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.

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