Upload your work to Phil Papers!

From Alison Bailey (a message sent to various mailing lists):

Ann Garry and I have just agreed to co-edit the “Feminist Philosophy” area for PhilPapers and we need your assistance to help grow this database and increase the visibility of feminist philosophy.
We believe this is an excellent opportunity to promote feminist scholarship in the discipline. PhilPapers is a comprehensive directory of online philosophical articles and books by academic philosophers. The site receives about 10,000 visits per day, and there are over 20,000 registered PhilPapers users.

In the next few months we will be re-organizing and expanding the categories listed under the Feminist Philosophy category, and doing our best to populate each category with new articles, book chapters, bookreviews, books, etc. We are particularly interested in increasing the visibility of feminist scholarship by groups that are underrepresented and marginalized within the discipline.

The representation of feminist works in PhilPapers is only as good as the papers that people post and submit. For this reason we encourage each of you to create a PhilPapers account, browse the site, and to upload your work if it’s not already there. To get started and to set up a PhilPapers user account please go here.

Reader seeks suggestions for invited APA session

I’d like to ask the advice of readers of this blog. I’m arranging an invited session for an upcoming Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association called “New Approaches to Old Figures: Recent Work in Feminist History of Philosophy.” Although I already have some ideas both for invited speakers and for topics, I am curious to hear what/who others would like to see included on this topic. Please chime in! (But don’t be disappointed if your suggestion doesn’t end up making it to the program; this is just one short session, subject to many constraints.) Thanks for your help.

Webcast: “Where Have all the Women Gone?” by Carla Fehr

The Institute for Philosophy in Public Life presents

A live discussion with web simulcast.

“Where Have All The Women Gone?
Social Accounts of Science and the Need for Women Scientists.”

A presentation and discussion led by
Carla Fehr
Visiting Fellow, Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Iowa State University

Wednesday, March 2, 6:00 p.m.
UND Bookstore (formerly Barnes & Noble)
771 Hamline Street, Grand Forks, ND
Free parking is available on site.

Or, watch the discussion live and chat with other viewers, at http://www.philosophyinpubliclife.org

Since the 1970’s, the number of women earning doctorates has tripled but the number of women full-time professors has only increased by half that; women are especially underrepresented in science and engineering. Traditionally, philosophers might claim this isn’t a problem: the knower isn’t as important as the knowledge itself. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the scientist is a man or a woman; all that matters is the knowledge he or she produces. In this discussion, Fehr will challenge this claim, examining the assertion that science is a social practice, and that objectivity is dependent on the people and practices of diverse communities of scientists.

CFP: Collectivity Beyond Identity

Call for Papers
“Collectivity beyond Identity”
International conference, June 28-30, 2012

Modes of collectivity play an important role in numerous contexts of our social and everyday lives. Collectives form the basis of political practice and engagement, as well as of economic and labour relations. Collectivity appears to be a particularly important concept to consider especially in areas like feminist theorizing once subjecthood is critically examined, and not construed as sovereign and isolated.

Critical theory, however, has drawn our attention to the fact that collectives, and in particular those derived from attributions of identity, often result in exclusion and even violence. Questions were raised about the ways in which power relations and differences become disguised when groups, like that of women within the so-called second wave feminism, are construed as homogenic. Following such critiques, various attempts have been made to provide more complex analyses of power relations, which also take into account internal group differences. This, however, raises a further issue: how might we rethink community, and how can we conceive of collectivity, when the seemingly crucial aspect of collectivization – identity – has become the object of critical study?

It appears, then, that the problem of plurality cannot be responded to by invoking the notion of collective subjects. In fact, critiques of the notion of the subject have had the result of dissolving it into plural and contextually various notions, which themselves often remain undetermined. Given this, we want to ask further: Which conceptions of collectivity can deal with and survive the critical examinations of subjecthood? How can acting, working and living in concert be analyzed? Which connecting forces remain, when one doesn’t simply gloss over the divisive ones?

The critical tools of feminist theory, and in particular the input from Queer and Postcolonial Studies, point to a productive examination of belonging and (political) community. They may even contribute to visionary suggestions that bear on the general debate about collectives. This is even more so, as these theoretical and critical tools can helpfully examine and analyze the diverse experiences and experimentations of social movements that have already taken place.

The conference, then, asks the following questions (among others):

− On which theoretical and/ or empirical grounds can collectivity be defined?
− What is collective experience, and what generates collective action?
− Which forms of desire and affectivity structure collectives?
− How do questions of power, recognition and identity arise in collective contexts and what are the effects of these questions on gender?
− How, in political and judicial contexts, can we deal with the difficulty of categorization?
− Which conceptions of collectivity can be taken up and developed further in fruitful ways?
− Which experiences and reflections of transnational political collectivity seem promising?
− And what, if anything, would a distinctly feminist perspective be with respect to these questions?

The conference is bilingual (German/English) and transdisciplinary. It is aimed at scholars from all disciplines, whose work deals with the questions (or other similar ones) suggested above. Please send abstracts (one page in length) for papers suitable to be delivered in 20 mins and to be anonymously reviewed to: zentrum AT gender.hu-berlin.de. Please also include a short CV as a separate document with your submission.

The deadline for submissions is 23rd of May, 2011.

Organizers at HU Berlin: Sophia Ermert (Law), Gabriele Jähnert (Gender-Studies), Ina Kerner (Social Sciences), Mari Mikkola (Philosophy), Eva von Redecker (Philosophy).

scholarship for white men

The Texas non-profit, Former Majority Association for Equality (FMAE), is offering scholarships. According to their webpage “Scholarship applicants should be caucasian, male, demonstrate a commitment to education, and substantiate financial need.”

According to the scholarship application form, applicants have to be “no less than 25% Caucasian.”

Here is the organization’s Mission Statement:

Our goal: To financially assist young Americans seeking higher education who lack opportunities in similar organizations that are based upon race or gender. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.

We have a very simple mission: to fill in the gap in the scholarships offered to prospective students. There are scholarships offered for almost any demographic imaginable. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.

Our short term aspiration is simple: Award a $500 scholarship to five individuals that meet or exceed our qualifications on July 4, 2011. Upon achieving this we look forward to giving at least five scholarships for each Spring and Fall semester. Awardees remain eligible for future semesters as long as one’s overall GPA exceeds 3.0. Scholarship applicants should be caucasian, male, demonstrate a commitment to education, and substantiate financial need.

One obstacle that we immediately anticipate is to not appear racist or racially motivated.  We do not advocate white supremacy, nor do we enable any individual that does. We do not accept donations from organizations affiliated with any sort of white supremacy or hate group. We have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation. FMAE’s existence is dedicated around one simple principle, to provide monetary aid for education to white males who need it.

You can find more information here, here and here.

Ohh, keep caring AFTER a U.S. citizen is born?

Why, we were just talking about this on this blog!  It does seem, does it not, that some Republican politicans in the U.S. care tremendously about displays of pro-lifeyness which include grandiosely stripping Planned Parenthood of aid (which could contribute to preventing pregnancies, but whatever).  They don’t seem to fret quite as much about helping along the ascendency of the U.S. to become the #1 country for infant mortality rates (among the 33 countries that the International Monetary Fund describes as “advanced economies”).

Legal aid and domestic violence

Last December we blogged about the UK government’s proposed cuts to legal aid in divorce and family law cases:

The proposals mean that legal aid will be restricted to cases where forced marriage, international child abduction or domestic violence is proven. According to the Guardian, ‘domestic violence’ for these purposes will only include physical violence, not psychological abuse. They report that the Ministry of Justice believed it had to ‘…restrict the definition of domestic violence to one that could be demonstrated through “clear, objective evidence”.’

According to the UK Supreme Court blog the Court, in its January judgment in Yemshaw v Hounslow, has said that

…[t]he meaning of “violence” in the Housing Act 1996, s 177(1), in the context of “domestic violence”, should be understood as including physical violence, threatening or intimidating behaviour and any other form of abuse which, directly or indirectly, may give rise to the risk of harm. By the time of the 1996 Act, both international and national governmental understanding of the term “domestic violence” had developed beyond physical contact.

Okay, so I know the legal aid proposals aren’t the same as the Housing Act 1996.  And I’m not a family lawyer.  Or any other kind of lawyer.  But if I were, I’d think this might be a useful and important judgment.

Women in Opera – misogynism?

A very interesting program caught my attention on BBC 3 today. It asks why opera seems to depend almost entirely on the suffering of dying women.

I was interested because when going to the Traviata earlier this year I was SO irritated by the (in my mind) misogynism (as well as the ridiculous plotline), that it stopped me from just being able to enjoy the music…

For those interested, the program is on again on the 26th of June.

(And I apologise to those outside the UK who can’t access this program!)