Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Sessions on disability at conferences April 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 7:03 pm

The recent discussions about an APA committee regarding disability & the profession ( or something at least a bit like that) reminded me of a very serious problem that can arise when one tries to arrange sessions on disability at an APA conference. No doubt some readers are painfully aware f this problem, but not all conference organizers may be.

The problem is that at least the Central Division has little spare money. Traveling for some disabled philosophers can involve considerable extra expenses. When I was 2013 program chair we lost one or two potentially very interesting sessions because of funding.

Does anyone know of any travel funding source that could help? If not, given an APA committee may not be in place this coming academic year, it might be appropriate to brainstorm a bit. Might students be willing to help in exchange for a shared room, for example? It could be easier to donate a room for the APA, if I remember right.

What do you think?


Addressing an injustice in the profession

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 2:32 pm

The contribution below is from Jackie Taylor, U San Francisco, who had mentioned in email a session at the APA where some women and, I believe, all African american philosophers were not called on. I think trying to create a structural guard against such things may well be the most promising approach there is.

Some of us have recently returned from the Pacific APA, where we were heartened to see many women active in sessions, both as speakers and audience members. Yet we still see some behavior that is detrimental to women — speakers monopolizing sessions, chairs failing to call on audience members (or only the most senior/famous), or calling on women only when time for the session threatens to run out. I spoke with Ned Markosian about this, who wrote to me,

There is this valuable commodity — being able to speak during Q&As — and it is unjustly distributed. I think that the extent to which this injustice has very harmful consequences in our profession is vastly under-appreciated.

I agree with him — someone who decides to be a more active bystander, and intervene to request that more people be called on, may be viewed as rude, or ignored, although such people are often praised by those with an active concern to change the behavior at our conferences.

Ned, as readers may know, organizes the BSPC conference in Bellingham, Washington. This is a very gender friendly venue, thanks in part to the following system for more evenly distributing time for asking questions:


While such a system is probably easiest to implement for individuals, small groups or societies organizing conferences, we hope that we can take this up with the APA to make it a more inclusive place where all have more opportunity to be heard.


Jean Harvey, 1955-2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 3:18 am

We report with sadness the death of Prof. Jean Harvey of the University of Guelph, on Sunday, April 20, 2014. Jean Harvey was the author of Civilized Oppression (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) and numerous articles on topics ranging from social justice, to moral solidarity, to companion-animals. In her work, Jean Harvey unhesitatingly drew upon feminist philosophy and advanced visions of a better and more just society.  In her service to the Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy (CSWIP), Jean established the graduate student award and fostered the success of individuals as well as the philosophical community.

It is something of a tradition at FP to feature a passage from the work of an author whose death we mark. I continue to draw on the first bit of Jean’s work I ever heard about, in almost every presentation on equity that I give. It was my colleague Sybol Cook Anderson who first read to me at some length from Jean Harvey’s monograph, on Jean’s concept of “indirect support power” to explain why just passing a law is not enough to end sexism or racism. Every time I repeat this to students they get it, they electrify, with the excitement of an audience that had always longed for words to explain why formal structures ending discrimination are not enough. As Jean explains in her JSP article, “Social Privilege and Moral Subordination,” being assigned direct power does not guarantee an individual’s success:

[This] ignores the role of support power. For most bank managers the support mechanisms will never undermine their assigned power, but when members of groups traditionally excluded from such positions begin to move into them, unreliable support power is not uncommon. The black police officer, the woman priest or professor, the openly homosexual politician all have assigned powers because of their roles, but the first to move into such roles in some places may not be able to count on the support power that is taken for granted by their long-accepted colleagues, the white, male, physically able, heterosexual police officers, priests, professors, and politicians.

When this phenomenon occurs, those concerned are doubted more often, ridiculed more often, supervised more closely, maneuvered into the least critical decision making whenever possible, and when challenged in some outrageous rather than legitimate way by someone over whom they technically have direct power, find no minimal and fair-minded support from peers who belong to the long-accepted groups, nor from those in supervisory roles.

Philosophers, we can honor our late colleague by offering support-power to one another. Let us make this a more just world. Jean Harvey’s work offers us some ways to do so.


Needed: more papers by women philosophers April 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 7:53 pm

For the Central Division APA
Posted at the request of the program chair.


Please also see the general submission guidelines.

Paper submission deadline for the 2014 meeting: June 1, 2014

The meeting is usually held in February or March. Selections are announced in September, or before when possible.

Central Division submission deadline: June 1. Membership materials (dues payments from members who still owe dues for the current fiscal year and membership applications from new applicants who are joining the APA for the first time) must be received no later than May 20th in order for them to be processed before the June 1 deadline for paper submissions.

Papers exceeding 3,000 words will not be considered as colloquium papers. Abstracts for colloquium papers must not exceed a length of 150 words.

Submissions for consideration as symposium papers must not exceed a length of 5,000 words. Abstracts for symposium papers must not exceed a length of 300 words. Authors should be aware that only a few papers are selected for presentation as symposium papers. If authors wish to have a shortened version of their paper considered as a colloquium paper, they should submit the appropriately shortened version, along with a shortened abstract, simultaneously with the submission of the symposium paper.

The Central division will not include a paper on its meeting program if that paper (1) has already been presented or is scheduled for presentation on the main program of another APA divisional meeting or (2) has been accepted for publication and will have actually been published prior to the Central division meeting in question. If a paper is accepted for presentation and the program committee subsequently learns that it will have been published prior to the meeting, then that paper will be withdrawn from the meeting program.

Graduate student travel stipends

The purpose of graduate student travel stipends is to assist graduate students whose papers have been accepted for the programs of the divisional meetings.

Eligibility is restricted to APA members or associate members who are graduate students in residence and in good standing at a M.A. or Ph.D. program in philosophy.

To be considered for these awards, a paper must be accompanied by a separate cover page indicating that the paper is in competition for a graduate student stipend. There must also be a letter verifying that the student is in residence from the department chair or graduate advisor. Length, format, and other aspects of papers must conform to the rules of the program for submitted papers. See the paper submission guidelines for specifics.

Papers for this competition will not be identified to the program committee as such until accepted for the program.

A $300 stipend will be awarded for any paper written by a graduate student that is accepted by the program committee in its normal, blind-review process [sic]. Winners will be announced in the printed program.

Postmarked deadline for submissions: June 1.


Boulder: more discussion

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 4:23 pm

It’s here.

The CHE has a similar story, but it is only available to subscribers.


Feminism at 1000-Word Philosophy April 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 5:42 pm

Annaleigh Curtis authors a three-part introduction to feminist philosophy.  Read Part I here.


38 core books in Feminist Philosophy April 16, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 9:14 pm

A reader is a librarian who would love to hear readers’ suggestions for titles to add to this list. She’s selecting new titles and adds, “these would be books that you’d expect a library supporting an undergraduate or master’s degree in Women’s/Gender Studies to own.”

How many of the current list have you read, readers?


Marks and Sparks: diversity advocate? April 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 4:37 pm

I hope I get some help from people closer to the scene if there are nuances I’m not picking up on.

Here’s the thing, inspired by an article in the Guardian, I was trying to figure out the relative prevalence of the NEW crop tops in the UK and the States.  The NEW ones do not display one’s belly button.  Rather, they reveal one’s belt.

From the Guardian:

Struck by the idea that I was going to show up in England with completely passe long tops, I started to look for the NEW crop tops in the States. However, I couldn’t find any on the US sites I tried, so I decided to try UK sites.  I learned that as a fashion trend the NEW ones are very new, since they don’t have much of a presence.

so I turned to a site mentioned, Marks and Spencer’s, where I discovered their new ‘leading ladies’ campaign.  The outstanding women are photographed by Fran Liebowitz Annie Leibovitz, by the way.  

Though I never got a very good take on the prevalence of the NEW crop tops, I did discover an interesting campaign at Marks and Sparks.



Disability and Graduate School Considerations April 14, 2014

Filed under: deaf,disability,graduate students,minorities in philosophy,Uncategorized — Teresa Blankmeyer Burke @ 11:33 am

Helen de Cruz has a great post up at NewAPPS that discusses, among other things, why graduate students might opt to attend unranked programs.


Another, often overlooked, consideration in play for some graduate students is disability. Some campuses are more friendly and accommodating to students with particular kinds of disabilities, some local communities have more resources than others, some states have policies that make it easier to be funded by vocational rehabilitation than others, some states (in the U.S.) provide tuition waivers to students with certain disabilities, and so on.




Guggenheim Fellows: Two Feminist Philosophers April 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 7:54 pm

If you look at the 2014 list of Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, you’ll see only two names under Philosophy: Eva Kittay and Laurie Paul.  Congratulations to our colleagues for this well-deserved honor!  It is an especial pleasure to see two feminists constitute the entire Philosophy list.

Congratulations are due to other philosophers and feminists, as well. Recipients in Classics include a notable philosopher, John Palmer, and recipients in Religion include a notable feminist, Joyce Flueckiger, author of When the World Becomes Female: Possibilities of a South Indian Goddess.  All recipients are to be commended.



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