Femmostroppo Awards

From Cara, I’ve learned of the Femmostroppo Awards, for best 40 feminist blog posts of the year. So far, I’ve only read one, from La Lubu, and I’m still haunted by her description of giving birth to a premature baby; losing her job for taking time off from work to be at the hospital; and losing her health insurance. And by the fact that all the other parents of very ill children that she met had also lost at least one job due to their child’s illness. And by the lifetime caps on coverage which are apparently standard for health insurance in the US. It really brings home to me how fortunate those of us in countries with national health insurance are. And how desperately bad it is to be in a country without that.

CFP: Transformations

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast is seeking paper proposals for a two-day conference [28th-29th November 2008] on the subject of

Transformation and the Dynamics of (Radical) Change
Insights from Political Theory and Philosophy

Transformation is a seemingly ubiquitous concept within the field of political theory and philosophy. Whilst some idealize transformation as a source for progress and the improvement of the human condition, others frame it as a disruptive and unsettling process which can damage the social, political and natural elements of our world.

Paper  proposals should include a tentative title, an abstract (200-300 words) and details of the author’s institutional affiliation and contact information. Proposals should address any of the following issues/topics:
•       Factors and actors in transformation: Pluralism, nationalism, individualism, collectivism, recognition, complexity.
•       Forces of transformation: Globalization, economic change, social change, processes, transformation of conflict.
•       Objects and subjects of transformation: ideas; norms; values; ideology; the concept of transformation itself; state and sovereignty; government; governance; social structures and  processes; environment and nature; human beings, including the self.
•       Evaluations of transformation: theories, approaches, critiques and the possibility of a broader discourse on transformation.
All papers should make an explicit contribution to the establishment of a broader discourse on transformation and the dynamics of (radical) change.
The organizing committee welcomes papers from scholars in all fields and also encourages submission from early-stage academics, as well as from postgraduate students.
The deadline for submissions is JUNE 15th 2008.
Please send your submission to: transformations(at)qub.ac.uk
For further information, please visit: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPoliticsInternationalStudiesandPhilosophy/Events/Transformations/#d.en.94863

Fabian Schuppert
On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee
‘Transformation and the Dynamics of (Radical) Change: Insights from Political Theory and Philosophy’
Hosted by the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast

What do you think? An open thread

This blog raises, we hope, a lot of interesting issues.  Wrong headed politicians, the structure of sexual refusal, women in philosophy, gender equity, racism, cute furry creatures and the misguided practices of various agencies have fallen within our ken recently.  And quite a bit more.

But now we’d like to begin what could become a regular feature, one that provides you space to add to the agenda.  Are there events, books, calls for papers, happenings you’d like readers here to know about?  Or are there problems you think should be brought to this stage.  Or something else?

So the forum is open.  Please let us know what is on your mind..

Addition: In case you are wondering what to say, here’s one idea:  I think this blog is largely about information and discussion, but we could still use more ideas about practical actions.  Are there models of beneficial actions in the sorts of areas we deal with that you might point us all towards?  Do you think this blog could be doing more?  I’ve wondered, for example, if we should institute some sort of “hall of shame” feature that  mentions conferences and collections that leave out women.  Yikes!  What do you think?

Did we need to know this?

From the NY Times:

“If it is done before she comes into heat, spaying virtually eliminates the risk of breast cancer, the most common type of cancer” in female dogs, she** said. In female cats, too, breast tumors are common, and 90 percent of them are malignant. But a cat spayed before age 2 is one-seventh as likely to develop them.

Spaying also prevents ovarian or uterine cancer, uterine infections and other diseases. And it cancels the risks associated with giving birth.

In dogs and cats, males that have not been neutered are at risk for testicular cancer, prostate disease and hernias, among other problems. Neutering also often reduces fighting, roaming and scent marking, behaviors that may land a pet in a shelter, where euthanasia is a risk.

So does this generalize to other species? As in, ours? So the message is that just being able to have sex is very dangerous?

**Dr. Brenda Griffin, director of clinical programs in shelter medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell.