Makes for grim reading. (Thanks, N!)
Statement on APA accessibility March 31, 2014
A group of philosophers with disabilities (all members of the APA’s committee for inclusiveness in the profession) have written a statement regarding APA accessibility.
I encourage everyone to read the whole statement, but I particularly want to highlight this section:
The APA’s practice with regard to members with disabilities respects each individual seeking accommodation as the most knowledgeable source to identify effective solutions for that person’s circumstance. We appreciate the APA’s personalized interactive process for providing reasonable accommodation, which has served not only us but many other philosophers with disabilities well. For those readers unfamiliar with reasonable accommodation procedure, the APA’s individualized interactive process is the gold standard approach the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) endorsed after nationwide consultation with large numbers of people with various disabilities and with organizations that represent them.
We therefore are disconcerted to observe people signing on to a petition that makes claims about APA procedures that are untrue and assertions about people with disabilities suffering discrimination by the APA that do not accord with our experience. They may not be aware that harm can be occasioned by them doing so.
As a philosopher with a disability, this statement definitely resonates with my own experience of the APA, which has always very positive. Big thanks to the authors of this statement (Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Anita Silvers, and Adam Cureton) and to the APA for their continued efforts towards inclusiveness!
Cochlear Implants, Viral Videos, and Sexism March 29, 2014
Once again a video of the miracle of hearing via cochlear implants has gone viral. I find this bothersome, but not for the reasons you might think, given that I’m a member of the signing Deaf* community, a bioethicist, and philosopher. Instead, I’m annoyed by the framing of the cochlear implant narratives and the gendered aspects of cochlear implant videos that go viral.
Before I say more, I want to note that I am delighted and touched by the joy of the cochlear implant recipient, Joanne Milne. Joanne Milne has had a life-changing experience. Most hearing people will watch the video, appreciate her happiness, and perhaps reflect on their own capacity to hear. I hope that we can push the conversation further along here at Feminist Philosophers.
The first post at the new blog Moontime Warrior includes the following:
As the Native woman in a classroom full of white students, studying a white, male dominated discipline, I am aware that my presence is constantly scrutinized. I become the representative for all Native people, and anything I do wrong is attributable to my genetics. If I enter a classroom late, if I answer a question incorrectly, if I misspeak, if I don’t speak, if I speak too much, if I get a bad grade, it’s not just a personal failure; it’s a failed responsibility to break stereotypes and represent all Native people everywhere in a positive way.
…No pressure, kids.
Read the whole thing here.
Yet another reason to hate the BMI March 27, 2014
According to The Metro, this elite female body builder was told by an NHS nurse that she needed to start dieting immediately and get more exercise, based simply on the fact that her body mass index (BMI) classified her as ‘overweight’. She was at the medical clinic to get contraception, and had not asked for any nutrition or lifestyle advice.
Careers events targetting bias-related issues? March 25, 2014
I’ve heard from several people who are interested in putting together careers events for undergraduates that specifically target bias-related issues. Obviously, one big worry about such things is now incredibly demoralising it is to learn (for example) about the effect of a female or non-white name on CV review. This isn’t necessarily a reason not to talk about this, but I think it’s a legitimate worry given the horrendous job market they’re all going into, and given the desire not to make things worse for those already facing considerable barriers. Equally obviously, it would be useful to tell students about ways of overcoming stereotype threat, and about power posing. Any other thoughts about things that would be good or bad to do? Any insights from running or attending such events?
Why Isn’t My Professor Black – Video March 24, 2014
You can watch a youtube video of the panel discussion, “Why Isn’t My Professor Black?” here (or below).
The sound isn’t great at first, but it gets much better after the introduction.
Philosophy and Race in the THES March 20, 2014
Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman has an article in the Times Higher Education Supplement on the whiteness of philosophy – both our faculty and our cannon.
Literature, history and politics have treated Douglass, and other persons enslaved-as-negro, and, more generally, other persons racialised-as-black, as artists, biographers and campaigners. Yet, philosophers have not tended to treat such persons as philosophers.
Reflecting on such neglect, Anita LaFrance Allen-Castellitto, professor of law and professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that “[i]f people of color are to ‘do’ philosophy, philosophers must be willing to ‘do’ people of color. When we give minorities’ issues their due we dignify them as moral agents with morally and intellectually significant lives”. Yet, as Albert Atkin (a senior lecturer in philosophy, who had to leave Britain for Macquarie University in Australia before he could write and publish his monograph on The Philosophy of Race (2012)) puts it, “mainstream philosophy has managed to make itself something of a notable exception in contributing to debates on race”.
Go read it!