Thursday, 27 May 2010

Irigaray: Public Lecture in June in UK

I've heard word that Luce Irigaray will be giving a public lecture in the UK in June. I suspect the lecture will be held at Nottingham, but am not yet certain. Watch this space for more details.

Update: Thanks, anon, for pointing out my rather delicious Freudian slip. I'm rather thrilled with it, I have to say.

Middlesex: Further action needed

If you've been following academic events in the UK lately, you will know that the management at Middlesex U announced the closure of its philosophy department this month. You may not, however, know that due to their protest activity 3 members of staff and a handful of students have been suspended from communicating with anyone at Middlesex. This effectively means that these folks have been silenced for protesting against the department closure. A new petition has been created in response to this silencing. The petition advocates a boycott of Middlesex University. Please consider signing the petition and participating in the boycott. You can find the petition here

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Lots of things are going on!

Hello blogland,

I apologise for being absent these past few weeks. May has been an incredibly busy month. I've had lots of things come past my inbox lately though. I'll try to catch you up with them this week.

Of immediate interest from SWIP:

I know Summer time is when many of us do the bulk of our writing, and I also know how useful regular feedback can be to shaping our thinking and maintaining our stamina. And yet, there are so few venues to getting feedback from each other -- expensive conferences, and journal submission reviews that can take a long time to get back (and are often too little too late). This is why, inspired by the recent ESWIP Virtual Conference, I am setting up a Summer feminist philosophy "virtual institute" draft exchange for those working in topics in feminist philosophy broadly construed. Here are some of the details:

-Private website where you will be able to upload or provide a link to your work, as well as share other links, call for papers, photos, video, and other media. It is a social and rich media environment.
-Membership will be limited to 6-12 people at any given time; keeping the scale small will insure against an impersonal experience.
-I am asking that people commit to spending 2 hours a week reading and commenting others' drafts in June and/or July; after that, we will re-evaluate as a group.

If you think you might be interested in taking part of this, send me an e-mail letting me know what you are working on this Summer and a small sample of your writing (maybe an abstract you've submitted for a CFP). Also, let me know how many and which weeks you can commit to participating. As for me, I am working on feminist and queer conceptions of space, and thinking through the connections between representational spaces in queer visual and performance art and the production of queer socio-political spaces. Right now, I'm working with social geography texts, Henri Lefebvre, Doreen Massey, Maria Lugones, Judith Halberstam, as well as Foucualt and feminist interpretations of Foucault. I will be moving into phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty on the body in space, and feminist and queer appropriations of phenomenology (Iris Marion Young, Sarah Ahmed, Vivian Sobchack, Irigaray, etc.) I am looking for others with similar and intersecting interests.

I look forward to hearing from some of you!

Rita Alfonso


Under-represented Groups in Philosophy
November 26th 2010
Cardiff University
A SWIP-UK/ BPA conference
Supported by: The Mind Association, The Aristotelian Society

**Keynote speakers**
**Professor Helen Beebee** (Birmingham University, UK)

**Professor Louise Antony** (UMass, Amherst, USA)

Organisers: Dr Jules Holroyd, Dr Alessandra Tanesini

Papers that address any aspect of the problem of under-representation within
the profession, or strategies for responding to these problems and their
philosophical underpinnings, or suitably related issues are invited for

Abstracts or short papers of up to 3000 words should be sent to:
HolroydJ[at] suitably prepared for anonymous refereeing.

The deadline for submission is August 10th 2010. Decisions will be made as
promptly as possible.

This conference aims to focus attention on the following topics;

a)identifying the specific problems that minorities in philosophy encounter,
especially those that may perpetuate or sustain that minority status;

b)articulating the philosophical concepts and frameworks that may be of use
in thinking about these problems;

c)identifying strategies that might be employed in attempting address gender
imbalances and the underrepresentation of disabled people and individuals of
minority racial or ethnic identities

d)exploring the philosophical underpinnings of these strategies, and
critically assessing them.

Professor Helen Beebee will speak on the work she has been doing with the
BPA in gathering information about under-representation in academic philosophy.

Professor Louise Antony has worked on feminist topics in epistemology such
as the role of bias in science (1993), the epistemic authority of minorities
in academia (2005)

Women in the profession of academic philosophy are in a minority. Discussion
in print and online has recently focused on possible explanations of this,
with attention being paid to the effects of stereotypes, solo status, and
hostile or chilly environments in academic culture. Discussions have also
highlighted the underrepresentation of individuals of minority racial or
ethnic identities, disabled people, and from working class socioeconomic

There have also been a number of positive attempts to address problems that
may face minorities in the profession, and increase their visibility in
philosophy. Some strategies include:

-Gathering data on the number of women and underrepresented minorities in

-Alerting conference organisers as to the problems of homogenous speaker
programmes and encouraging them to consider speakers from a more diverse pool;

-Constructing databases of writings by women in philosophy, to facilitate
greater gender-balance in undergraduate reading lists;

-Coordinating networks of minorities in philosophy to facilitate working
links, and, for example, to promote the work of women in philosophy;

-Encouraging educators and conference organisers to create accessible and
inclusive spaces within which to do philosophy.

By focusing attention on the problems of under-representation, this
conference aims to clarify our understanding of the problems, of strategies
in response and their philosophical underpinnings.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Project Funding Opportunity - Humanities

This is a call for proposals for the 12th tranche of project funding from the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies

Total funding available = £25,000; maximum funding per project = £4,000

Application deadline: 1 June 2010

Applications are welcomed for the funding of projects designed to:
- encourage a culture in which innovative developments in learning, teaching and assessment are valued and acknowledged at a national level
- promote good practice in the development and evaluation of innovative methods of learning, teaching and assessment
- disseminate within the wider community innovative methods or materials originally developed for use within a single institution

in subject disciplines the Subject Centre covers:
- Philosophy
- Religious Studies
- Theology
- History of Science, Technology and Medicine
- Philosophy of Science

For further details and how to apply, please visit the Subject Centre website:

Dr. Clare Saunders
Senior Academic Co-ordinator (Philosophy)
Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies
School of Humanities
University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 1166
Fax: +44 (0)113 343 3654

New York Times forgets that Gen X has any women in it

New York Times forgets that Gen X has any women in it

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Updates on Middlesex from Peter Hallward & what to do now

update from middlesex from peter hallward

A quick update on the situation at Middlesex:

On Wednesday 6 May, after a rally in support of the occupation of the boardroom at Trent Park, the occupation expanded to take over the whole of the main building on the Trent Park campus (the Mansion building). The students explained their intentions and demands in an open letter, at

On Thursday afternoon 7 May, Middlesex administrators finally met with the students (on condition that no member of staff attend as a silent observer); they apparently confirmed their decision to close the undergraduate programmes, and to freeze recruitment to the graduate programmes. The meeting ended in an impasse.

Since Wednesday evening, the students have been organising a series of informal events in the occupied Mansion building: improvised concerts, discussions, lectures on a variety of topics (Spinoza, Lacan, student and university politics, the mobilisation in Iran…), political film screenings, etc. The current schedule is posted near the top of If you can get to Trent Park this weekend it’s become an interesting place to visit.

The Guardian has a story on the protests and the occupation, at

The Facebook site has a few photos, etc.,, and now has more than 10,000 members.

Some of the many letters of support we’ve received are now posted at, and we’ll be posting more letters over the weekend; it’s been impossible to keep up with the flood of email. Some of the most recent letters have been signed by entire departments.


What can you do?

Sign the petition:

Join the FB group:

Write a letter (or lots of letters!) to:

Michael Driscoll, vice-chancellor of the university –
Waqar Ahmad, deputy vice-chancellor, research and enterprise –
Margaret House, deputy vice-chancellor, academic –
Ed Esche, dean of the School of Arts & Education –;;;

Keep up to date on the Save Middlesex Philosophy Webpage:

Reminder: CFP: Irigaray Summer School

Last weekend, I spoke to Madame Irigaray about the summer seminar for this year and she told me that a few things have changed: The dates have been moved to (I think) 28 June - 3 July. Also, there has been a venue change - the seminar will now take place at the University of Nottingham. There are still a few places left. If anyone was thinking of applying and thought they had missed the boat, there is still time.If you would like to attend, send CV, a PhD abstract (1 page) and a presentation of the issues and arguments of your PhD that most focus on the work of Luce Irigaray (5-6 pages) to Luce Irigaray (by mail: 15, rue Lakanal, 75015 Paris, France). After receiving this material, Luce Irigaray will tell you if you can participate in the seminar of 2010.


Invitation to the Seminar of Luce Irigaray

Since 2003, Luce Irigaray has held an annual seminar for researchers doing their PhD on her work. The seminar offers the opportunity to receive personal teaching from Luce Irigaray and to exchange ideas, methods and experiences with other participants. The seminar was hosted by the University of Nottingham during the first three years (see Luce Irigaray: Teaching edited by Luce Irigaray with Mary Green, and published by Continuum, London & New York, 2008), by the University of Liverpool the fourth year, by Queen Mary, University of London, the fifth year and by the Goodenough College of London the sixth year. In 2010, it will be hosted by Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, in Ireland.

The framework of the seminar is this: a group of fifteen researchers doing their PhD on the work of Luce Irigaray stay one week on the university campus. The schedule includes: a presentation by each researcher of the aspect of their PhD which most focuses on the work of Irigaray, the discussion of this presentation by the group, comments from Luce Irigaray herself and her answers to questions raised by each participant. Also included are sessions devoted to the explanation of key-words or key-thoughts chosen by the participants. Personal meetings with Luce Irigaray are organised on the last day. The participants pay for their travel, but receive hospitality from the university. The seminar is conducted in English.

The participants in the seminar come from different regions of the world; they belong to different cultures, traditions and fields of research – Philosophy, Gender Studies, Religious Studies, Literature, Arts, Critical and Cultural Studies, etc. The themes of their research include, for example: the treatment of personal or cultural traumatic experience; the resources that various arts can offer for dwelling in oneself and with the other(s); the maternal order and feminine genealogy; the interpretation and embodiment of the divine today; the contribution of sexuate difference to personal and social development; new perspectives in philosophy etc. In each of these fields, diverse domains, approaches and methods are represented. To date, participants have come from Australia, Vietnam, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Ireland and from different regions and universities of the U.S.A. and of the U.K. Beyond the multicultural teaching which results from such a gathering, the participants learn to live together and to share in difference during the time devoted to the work, and also during meals, walks, personal meetings etc. The atmosphere of the seminar is intense but friendly and joyful, and its outcome highly successful for both the research and the life of each participant.

If you are interested and would like to participate in such a seminar please send, as soon as possible, a CV, a PhD abstract (1 page) and a presentation of the issues and arguments of your PhD that most focus on the work of Luce Irigaray (5-6 pages) to Luce Irigaray (by mail: 15, rue Lakanal, 75015 Paris, France). After receiving this material, Luce Irigaray will tell you if you can participate in the seminar of 2010. You will be contacted for further practical information by Marita Ryan at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick after the selection of the candidates.

Essay Prize: Philosophy


The journal Philosophical Explorations has inaugurated an annual essay
prize for philosophers in the early stages of their career. Papers are
invited on all aspects of the philosophy of mind and action. They should not
be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and should not be
submitted to any other journal until the outcome of the competition is known.

The Prize
* Publication of the winning essay in Philosophical Explorations as the
opening article of the June 2011 issue (volume 14, issue 2).
* The winning essay will be promoted on the website of the journal.
* Cash prize of #250.


All submitted papers that qualify (see conditions) will be evaluated by the
journal's editorial board. The top 5 papers will be nominated for the Prize
and will be judged by a jury consisting of three members of the journal's
advisory board. The jury will evaluate the papers on the originality of the
paper, the quality of the argumentation, conceptual clarity, and overall

The decision of the jury will be final. There is only one prize per year and
the jury reserves the right to award no prize at all if submitted material
is not of an appropriate standard.


* Philosophers who have earned their doctorate no more than five years prior
to submission are invited to submit (The winner will be required to document
that this is the case).

* Papers should be on the topic of the journal, i.e. the philosophy of mind
and action broadly understood (see general rules regarding submissions for
Philosophical Explorations in the journal or on our website:

* Word limit: 3000-9000 words, including notes and references.

* Closing date for submissions: August 30, 2010.

* Papers must be submitted by e-mail to Please indicate
clearly in the subject line that you wish to have the paper considered for
the Essay Prize. Make sure that the essay is modified for blind review, and
that it has an abstract. A separate sheet with information about the
university where you earned your doctorate, the date it was (or will be)
awarded, and current mailing address is required.

* For more information about the prize, please contact the assistant editor
of the journal, Melissa van Amerongen (

For further information about Philosophical Explorations please visit the
journals homepage at

Messages to the list are archived at
Prolonged discussions should be moved to chora: enrol via
Other philosophical resources on the Web can be found at

Philosophy of Psychiatry Workshop

This looks really interesting:

University of Birmingham, 8th June 2010

The School of Philosophy Theology and Religion will host a workshop on
recent developments in the philosophy of psychiatry. Issues to be
discussed include the metaphysics of psychiatric disorders and psychiatric
kinds; autonomy and mental illness; and the interplay between
psychopathology and spirituality in phenomena such as 'possession' and
religious delusions.


Helen Beebee (Birmingham): 'Are psychiatric kinds real?'

Marion Godman (KCL):'The Swedish Apathetic Children: some epistemic and
metaphysical issues in grounding psychiatric kinds.'

Rachel Cooper (Lancaster):'Is psychiatric classification a good thing?'

Jill Craigie (KCL): 'Decision-making competence and practical rationality
in anorexia nervosa.'

Peregrine Horden (Royal Holloway):'Religion and psychiatry: a medieval

Paolo Mantovani (KCL):'On distinguishing delusions from religious beliefs.'

There is no registration fee, but if you want to attend you need to let
Lisa Bortolotti know by 15th May as places are limited. Just email:

Messages to the list are archived at
Prolonged discussions should be moved to chora: enrol via
Other philosophical resources on the Web can be found at

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Fellowship Opportunity in Humanities

Philip L. Quinn Fellowship in Philosophy
to be established at the National Humanities Center

News Release Date: March 2, 2010

Research Triangle Park, N.C. Philip L. Quinn (1940-2004) worked in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion. He taught at Brown University, where he held the William Herbert Perry Fraunce Professorship, and at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy. He served as President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, and he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Philip Quinn served on the final selection committee of the National Humanities Center in 1984 and subsequently assisted the Center as a preliminary reviewer of applications for many years. He was one of the dedicated scholars whose judgment insured the quality of the Center's Fellows, and though he himself never came to the Center as a Fellow, he valued it as a crucial American institution for the nurture and improvement of scholarship in the liberal arts.

After Professor Quinn's death in 2004, his Notre Dame colleague in philosophy, Paul Weithman, and another close friend, Mary Lou Solomon, were named co-executors of his estate. Paul Weithman had been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center in 2000-2001, and he was aware of Philip Quinn's long-standing connection and interest. He inquired whether a suitable memorial might be established at the Center, and in the end the two co-executors decided to endow the Philip L. Quinn Fellowship to be awarded annually in philosophy, preferably supporting young women in the early stages (pre-tenure) of their scholarly careers. The endowment will be established with $800,000 from the Quinn estate matched by $700,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The first Quinn Fellowship will be awarded to a member of the class of 2011-12 at the Center.

It is especially gratifying that a distinguished and much-loved member of the academic world admired the National Humanities Center and that his co-executors have chosen to memorialize him here. It speaks to the place that the Center holds in the hearts and minds of American scholars, and it is fitting that Philip Quinn's intellectual and ethical commitments in the profession be transmitted thus to future generations of philosophers.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Closure of Philosophy at Middlesex - updates

Nina Power is doing a fantastic job of keeping us updated about activity around the announced closure of the philosophy department at Middlesex University.

Her blog is:

CFP - Women in Philosophy of Education

Women in Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
Branch Seminar

Ethics, Politics and Love in Education

September 24-26, 2010
University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education

Invited Speaker:

Alison Assiter
Professor of Feminist Theory
The University of West England
‘Action and Love in Kierkegaard and Arendt: Questions for Education’

In an attempt to profile the work of women in philosophy of education, the organisers of this first weekend seminar on the theme ethics, politics and love in education invite participation from a variety of perspectives and request submissions to present works in progress. Submissions not directly related to the theme are also welcome. Our hope is to create a fertile environment for discussion, networking, and mentoring across a range of interests. We strongly encourage both new and more experienced scholars to get involved in generating an active and lively intellectual community.

We are inviting proposals of works in progress of 2000-3000 words. Deadline for submission is August 24, 2010. The seminar will run from 3 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Sunday and there will be 3 time slots for presenters to discuss their work, Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, with a scheduled meeting planned for Sunday morning. We will group the proposals thematically for each of the three time slots, and post them on-line prior to the seminar so that everyone can read them beforehand.

The conference registration fee is £20 and confirmation of participation is required by September 3rd. Funding is available for travel, bed and breakfast accommodation and meals. You do not need to present a paper to apply. Since our budget is limited, travel funding will be prioritised according to need. For more information please contact one of the organisers below.

CFP - (Re)branding Feminism Conference


A conference hosted by the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies (IGRS), Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5ND.

1st -2nd March 2011.

There has been a general recognition, if not acceptance, of many of feminism’s key concepts. But does this mean that it has ceased to assert itself as a unique movement? Indeed, should feminism be (re)branded in an age when all ideologies are subject to market forces? And what should this rebranding consist of?

Two years on from the stimulating ‘Where are we now? A workshop on women and heterosexuality’ hosted by the IGRS, this conference will address some of the issues raised then to question the place of feminism in the twenty-first century. While there has been ambivalent press and general apathy towards those issues that once encouraged women to put the political into the personal, it is increasingly women themselves who think there is nothing more to discuss. Why has there been a decline in the link between the personal and the ideological? Do we need a different kind of feminism to meet the cultural, political and academic needs of a younger generation?

Topics might include but are not limited to:

· Are sisters doing it for themselves?

· Feminism on the frontline

· I can be a real bitch

· Family romances

· Home-makers and career women

· God was/is a woman

· Feminism and the sex industry

· Feminist renaissance

· Feminism is bollocks

· Rebranding feminism

· Pub talk

Please note that the conference is a women-only event.

Abstracts between 200-300 words that explore any aspect of (re)branding feminism are sought as are poster submissions of 200 - 300 words on any topic related to rebranding feminism. Submit poster ideas and abstracts in a word document or .pdf.

Please send abstracts and poster ideas to both Jean Owen ( and Elisha Foust ( by 5pm 1 October 2010.

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