- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published March 23, 2023
University of Wyoming philosophy and religious studies Professor Jeff Lockwood is the spring semester Faculty Senate Speaker Series award recipient.
In a free public talk, he will discuss “The Art of Quitting: Manifestations, Meaning and Mastery” at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in the Wyoming Union Family Room. A reception with cookies and beverages will be available after the presentation.
Using a W.C. Fields quote, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then, quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it,” Lockwood explains how it relates to his lecture topic. He says fewer decisions do more to shape our lives than quitting.
“We quit everything, from relationships to religions to reality,” he says. “Students drop courses, and faculty resign positions, so it seems easy to quit. But headlines proclaim the difficulty of quitting drugs, the challenges of divorce and the frequency of suicide.”
In today’s “Great Resignation,” people are quitting work at unprecedented rates. Lockwood questions how people should understand these endings.
“‘Practical philosophy’ is the pursuit of living well by thinking deeply about what fosters or impedes a meaningful life,” Lockwood adds. “Despite the ubiquity and difficulty of quitting, scholars have offered no conceptual analyses of what this entails or how to cultivate excellence in this regard. Until now.”
Lockwood earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from New Mexico Tech and a doctorate in entomology from Louisiana State University. After working at UW for 17 years as an insect ecologist, Lockwood says he “metamorphosed” into a professor of natural sciences and humanities with a split appointment between the UW departments of Visual and Literary Arts, focusing on nature writing, and Philosophy and Religious Studies, where he focuses on environmental ethics and aesthetics.
As for quitting, Lockwood says he gave up Santa Claus, Catholicism and scientism, along with his dreams of becoming a veterinarian, a black belt in judo and an accomplished pianist.
For more information, call the Faculty Senate office at (307) 766-5348.