The City Seminar in the History of Philosophy is an independent research group made up of early career scholars (doctoral and postdoctoral) that meets annually in a North American city in order to develop scholarly work while conducting a close reading of a text in the history of philosophy. The aim is to foster collective scholarship and to provide a pedagogical forum for scholarly work outside of the university structure.
For an intensive week of study, participants converge on a text that they have prepared papers on in advance. Each session is led by one or more participants who are responsible for posing problems, synthesizing material, providing interpretation, and guiding the train of discussion. Seminar participation provides an opportunity for individual participants to gain feedback on their philosophical work and to strengthen their skills as teachers in a space where teaching and learning occurs through mutual dedication and collaboration. Scholarship, teaching, and learning in this context form a collective struggle to comprehend a given text and to articulate problems and interpretations.