Extraordinary Rendition uninteresting to Supreme Court, WaPo

Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was detained by the U.S. in 2002 and held in Syria for a year, has had his request for appeal for the right to sue U.S. officials turned away by the U.S. Supreme Court.  I turned to my trusty Washington Post for their usually excellent news coverage, and found this trenchant and insightful piece. Awesome use of the AP wire, guys!

I’m not a justice on the highest court in the U.S., and can’t pretend to know their perhaps excellent reasons for refusing to hear the case.  But I am a faithful subscriber to the Washington Post, and I certainly do feel confident that I know when their coverage of an ongoing American failure, shall we say, is lacking.

For much more exciting coverage which includies the Mounties, see the Toronto Star!  (For readers who wish any insight into the case, try the Christian Science Monitor instead.)  But I’m not finding much in the American press.  Go figure.

Making abortion accessible…

by videoconference.

The NYT reports, that from their offices, “doctors ask a woman on the computer screen before him one final question: Are you ready to take your pill?” When the woman responds affirmatively, the doctor can, with a click of his mouse, open a modified cash drawer next to the nurse in the clinic where the woman sits, dispensing RU-486, the pill that will end her pregnancy.

(Thanks, Jender-Parents!)

On breasts and the vagaries of fashion

Apparently Playboy has an article on the changes in breast fashions over the years. Jezebel has a post up on it, which makes the following claim:

Society’s entire obsession with breasts is bizarre, but it’s particularly strange that they’re the only body part that can go out of style.

What this means, I think, is that it’s the only body part for which didn’t shapes go in and out of style. I don’t think this is true, though– there are periods when rounded hips are in and periods when boyish hips are in, for example. And I’ve even read that ancient Greeks preferred small penises. Your thoughts? Or facts?

(Thanks for the link, Bets!)

CFP: Graduate Conference for Feminist Philosophers

Diotima: A Graduate Conference for Feminist Philosophers
Feminism, Technology and the World: Ecological Perspectives
University of Western Ontario
September 25-26, 2010

This conference aims to bring together graduate students who share an interest in feminism, post-coloniality, queer theory, critical race theory, philosophy of disability and anti-oppression theory in general, regardless of their primary area of research.
Keynote Speaker: We are pleased to announce Lorraine Code, Distinguished Research Professor Emerita at York University and recipient of the Distinguished Woman Philosopher Award (2009), as our keynote speaker. Prof. Code’s work explores “ecological thinking as a conceptual apparatus and regulative principle for a theory of knowledge – an epistemology – capable of addressing feminist, multicultural, and other postcolonial issues.”

We are also pleased to announce Gillian Barker as our faculty keynote speaker. Prof. Barker specializes in philosophy of science and of biology. She is interested in ecological conceptions of organism-environment interaction and their implications for our thinking about agency, normativity and knowledge, and in ecological psychology as a tool for transformative learning and action.

We invite submissions in any area of philosophy or feminist theory, that have been influenced by your feminist commitments broadly construed, including but not limited to:
• Feminist analysis of information sharing systems and new technologies;
• Social consequences of genetic or biomedical research and treatment;
• Explorations of a human/non-human divide, or personhood generally;
• A discussion of a recent work or emerging political concern;
• Developing interactions between theorists from different cultures;
• Wilderness, the built environment, poverty and politics;
• Environmental disaster and response;
• Intergenerational justice

Presenters will have 30-35 minutes to speak, followed by a 10-minute commentary and a 25-30 minute discussion period. Papers should be approximately 4000 words. Please include an abstract with your submission of no more then 200 words.


Please send your submissions electronically to diotimagrads@gmail.com. All papers will be evaluated by blind review; identifying information should appear in a cover letter only.

UWO’s philosophy department has an established strength in feminist philosophy, philosophy of science, and is home to the newly formed Rotman Institute for Science and Values.