CFP: C-SWIP in Victoria

Reminder, via SWIP-L: Submission deadline: midnight Eastern time, Friday April 1, 2011.


Global Justice, the Environment, and the Economy

CONFERENCE 2011, University of Victoria

Friday (pm) October 14, 2011 – Sunday (am) October 16, 2011
THEME: Global Justice, the Environment, and the Economy
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Laura Westra, Professor Emerita (Philosophy), University of Windsor

The Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy invites papers from all areas of philosophy related to the theme of the conference. There are many possible topics, the following being just a small sample:
• Conceptions of nature and the environment in the history of philosophy.
• The ethics and politics of food.
• Property and freedom.
• Aesthetics and the environment.
• Global justice and the role of international law.
• Controversial science: debating environmental research.
• Social, cultural, ethical, and political constructions of nature and the environment.
• Capitalism and distributive justice.
• Shared contexts, shared worlds: families, communities, environments.
• Moral standing / moral consideration beyond humanity?
• Egalitarianism: local, national, global.
• Philosophical implications of biotechnology.
• Gender justice and climate change.
• Environmental science and the role of values.

Standard submissions:

Submissions of long abstracts (1000 words) are invited (for eventual presentation-papers not exceeding 3000 words). Please email the abstract as both a double-spaced Word.doc and also as a RTF attachment, prepared for anonymous review. Please note: this requires that you remove all identifying-author tags from your document content and file properties. Please include your full contact information in the email only (not with the abstract).
Submission deadline: midnight Eastern time, Friday April 1, 2011.
Submissions from graduate students wishing to be considered for the CSWIP Graduate Award:
This newly instigated award gives special recognition to an outstanding paper to be read by a graduate student at the CSWIP annual conference. The Award will be announced at the conference. To be eligible the student must be registered in a graduate degree programme and not yet have been awarded a PhD by the time of the CSWIP submission deadline for the conference. Submission deadline: Both the long abstract of 1,000 words and the completed paper (not exceeding 3,000 words) must be prepared for anonymous review (which requires that you remove all identifying-author tags from your document content and file properties). Both the long abstract and the completed paper must be submitted simultaneously by midnight Eastern time, Friday April 1, 2011. Email the abstract and the paper as two separate attachments. Please email as both a double-spaced Word and also as a RTF attachment. Please include your full contact information in the email only (not in the paper or with the abstract) and indicate in the email that you wish to be considered for the CSWIP Graduate Award.

All submissions to be sent electronically to the review coordinator:

Kathryn Norlock,
Associate Professor of Philosophy,
Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Email: kathrynnorlock [at] trentu [dot] ca

More on Manning

Bradley Manning is the twenty-three-year old private, accused of passing various bits of sensitive information to wikileaks. He’s been held in solitary confinement since July 2010, banned from exercising, apart from one hour a day when he is let out to walk in circles around an empty room. Those conditions have been proven to destroy a person’s mind, and the two people allowed to visit Manning – his lawyer and David House, a researcher at MIT – have said that certainly seems to be happening with Manning, who is now almost incapable of talking coherently, extremely overweight, and at times appears almost catatonic. Psychological studies suggest that the psychic and physical impairments that result from prolonged solitary confinement are in some cases irreversible. The practice has been condemned as a form of torture. Manning has yet to be convicted of any crime.

Now, in a new development, Manning may face the death penalty – further charges have been brought against him, including that of ‘aiding the enemy’, which carries the death penalty.

You can read more about the conditions in which Manning is held and their effects on him on David House’s blog.

The New Statesman has an article on the new charges, which carry the death penalty.

We are here because…

Video footage from the All African Women’s Group of women asylum-seekers. The accounts talk about the violence and horror they endured back home and their fight for justice here.

From the Press Release:

It is a testimony to women’s strength and courage, that despite great trauma, we find ways of overcoming silence and invisibility. Many of those interviewed have survived rape and other forms of torture, seen their loved ones killed, been driven from their home by wars, endured years of separation from their children, suffered violent and abusive relationships, been imprisoned/detained . . . yet have refused to give up. Some have won safety and protection, but for countless others, the daily battle for survival and justice continues, made harder in a climate where the services and resources we all need are being cut to the bone.

We hope you will: watch, listen, comment, and want to work with us to stop the injustices which are exposed in these extraordinary interviews.

Gender equality in insurance costs

The EU has just ruled that car insurance companies cannot charge men and women different amounts. Since women drivers are lower risk, they have until now paid lower premiums. So women’s insurance rates will rise, in the name of equality.

I’m somewhat puzzled by the ruling, since insurance companies are presumably still allowed to discriminate on lots of grounds that would be forbidden to e.g. employers. For example, I assume that they can still charge higher premiums for drivers of red cars. I’m genuinely unsure what to make of this.

(Thanks A!)

Gender of Lecturer affects women’s maths performance, motivation

This fits rather well with what we know about stereotype threat. Under-representation tends to be self-perpetuating, and this specific mechanism is a powerful one, of which philosophers should take note. (The start of the article is, I think, irritating, But it’s worth persevering.)

The psychologists asked female students studying biology, chemistry, and engineering to take a very tough math test. All the students were greeted by a senior math major who wore a T-shirt displaying Einstein’s E=mc2 equation. For some volunteers, the math major was male. For others, the math major was female. This tiny tweak made a difference: Women attempted more questions on the tough math test when they were greeted by a female math major rather than a male math major. On psychological tests that measured their unconscious attitudes toward math, the female students showed a stronger self-identification with math when the math major who had greeted them was female. When they were greeted by the male math major, women had significantly higher negative attitudes toward math.

In a more ambitious experiment organized with the university’s math department, the psychologists evaluated how undergraduates performed when they had male or female math professors.

They measured, for instance, how often each student responded to questions posed by professors to the classroom as a whole. At the start of the semester, 11 percent of the female students attempted to answer questions posed to the entire class when the professor was male, and 7 percent of the female students attempted to answer questions posed to the entire class when the professor was female. By the end of the semester, the number of female students who attempted to answer questions posed by a male professor had not changed significantly: Only 7 percent of the women tried to answer such questions. But when classes were taught by a woman, the percentage of female students who attempted to answer questions by the semester’s end rose to 46.

The researchers also measured how often students approached professors for help after class. Around 12 percent of the female students approached both male and female professors for help at the start of the semester. The number of female students approaching female professors was 14 percent at the end of the semester. But the number of female students asking for help from a male professor dropped to zero.

Finally, when Stout and Dasgupta evaluated how much the students identified with mathematics, they found that women ended up with less confidence in their mathematical abilities when their teachers were men rather than women. This happened even when women outperformed men on actual tests of math performance.

Thanks, T!