Women speakers

Just in case you’ve been wondering how many women you can get to speak in fields such as philosophy of science, check out the Rotman Institute of Philosophy’s line-up for next year:

Frederique De Vignenont Friday, September 16th, 2011 Institut Nicod, Paris
Sandra Mitchell Friday, September 30, 2011 University of Pittsburgh
Katherine Brading Friday, November 4th, 2011 Notre Dame
Alison Wylie Friday, November 18, 2011 Washington
Nancy Cartwright March 7,8, 2012 London School of Economics
Michael Parker March 30, 2012 Oxford
Moira Howes Friday, April 13, 2012 Trent

“The Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario brings together philosophers and scientists to examine some of the most complex issues and most engrossing problems emerging from contemporary science. Members of the Rotman Institute include scholars who work on history and the philosophy of science, research ethics, bioethics, science and values, and feminist approaches to science. We come together in a unique collaborative workspace to engage, explore and exchange ideas. This “philosophy laboratory” is the heart of the Rotman Institute.” For more information, visit the website.

15 thoughts on “Women speakers

  1. Hm, I navigated over with your link, but can’t seem to find that speaker list anywhere. I suspect Moira Howe is actually Moira Howes if you’d like to correct your post, but I’d love to be able to correct Rotman’s website if she’s on it! Any chance you could provide the link to that speaker-list?

  2. Website is still under construction. I have the speakers’ list in an email and the promise that it will be posted soon.

  3. is the reality of women participating in their field just that they are teaching men how to be conscious and that it may involve language just as women do in our living Culture?

  4. I have to say, the only women I see benefitting from the gendered conference campaign and the other recent efforts directed toward “women in philosophy” of this and other blogs (e.g. New APPS) seem to be nondisabled white women. In my view, this is turning back the clock on the history of the recent feminist movement, especially struggles within the movement, and feminist efforts beyond the discipline of philosophy.

    An article recently posted on this blog, according to which the UK conference on underrepresented groups in philosophy covered “women and all other underrepresented groups” evinced this troubling situation well. Who are the women? Who are in the OTHER underrepresented groups? Where do feminist philosophers of colour fit into this scheme? Where do disabled feminist philosophers fit, if at all? Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

  5. Shelley, you’re right to be concerned. And of course there are many issues to address in relation to disability and academic conferences. One we’d like to think about more is basic accessibility – suggestions are still very welcome at https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/last-night-i-dreamt-of-an-inclusive-conference/ !

    But I also wonder about the complicated question of disabled identities. Can we be so sure that all the women mentioned in this post are non-disabled, for instance? Do we require people with hidden impairments to be ‘out’ before they count?

    I don’t have an answer, I just think it’s not a simple question – at least in relation to hidden impairments – any more than it is for sexual orientation and ‘outing’!

  6. Also, Shelley, the UK conference on under-represented groups actually had both disabled and non-white speakers (more than one of each, in fact). And disability, race and social class were all topics of papers given.

  7. I realize who the speakers were. You’ve missed my point Jender.

    Heg: my remarks weren’t referring to this post in particular. In general, I find the claims made on this blog about “underrepresentation,” “implicit bias,” “stereotype threat,”, etc. are being uncritically accepted. Claims are being made about some women and then applied to all and as if they apply to all in the same way and that is serious. For the reccord, I don’t believe that implicit biases affect disabled philosophers as much as EXPLICIT biases do, or as much as implicit biases are being claimed to affect “women”.

    It seems to me pretty starightforward that if one aimed to REPRESENT disabled women, one would include women who are “out” about their “impairments” (not a word I use, but you did); likewise, if one wanted ot REPRESENT lesbians, one would include women who are “out” about their sexuality/sexual orientation.

  8. I guess I’m puzzled that you find it so straightforward, Shelley, or at least that you see the issue as so straightforwardly about representation. Indeed, the idea of representing disabled women seems potentially problematic given the hugely varied experiences of disabled people with very different impairments. And if it’s about representing the political experience of exclusion (which on one view constitutes disability) then I can’t see any reason to exclude the views of women who are not out as disabled.

    (For people who are unfamiliar with the debates in the UK, it’s fairly common for people who take a social-model approach to disability to use ‘impairment’ to refer to that aspect of an individual’s functioning which is outside the statistically-normal range, and ‘disability’ or disablement for the exclusion which many people with impairments experience. There’s a good introduction at http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Teaching-resources/Teacher-briefings/Disability )

  9. Anonymous, thanks for your post. I don’t think the issue is “straightforwardly” about representation. My point was that IF representation is the issue, then presumably one would invite or include or whatever, women who are “out” and willing to be “representatives”.

    Regarding the social model,… I’m actually quite familiar with the British social model and have critiqued its notion of impairment (as the naturalized foundation of disability) in a number of articles. The most recent one is “Biopower, Styles of Reasoning and What’s Still Missing from the Stem Cell Debates” which appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. It was a special issue devoted to Feminist Philosophy and Medical Biotechnologies. My friend and colleague Ron Amundson has written a few papers critiquing the very idea of a “normal statistical range”. His work (which I use in my own) is listed on his webpage.

  10. Sorry, Heg, I thought for sure that you had initially posted as “Anonymous”.

  11. Shelley, I wasn’t suggesting you aren’t familiar with the British social model. But this is a public debate, and not everybody is. Particularly outside the UK (as you know) different terminology is often used, so I just thought a link would be helpful.

  12. Hi Shelley – just my two cents and speaking for myself only: I agree this blog tends to focus on biases affecting women, but that has certainly managed to make me simultaneously aware of other groups that may be similarly affected. Thus when organising an event I try and think of and incorporate as many possible forms of diversity as I can…. — not just gender diversity!!

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