Invited Men Speaking about Equality

The invited speakers are all male (correct me if I’m wrong) but perhaps the request for papers will yield some women. Surely it matters that we have women involved in discussions of equality in health, wealth, and welfare.
The Fourth McGill Workshop in Ethics
Egalitarianisms: Current Debates on Equality and Priority in Health,
Wealth, and Welfare

March 30th -31st, 2012
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Workshop website:

Confirmed Speakers
Nir Eyal (Harvard)
Iwao Hirose (McGill)
Nils Holtug (Copenhagen)
Dennis McKerlie (Calgary)
Shlomi Segall (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Workshop Description

Egalitarian theories of distributive justice have recently encountered
fundamental challenges. Is egalitarianism susceptible to the leveling
down objection? Is it less plausible than prioritarianism? Does it
support reducing the inequalities resulting from brute luck, but not
option luck? Does it aim to equalize the distribution of welfare at
each time or over a lifetime? What does egalitarianism make of the
strong correlation between inequalities in health and inequalities in
socio-economic conditions? In this two-day workshop, we will discuss
current theoretical issues and seek common and unified grounds for
future research into egalitarian theories of distributive justice.

Call for Papers

We invite high quality papers on the recent philosophical challenges
to egalitarian theories of distributive justice. We will include at
least 5 submitted papers in the program. Papers should be suitable for
blind-review and no longer than 6,000 words (must include a 200 word
abstract in the first page). Please submit paper (Word or PDF file)
through We welcome submissions from
graduate students. For accepted papers, the organizers will cover the
cost of accommodation (up to 3 nights in downtown Montreal) and
workshop banquet.

Deadline for submission: November 20, 2011 (Notification of acceptance
by December 20, 2011)

This workshop is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Gay man to be deported to Uganda?

Uganda is not a very groovy place to be if one happens to prefer same-sex sex. Not only can one be imprisoned for life if one engages in ‘repeated acts of homosexuality’, the government keeps threatening to pass a Bill making such acts punishable by death.

And where legislation falters, the mob takes things into its own hands, and the prospect of
extreme violence is never far away.

How nice to hear, then, that good old Blighty is planning to deport a gay man back to Uganda because the judge refused to believe that he is gay (despite expert evidence to the contrary), and is adhering to the old guidance about which countries are safe (Uganda was only recently added to the list of unsafe countries for gay people, following an Amnesty report). You can read more here.

Scaling back BBC 4?

I’ve been hopping around incandescent with rage this morning, at the news that the BBC is thinking of scaling back BBC 4. ‘Shall I blog this?’ – I thought – ‘It’s surely got little to do with feminism, philosophy, or feminist philosophy.’ Then I found an article in the Huffpo, and decided if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. So yes, folks, the BBC are thinking of scaling back BBC 4. For those of you who don’t know about the channel:

In the past few weeks the BBC has produced some really high quality programming. It has produced some programming that falls very much within their remit of public service broadcasting.

Examples of this high quality broadcasting include the shamelessly high-brow ‘Great Thinkers In Their Own Words’, some tremendous documentaries about Italy, Scotland and Liverpool, first class programming about popular, roots and classical music, and some fascinating documentaries about sculpture and art. On top of this, they have reshown the seminal ‘All Our Working Lives’ – about unemployment in the North East.

All of these pieces of programmes are thoroughly within the public service ethos that should be running through the BBC’s bloodstream. It is hard to imagine any other broadcaster making them. All of these programmes were shown on the excellent BBC4.

It comes as something of a shock, then, to discover that the BBC is, according to the Guardian, considering scaling back BBC4, as part of a cost cutting drive. This scaling back will, apparently involve the channel that is focused on high quality documentaries and innovative programming, becoming solely focused on “arts and repeats.”

The BBC is thinking of retaining BBC 3, which leans more towards the sort of voyeuristic fare one expects from more commercially focused channels.

Art Works for Change

Art Works for Change is an organization that partners “with leading educational and activist organizations to produce art exhibitions on such topics as social justice, human rights, gender equity, war and peace, and the environment.” 

One exhibition featured on the web site was featured here in 2009.  It  is “Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art.”  You can enter into a virtual version of the exhibition.  Among the remarkable pieces is Susan Plum’s set of oversized brooms that feature in a video.  It is meant to invoke healing for the senseless deaths and disappearances of women in Juarez, a town just across the US-Mexican border from El Paso.  Here are her brooms:

If you look around the site, you’ll find you can view parts of other exhibitions, such as a remarkable one on the nature of cities.  A still from that: