madness and Privacy: Philosophy Looks at Literary Psychiatry,” in which she combined the knowledge she gained as a double major in Philosophy and Russian. Her paper explored the ideas of insanity and sanity, and reality as we know it. In her research, she used case studies from several Russian classical literary works by authors like Fedor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, but her main focus was on Nikolai Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman.” It was through the study of Poprischin’s descent into madness (as well as previous studies of characters like Rodion Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” or Pozdnyshev in “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Tolstoy) that allowed her to build a strong argument for an understanding of insanity and sanity as relative and subjective parts of our created reality.
The conference itself consisted of 21 students presentations and the keynote address by Dr. Raymond Angelo Belliotti, who spoke on “Plato and Soul-Searing Love. The topics covered by the students were expansive and I was the very last speaker of the conference in a session entitled “Let’s Settle This.”

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