CFP: Neurofeminism

Call for Papers:

With the recent advances in imaging and genetic technologies, the last decade has witnessed an explosion of work on human cognitive and affective functioning. Among some of the more publicized work is that on sex differences. Basing research on neuroscience lends studies particular credibility in the public mind, with the result that traditional gender characteristics and roles seem to take on a new credibility.  There are, however, serious questions about how to interpret the evidence from neuroscience, an area that, in some respects, appears to be just as sensitive to preconceived notions of sex-differences as other fields. It is, therefore, time to apply a feminist perspective to this burgeoning field of study.

We call for papers for an edited volume on neuroscience and feminism in areas including, but not limited to the following topics: (1) exploration of past stereotypes, (2) scientifically informed understanding of sex differences/similarities, (3) the exposure of androcentric biases that inform scientific research, (4) new scientifically informed perspectives on old feminist issues, (5) neuroscientific understanding of embodied experience, (6) understanding sex differences using animal models, (7) the neuroscience of ethical thinking, (8) pathologies, mental disorder, and sex differences. We encourage researchers from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science generally to submit.

The deadline for submission of manuscripts (maximum length 12,000 words) is January 1, 2010. We also encourage those interested in submitting a paper to contact us in advance of this deadline.  Please also feel welcome to circulate this call for papers to colleagues who may be interested in contributing a paper.

Robyn Bluhm, Old Dominion University  rbluhm@odu.edu

Anne Jacobson, University of Houston  anne.jacobson@mail.uh.edu

Heidi Maibom, Carleton University  heidi_maibom@carleton.ca

“One Special Olympian”

Eunie Shriver, a member of the famous Kennedy family, was buried today.  She started the Special Olympics.  Suddenly today I realized that there had been a time when it seemed atheletic competition and winning were understood in terms of a fairly closed set of goals.  She changed that.

The title above is from an article by Lawrence Downes, who writes

Mentally disabled people don’t catch many breaks. The world isn’t made for children who grow old before they grow up. The slow spread of tolerance hasn’t outraced indignity and neglect. People have always mocked the retarded, especially those who like to take credit for their own intelligence.

But there is one island of inclusion: the Special Olympics. They are the pride and inspiration of millions. They exist because Eunice Shriver, who had a retarded sister she greatly admired, insisted on looking differently at disability. She offered love without pity, a chance to race and win, and to win just by racing.

Assassination as a political Strategy

“Elected Republican officials  are whipping up the sick and delusional to assassinate the president!”

Sound extreme?  Unfortunately, it isn’t.   Just think of Sarah Palin (OK, former elected) on Obama’s death panels.   In the video below, Rachel Maddow recounts some of the extreme rhetoric from the Republicans, and details some recent actions linking support of Obama’s health care with violence and threats of death.

This is very scary.   And of course behind it all is insurance companies.  And the very big bucks involved.

In an article today entitled, “Republican Death Trip,” Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman remarks:

Last week, [Senator] Grassley …  told an audience that “you have every right to fear,” that we “should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”

Again, that’s what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.

…. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh.

O right.  Limbaugh is another unelected one, but then he’s de facto a leader.

There’s a second video here where Maddow looks at parallels to the assassination of abortion providers.

 Thanks to Calypso for catching a mistake!

Models Without Makeup

Hmm… It’s good to see wrinkles, freckles, etc. And to see faces with wrinkles as beautiful. On the other hand, does it just set even more insane expectations? “They look fabulous even without makeup! I’m even more hideous than I thought!” Because, of course, they’re not just walking down the street: they’re being photographed by a top photographer. And although the photos are “without excessive retouching” there’s a lot of wiggle room in that phrase. (Thanks, Mr Jender!)