CFP: Under-represented Groups in Philosophy

Under-represented Groups in Philosophy
November 26th 2010
Cardiff University

A SWIP-UK/ BPA conference
Supported by: The Mind Association, The Aristotelian Society

Keynote speakers
Professor Helen Beebee (Birmingham University, UK)

Professor Louise Antony (UMass, Amherst, USA)

Organisers: Dr Jules Holroyd, Dr Alessandra Tanesini

Papers that address any aspect of the problem of under-representation within the profession, or strategies for responding to these problems and their philosophical underpinnings, or suitably related issues are invited for submission.

Abstracts or short papers of up to 3000 words should be sent to: HolroydJ[at] suitably prepared for anonymous refereeing.

The deadline for submission is August 10th 2010. Decisions will be made as promptly as possible.

This conference aims to focus attention on the following topics;

a)identifying the specific problems that minorities in philosophy encounter, especially those that may perpetuate or sustain that minority status;

b)articulating the philosophical concepts and frameworks that may be of use in thinking about these problems;

c)identifying strategies that might be employed in attempting address gender imbalances and the underrepresentation of disabled people and individuals of minority racial or ethnic identities

d)exploring the philosophical underpinnings of these strategies, and critically assessing them.

Professor Helen Beebee will speak on the work she has been doing with the BPA in gathering information about under-representation in academic philosophy.

Professor Louise Antony has worked on feminist topics in epistemology such as the role of bias in science (1993), the epistemic authority of minorities in academia (2005)

Women in the profession of academic philosophy are in a minority. Discussion in print and online has recently focused on possible explanations of this, with attention being paid to the effects of stereotypes, solo status, and hostile or chilly environments in academic culture. Discussions have also highlighted the underrepresentation of individuals of minority racial or ethnic identities, disabled people, and from working class socioeconomic backgrounds.

There have also been a number of positive attempts to address problems that may face minorities in the profession, and increase their visibility in philosophy. Some strategies include:

-Gathering data on the number of women and underrepresented minorities in philosophy

-Alerting conference organisers as to the problems of homogenous speaker programmes and encouraging them to consider speakers from a more diverse pool;

-Constructing databases of writings by women in philosophy, to facilitate greater gender-balance in undergraduate reading lists;

-Coordinating networks of minorities in philosophy to facilitate working links, and, for example, to promote the work of women in philosophy;

-Encouraging educators and conference organisers to create accessible and inclusive spaces within which to do philosophy.

By focusing attention on the problems of under-representation, this conference aims to clarify our understanding of the problems, of strategies in response and their philosophical underpinnings.

Cardiff Philosophy


British Philosophical Association

The Mind Association

The Aristotelian Society


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