Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Body hair teaching exercise July 6, 2014

Filed under: appearance,teaching — Jender @ 7:14 am

That’s the question confronting students in classes taught by Breanne Fahs, associate professor of women and gender studies in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Since 2010 Fahs has offered students the chance to participate in an extra-credit exercise related to body hair.

Female student participants stop shaving their legs and underarms for ten weeks during the semester while keeping a journal to document their experiences. For male students, the assignment is to shave all body hair from the neck down.

“There’s no better way to learn about societal norms than to violate them and see how people react,” said Fahs. “There’s really no reason why the choice to shave, or not, should be a big deal. But it is, as the students tend to find out quickly.”

For more, go here.


Content restrictions in classroom discussion? March 20, 2014

Filed under: teaching — jennysaul @ 8:58 am

Do any of you use restrictions on content of discussion contributions in your undergraduate classrooms? By this I mean restrictions on expressing or arguing for particular views, even if politely expressed. (I’m assuming we’d all block students from using hate speech or being directly abusive to each other.) The kind of thing I’m wondering about is e.g. forbidding students from advocating white supremacy, or arguing that consent is not necessary for morally acceptable sex. If you do use such restrictions, how do you formulate them?

Thanks for your help!


Query: teaching SM, post-50 Shades February 2, 2014

Filed under: sex,teaching — Jender @ 8:03 pm

I haven’t taught SM in my feminism class since 50 Shades of Grey came out. Back in the pre-Shades era, the whole idea of safe words, etc was clearly news to many (though obviously not all) of my students. I knew what misconceptions I needed to correct. Am I right in suspecting it’s a different ball-game now? What are the new misconceptions to correct? Are there interesting works of philosophy I should be adding to do so?

Since this is the kind of topic where things can get heated, I’d like to ask readers to simply go with my assumption that there is no one feminist view to take on this topic. Ta.


AAPT 2014 Seminar on Teaching and Learning in Philosophy January 10, 2014

Filed under: teaching — Lady Day @ 4:11 pm

American Association of Philosophy Teachers
and American Philosophical Association


2014 Seminar on Teaching and Learning in Philosophy

Location: College St. Benedict and /St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN

(1.5 hour drive from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport)

Date: July 31 – August 3, 2014

Eligibility: Current Graduate Students or Recent (2012 forward) PhDs

Seminar Facilitators: Stephen Block-Schulman (Elon University)

Donna Engelmann (Alverno College)

Mimi Marinucci (Eastern Washington University)

Participants: Maximum of 20

Application Deadline: April 11, 2014


Through readings and interactive experiences, seminar participants will explore issues and engage in a community of reflection in order to strengthen their pedagogical choices. Participants will study how to identify and select challenging and transformative learning goals and, by understanding the principles of integrated course design, will examine how to guide students to the successful achievement of these goals. Topics will include preparing to teach (for example, syllabus design), developing learning-centered philosophy classes, using traditional and non-traditional methods of assessment, and engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The friendships and collegial relationships built here can last a lifetime.


Participants are required to attend all sessions, which will be held each morning, July 31- August 3. A voluntary social gathering will take place on the evening of the 30th.

Fees & Waivers

The seminar is held in conjunction with the AAPT’s Biennial Conference. Participants are encouraged to attend the regular AAPT Conference sessions in the afternoons and evenings. The registration fee for the AAPT conference is waived for seminar participants. The cost of meals and lodging, approximately $325, and travel expenses will be the responsibility of participants. We encourage participants to solicit their departments for support. The American Philosophical Association generously offers travel grants of up to $300 for each participant. Recipients of APA travel grants must be members of the APA.

To apply please send the following three items to Stephen Bloch-Schulman

(1) Background Information






Summer Contact (Phone or email if different from above):

Major Fields of Interest:

Estimated Travel Expenses:

Applying for APA Travel Grant? (Yes/No); Member of APA? (Yes/No)

(2) A statement of interest or description of what you hope to gain from the seminar. If you have previous teaching experience, briefly describe it. (350 word limit)

(3) A letter of support from your Department Chair, indicating what your teaching duties will be in 2014-2015

Contact Information

For additional information about the Seminar (content, application status, etc.), please contact Stephen Bloch-Schulman (email: sschulman@elon.edu)



CU Boulder students say tenured faculty member being forced out over a lecture on prostitution December 15, 2013

Filed under: academia,free speech,prostitution,sex work,teaching,women in academia — philodaria @ 2:19 am

At Thursday’s 2 to 3 p.m. class inside the Cristol Chemistry and Biochemistry auditorium, or “chem 140″ as it’s called by students, Adler lectured for about 20 minutes before telling students she would not return in the spring.

Students said Adler then told the class that she was being forced into retirement because the administration thought her lecture on prostitution was inappropriate, degrading to women and offensive to some minority communities.

The prostitution lecture is given as a skit in which many of Adler’s teaching assistants dress up as various types of prostitutes. The teaching assistants portrayed prostitutes ranging from sex slaves to escorts, and described their lifestyles and what led them to become prostitutes.

Students said Adler told them the administration heard a complaint about the skit. On the day of the lecture, several people who did not appear to be students attended the skit and took lots of notes, students said.

Adler told her students she tried to negotiate with the administration about leaving the skit off the syllabus. Administrators allegedly told Adler that in the era of sex scandals at schools like Penn State University, they couldn’t let her keep teaching.

From here. 


Stereotype threat and philosophy December 6, 2013

Filed under: bias,science,teaching,women in philosophy — Jender @ 1:57 pm

A discussion over at Crooked Timber.


‘Classic’ readings by women November 26, 2013

Filed under: queries from readers,teaching,women in philosophy — magicalersatz @ 2:44 pm

A reader sends the following query:

Our department is setting up a proseminar (basically a seminar for first year PhD students to get through some classic material, reinforce some methodology and do some bonding). Of course, there is a danger that ‘classic’ will be read as ‘seminal’ and all the papers taught will be by men. Does anyone have a list of classic papers by women? It might help my cause if I can proactively suggest some.

Suggestions much appreciated!


Good guidance on teaching triggering issues? November 11, 2013

Filed under: teaching — Jender @ 8:54 pm

I’m working to develop some guidance for teaching triggering issues, to use at my university (hopefully not just in the philosophy department, though that would be a good start). Does anyone know of universities that have set out good guidance policies on this? Some links would be super-lovely if so!


Campaigning for gender balance in textbooks November 6, 2013

Filed under: teaching,women in philosophy — axiothea @ 2:48 pm

If like me, you teach first year intro courses in a department that makes a big deal out of being analytic, you know that it’s not very easy to find a textbook that works from the point of view of gender balance. Two that were recently advertised here and here didn’t quite make the cut as far as mainstream analytic philosophy was concerned for us.  So what can we do ? Well, textbooks that sell tend to be revised regularly. This is the case with the one I’m using : Perry, Bratman and Fischer’s Introduction to Philosophy. Although they have been adding work by women over the last few editions, there is still a great imbalance. So I wrote to the authors, directing them to this report.

They all three responded very positively, saying they agreed that this was an important matter and that they would strive to include more women in future editions. Let’s see how that works out (watch this space !)

But here’s a thought : ‘mainstream’ textbooks do tend to be edited regularly. So why not get in touch whenever we’re not happy with the gender balance ? Sounds like campaign to me.


Gendered Epistemology and Mind Textbooks October 8, 2013

Filed under: epistemology,gender,teaching,women in philosophy — magicalersatz @ 1:01 pm

In the comments on this post about gendered metaphysics textbooks, a reader writes:

It would be helpful to have analogous threads on epistemology and philosophy of mind anthologies as well. I decided not to use Neta and Pritchard’s Arguing about Knowledge for this very reason (1 woman out of 44), and Sosa, Kim, Fantl, and McGrath’s Epistemology: An Anthology is better but not great (9 out of 60). As for philosophy of mind, I’ve used Chalmers’ Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (2 out 63), and I haven’t had the time to investigate alternatives…

David Chalmers helpfully points toward this thread for some philosophy of mind suggestions. But does anyone have further suggestions, particularly for epistemology?



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