Dear Friends of the George Santayana Society,

Overhead in Seville: the Bulletin of George Santayana Society has published every fall since 1983. This year’s issue will mark thirty five years of publication. We also encourage the submission of articles and other works for both this year (2017) and next (2018). Critical and historical essays on Santayana’s life and works are of course always welcome. We also encourage short feuilleton-style pieces that suggest an idea or tell an anecdote of Santayana’s life or that of his contemporaries, antecedents, or followers. We will entertain creative pieces that use Santayana’s life or work as a starting point. We are also looking for original philosophic inquiry that is based on some theme important in Santayana’s work. In that vein, we are looking to promote lectures and essays on the relationship between metaphysics and politics.

Whether you have a developed work that has not yet seen the light of print or an idea that is only in the early stages, please call or write me. The deadline for new material for this year is March 1, 2017. If you have trouble with that deadline, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

All submissions will receive conscientious peer review and editing.  Please see the Submission Guidelines for more information.

Richard M Rubin
President, George Santayana Society


Dear Friends of the George Santayana Society,

Greetings for 2017!

This is the first of a series of letters about the George Santayana Society, its activities, and Santayana related events. Followup letters will come out over the course of the coming week.

Annual meeting

The George Santayana Society’s annual meeting took place on January 6, 2017 in Baltimore in conjunction with the 2017 meeting of the Eastern Division of the APA. The first speaker was Diana Heney, who presented her Kerr-Lawson Prize-winning essay, “Metaethics for Mavericks: Santayana and Nietzsche on False Idols and True Poetry.”

John Lachs, who has supported the efforts of the Society and the Edition from the beginning and has made major contributions to Santayana scholarship, had been scheduled to appear jointly with Herman Saatkamp, but Professor Lachs was unable to be there. We were fortunate to have, in the place of his material presence, a video of an interview that Martin Coleman conducted several years ago, in which Lachs presents his views on Scepticism and Animal Faith and several other works by Santayana. Herman Saatkamp, who was in attendance, followed this video with his presentation, “Is Animal Faith the Death of Philosophy?” We expect to publish the Lachs interview and the Saatkamp and Heney papers next fall in Overheard in Seville.

Herman Saatkamp was the first editor of Overheard in Seville. He was one of the founders of the Society and was the Founding Editor of the Santayana Edition. The Edition, which produces critical editions of Santayana’s writings, is now at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr Saatkamp, having retired as President of Stockton University in New Jersey, is now a researcher at the IUPUI Institute for American Thought. We are grateful to him for participating in our meeting.

Santayana in Kansas City at the APA Central – 2 March 2017

On Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:40 pm the George Santayana Society will host two panel discussions in a session at the meeting of the Central Division of the APA. One discussion will be on Santayana’s short work Platonism and the Spiritual Life. The other will be an author-meets-critics discussion of Jessica Wahman’s Narrative Naturalism. The panels are not yet complete. If anyone is interested in participating, please let me know.

The Life of Reason at Harvard – 13 April March 2017

In honor of the enduring significance of Santayana’s work, the Observatory of the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University will host a roundtable discussion on Santayana’s The Life of Reason on 13 April 2017. We shall keep you informed as we get more information about this event.

New George Santayana Society Officers

The two-year term of Matt Flamm as president of the Society ended with the January meeting in Baltimore. We thank Dr Flamm for his dedication to the Society and for inaugurating the Angus Kerr-Lawson prize (look for another email about the prize). The members at the meeting approved the nominating committee’s recommendations. Michael Brodrick moved from the position of secretary-treasurer to vice president, Diana Heney became the secretary-treasurer, and I am now the president.

Richard M. Rubin
President, George Santayana Society

The new issue of Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the George Santayana Society (Number 34, Fall 2016) is now available online for free. It features articles by Jay Bregman on “Santayana and Neoplantonism,” Tim Madigan on Santayana and Irving Singer, Daniel Pinkas on Santayana’s criticism of Henri Bergson, Nancy Ogle on “Santayana and Voice,” and Richard Rubin on “Santayana and the Arts.” This issue also includes a listing of recent and recently discovered scholarship related to George Santayana.


The George Santayana Society (GSS) is pleased to offer a prize for outstanding scholarly writing in honor of Professor Angus Kerr-Lawson. The prize is offered in tribute to outstanding contributions made by Kerr-Lawson to Santayana scholarship published in Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the George Santayana Society. Any scholar not more than five years out of graduate school is invited to compose an essay of approximately 6,000-8,000 words engaging the thought of George Santayana. Authors may address any aspect of Santayana’s thinking, including (but not limited to) other figures and concepts in the American tradition (and beyond); themes such as materialism and naturalism, realism and Platonism, literature and art; and/or issues connected to American intellectual history and American culture. The winner will be awarded $300 and will be invited to present the winning paper before the George Santayana Society at its annual Eastern APA gathering in January 2018. Additionally, the winning paper will be published in the subsequent edition of Overheard in Seville: Bulletin of the George Santayana Society. Runners-up may also be invited to submit their entries for Bulletin publication. The winner and runners-up will be notified in September, 2017. Authors should prepare submissions for blind review and send them electronically in Word format to: The subject line of the email should read: “Kerr-Lawson Prize Submission, [author’s name].” Deadline for submissions is May 21, 2017.