On Kipnis, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Agency

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa has another really excellent blog post today.

One of the central themes in Unwanted Advances is Kipnis’s suggestion that campus “sexual paranoia” stands in tension with a recognition of female sexuality and sexual agency. She attributes to the contemporary American university a Victorian sensibility, treating women as precious, featureless, sexless wards requiring zealous protection. I think this is a serious misreading of the cultural situation, and of the nature of agency.

Read on.

 

 

Conference: Feminist Philosophy and Methodological Commitments

International Conference: Feminist Philosophy and Methodological Commitments

July 13th – 14th, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany

Over the past few decades, feminist philosophy has become recognised as a philosophical sub-discipline in its own right. Feminist philosophers typically aim both to critique real-world patriarchal social structures by utilising mainstream philosophical tools, and to shape mainstream philosophy with the help of feminist political insights. It is typically distinctive in being framed around specific concepts and background beliefs, which are sensitive to gender justice. Feminist philosophers usually reject the view of philosophy as value-free, neutral investigation upon which feminist insights neither can nor should bear. Many reject the view that the political value commitments of feminism are inconsistent with the supposed valueless theoretical commitments of philosophy. More radically, we contend that philosophers cannot, and should not, generally draw a clear distinction between allegedly constitutive theoretical and cognitive values and contextual social, practical, or ethical values. Echoing the work of Helen Longino and Elizabeth Anderson, we contend that relying on moral, practical, and political values is legitimate and even necessary when making theory choices in philosophy. In so doing, feminist philosophy has brought new methodological insights to bear on traditional ways of doing philosophy. This conference aims to investigate in more depth methodological insights that feminist philosophy can afford, and to examine points of intersection between feminist commitments and existing methodological outlooks (e.g. non-ideal theory, pragmatism, amelioration, critical theory).

Confirmed speakers and talks:

Ásta (Sveinsdóttir)
Nancy Bauer
Alisa Bierria
Christine Bratu
Alice Crary
Ann Garry
Esa Díaz-León
Hilkje Hänel & Johanna Müller
Sally Haslanger
& Katharine Jenkins

For more info see: http://feminist-philosophy-berlin.weebly.com/

As space is limited, we kindly ask you register before June 18, 2017. You can do so here: http://feminist-philosophy-berlin.weebly.com/registration.html

If you have any questions please contact the organizers, Mari Mikkola, Johanna Müller, Hilkje Hänel: feminist.philosophy.berlin2017@gmail.com

CFP: California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race

The California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race
at EMORY University
October 6-7, 2017
Keynote: José Medina
Professor of Philosophy
Vanderbilt University

The California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race announces a call for papers for its 15th annual roundtable. This roundtable brings together philosophers of race in continental and analytic traditions, and those working in related disciplines in a small and congenial setting to share their work and develop this field further. Philosophical papers are invited on any issue regarding race, ethnicity, or racism, including those that take up race in the context of another topic, such as gender, sexuality, politics, ethics, justice, culture, identity, biology, phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, metaphysics, or epistemology.
Submissions are especially encouraged from junior and senior scholars, feminist philosophers, and philosophers of color. We seek to foster a productive and intellectually stimulating environment for those working in fields concerned with philosophy and race. The Roundtable also aspires to bring together junior and senior scholars to develop and enhance constructive mentoring relationships.

Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2017
Submission Instructions:

1. Submission should be 2-3 pages, with a brief bibliography, your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and rank. Please do NOT send full papers.
2. Please send as a Word or PDF file to crpr2012@gmail.com.
3. File name should include your last name, short title, CRPR 17.
4. Subject heading of email should read [Your name] CRPR Submission 2017
If your paper is accepted, you will have 30 minutes for presentation. This year’s conference will begin Friday morning and go until Saturday evening. Please ensure that you are able to attend the entire conference, until Saturday evening, before submitting abstract.

Our website, www.caroundtable.org will be updated soon with submission instructions and logistics for this year’s conference. Past programs are available there. For questions, please contact us at crpr2012@gmail.com

Organizers:
Mickaella L. Perina, Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Falguni A. Sheth, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Emory University

Northwestern Graduate Students on Kipnis

The Northwestern Philosophy Graduate Student Association has published an open letter on Kipnis’s book.

Several people, including a graduate student in the department of philosophy at Northwestern University, were recently targeted in a book by Radio, Television and Film faculty member Laura Kipnis. In “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,” Kipnis constructs a narrative around a series of events — which have been largely centered within our own department — to support her claim that Title IX fosters a sense of sexual paranoia and creates an environment hostile to academic freedom.

In doing so, Kipnis dedicates a chapter of her book to questioning a sexual assault allegation our fellow graduate student brought against a faculty member. Kipnis questions this allegation on the basis of a limited set of evidence, without consulting with our colleague or those close to her to check a number of important details in the case. Moreover, Kipnis reinforces her claims with unsubstantiated speculations. Her construction of the narrative is, as a result, irresponsible. We feel compelled to express how dissonant Kipnis’ retelling of these events is with our first-hand experiences of them and with the people involved in them, and to express our concern for Kipnis’ conduct, both as an author and as a faculty member at NU.

Read on.

A Concern Discussed at a session at the Pacific APA

I don’t think anything is gained by my identifying either the session or the speakers, particularly since the problem is quite general.  I should say that in the remarks I mention, both very mainstream analytic philosophy and philosophy of race and gender were discussed.

A speaker remarked that there was little feminist work done in an analytic area.  In the discussion another philosopher maintained that in fact there was on-going work by feminists in that area, but that it challenged the structure the speaker used to define the area.  The voices of such feminist philosophers are mostly at least muted since (a) it is extremely difficult to get such work published, and (b) if it does get into print, just about no one reads it or discusses it.  Several other women at the meeting registered that it was good that we were talking about gate-keepers.  Afterward a women who had given a paper I thought genuinely brilliant and illuminating told me that she had given up on publishing in journals and now relied on being invited to publish.

Another kind of example:  A recent paper in a visible publication said its main idea came from an impressive book by a woman philosopher.  Previously two mainstream presses had said they couldn’t find anyone to review it, and another editor completely reversed the main thesis and then rejected it as not interesting.

Our profession can ill-afford such silencing.  One remarkable contribution outsiders can make to a profession is to provide new and critical perspectives on traditional topics.  This contribution is just lost if people refuse to consider it.

Probably we all get self-published books from people who have discovered the secret of the universe.  In contrast, the outsiders I am describing tend to be highly credentialed.

Kipnis on sexual assault and harassment

Wise thoughts from Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa:

Some of my colleagues around the philosophy world have recently been discussing Laura Kipnis’s new book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus. I have a lot of thoughts about this book, but I’ll start here with one. (I may write more later.) This is kind of a big-picture thought about Kipnis’s starting points and outlook—I find some of her thoughts about sex and sexual assault to be surprisingly retrograde. I know that some of my colleagues are impressed by this book; I am not sure if they share Kipnis’s general sensibilities on these matters, or whether they just like it for some of its conclusions. At any rate, I think some people would be surprised by Kipnis’s sensibilities; the point of this post is to draw attention to some of them.

Read on.

Study shows women being overlooked as speakers

Why did you start investigating this issue?

A postdoctoral fellow in my lab pointed out that the preliminary speaker list for an international neuroimmunology conference included only 13 female speakers out of 93 total. I contacted the conference organizers, and they responded that there weren’t enough accomplished female neuroscientists at senior ranks to invite. So I thought, “That’s a hypothesis that I can test.”

Read on, to find out how she indeed did test this hypothesis, and to find what seems to make a difference.

Second Anniversary Installment of Dialogues on Disability

Shelley Tremain has just posted the second anniversary installment of her series Dialogues on Disability, and is joined in the retrospective by Jesse Prinz, Tommy Curry, and Audrey Yap, all previous interviewees. You can read the full discussion here:

http://philosophycommons.typepad.com/disability_and_disadvanta/2017/04/dialogues-on-disability-shelley-tremain-with-jesse-prinz-tommy-curry-and-audrey-yap.html

CFA: BIAS IN CONTEXT #4: PSYCHOLOGICAL AND STRUCTURAL EXPLANATIONS OF INJUSTICE

University of Utah, Salt Lake City
October 12- 13 2017
***DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS, May 15***

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS:
• Dr. Kristie Dotson
• Dr. Adam Hosein
• Dr. Theresa Lopez & Dr. Brian Chambliss
• Dr. Kate Manne
• Dr. Mari Mikkola
• Dr. Jennifer Mueller
• Dr. Victoria Plaut
• Dr. Flannery Stevens
• Dr. Ásta (Sveinsdóttir)

CALL FOR POSTER PRESENTATIONS: There will be a poster session associated with this conference, to be held on its first day. Up to eight participants will be invited to present their work. Accommodation costs & registration for poster presenters will be covered. We may also be able to contribute a small amount to travel costs, but the amount (if any) is to be determined. For examples of papers/presentations within our theme, please see the programs from past conferences: http://biasincontext.weebly.com/programme.htmlhttp://biasincontext3.weebly.com/programme.html

Abstracts should be prepared for anonymous review, and submitted via email by the 15th of May 2017. Submissions should be made to Louise Pederson, administrative assistant, at biasincontextutah@gmail.com.

For more information about the conference (including information about the venue and program details), see: www.biasincontext4.weebly.com.