Calling Feminist Philosophers

Come visit Montreal, an amazing Canadian city, and home of next year’s annual meeting of the Canadian Philosophical Association, May 30-June 2, 2010. It’s also, I think, a much more woman friendly event than the APA. I suppose that’s in part because the CPA meets along with other disciplines as part of the annual congress hosted by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. This means that there isn’t the same feeling of being part of a very small group of women, even if many of the women are English professors! For those of us with interdisciplinary interests, you can also go to talks that are part of other academic societies’ conference programs. Often there are feminist philosophy papers on the main CPA program as well as on the panels hosted by the Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy.

Montreal's old city
Montreal's old city
The call for papers is here.

11 thoughts on “Calling Feminist Philosophers

  1. It says in the call for papers that you must be a member of the CPA in order to submit a paper. Is there a (legitimate, to my mind) desire to discourage non-Canadians (esp. Americans) from presenting? Should Americans feel completely comfortable joining the CPA and submitting a paper?

  2. I don’t think there is any intent to discourage non-Canadians from presenting. Rather, there is an intent to encourage as many people as possible to join the CPA. Plenty of Americans (along with other non-Canadians) present papers at CPA conferences; Americans should (I think) feel very comfortable joining the CPA and submitting a paper.

  3. I concur with Introvertica. Please feel very comfortable joining, submitting and participating!
    The Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture also meets at the same time as the CPA during congress and will have a cfp out soon (if it isn’t out there yet). Interesting for those who are continentally and interdisciplinarily inclined.
    The CPA makes a good effort to present papers in every discipline listed on its cfp. Feminist papers are welcome but more should be submitted to increase its representation.

  4. Indeed. Just as many Canadians are members of the APA, we encourage Americans to join the CPA. I think you’ll find it quite a bit different than the CPA. It’s my view that some of the issues facing women in the profession vary from country to country. For example, I find most Americans a little pushy, loud, argumentative and American male philosophers especially so. I know this is a broad generalization but sometimes when I hear US feminists characterize this as a “male” style of doing philosophy, I think that it’s also a very American way of doing philosophy. Not that all Canadian men are quiet and gentle, not by a long shot, but there are differences in national style that can make it difficult to generalize about sexism in philosophy and the form it takes.

  5. The Canadian style… eh?
    I am not sure that there are national styles. But it is true that conferences feel more welcoming in certain parts of the world. The worst I experienced was talking to an audience of mature Austrian philosophers in my Canadian English about continental philosophers rather than logic or phil language… yikes! :-)

  6. Frog (if I may), do you know the proportion of women in philosophy in Canada at the various professor levels?

  7. Hi JJ,
    statistics on this can be found in the latest report of the CPA Equity Committee. One flaw of the survey that the committee does is obvious: we only collect information from about 30 departments (not half of all Canadian Philosophy departments). But it still gives a pretty good idea. The report can be found at: click on the link CPA Equity survey analyses 2009 for the latest.

  8. @jj: “Frog” is just fine! About 30% overall, but it varies according to rank. I have a better breakdown somewhere which I’ll try to post later. For the last five years or so Canadian departments have been hiring at 50% women.

  9. Oh, this from the report of the CPA equity committee: “Gender equity is improving. In 2004-2005, 46.9% of assistant professors were women. In 2006-2007 that number had dropped to 38%. In 2008-2009 the number increased once again to 46.58%. Although it seems there was a backlash in 2006-2007, the survey sample for that year was not large enough to determine this. In fact, the numbers indicate a relative consistency in hiring. This percentage is lower among associate professors in 2008-2009 (33.33%) which is an increase from 2004-2005 (28.8%) but a decrease since 2006-2007 (36.9%). The representation of women is lower at the rank of full professors in 2008-2009 (21.21%) but is a significant increase over the 13.3% in 2004-2005 and
    16.8% in 2006-2007. We expect that this is a trend that will continue as the women in tenure-track jobs will obtain tenure and move through the ranks.
    The tendency is definitely more favorable for hiring women. It seems that departments have made a concerted effort to hire more women and to correct for past inequities. This
    past year, 21.06% of the job candidates were women resulting in 42.87% of the hires.
    The average for the past two years shows that 43.28% of doctoral degrees are awarded to women (with 42.8% for the year 2008-2009).”

    Click to access Survey%202009%20Final%20Report%20En.pdf

  10. Yes, that reads all good but, please read the whole document for the author’s reservations regarding the inherent flaws of the survey. Those departments that do respond are probably equity conscious in a way that others that don’t aren’t which makes us think that the situation could be bad in these other departments (again, more than 50%). Also, it is difficult to assess exactly what the proportion of job seekers and job-getters is since candidates apply on multiple jobs and all that… tough.

  11. I strongly doubt there’s any way we could find a substantial percentage of US philosophy depts with those figures.

    Clearly, there’s something to be learned from what’s happened in Canada.

    Also, one thing that’s VERY worrying in the States is the way young women get told that women cannot do philosophy. We really should advertise more the fact that our neighbors are proving this wrong – it would give female grad students a quick response.

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