8 thoughts on “Men speak on analytic engagement

  1. Female speakers were invited to this event, but none of them were able to attend. This is a pretty small area too, so there aren’t a great many people that could be invited.

  2. Good to know – thanks Monkey! This is a big part of why, of course, the GCC isn’t in the business of attributing blame to conference organizers. All male conferences can happen for all sorts of reasons (some pernicious, some harmless).

    This raises an interesting question, though. Much of the badness of all-male conferences – the badness which is outward facing – will arise whether or not women were in fact invited to speak (assuming that this is usually a fact known to only the organizers and those women invited). But sometimes conferences can end up all male despite the best efforts and best intentions of their organizers (women can decline, can pull out at the last minute, etc).

    Does anyone have ideas about things that might be done in attempt to undermine these outward facing bad affects? Or does the well-meaning organizer just have to accept them and hope for better next time?

  3. I have to disagree with Monkey – this seems to me to be a pretty massive area of philosophy, at least if we stick to the main title ‘analytic engagement with continental philosophy’ and don’t restrict it to the particular sub-areas of that specified in the conference outline. Or even if one does thus restrict it, it remains quite big, in my view – and there are lots of (for instance) feminist phenomenologists and feminists who work on the philosophy of embodiment incorporating phenomenological perspectives.
    The reply that women were invited but declined often seems to come up in this context. Isn’t one solution that, if a given set of female invitees decline, one re-thinks the conference remit somewhat so as to permit a broader range of women to be invited. I really cannot believe that in the case of this topic there were NO women at all who were able to speak, when so much feminist philosophy at least is concerned with embodiment. I can also think of a lot of non-feminist women who would seem to have fitted into the line-up equally well as any of the current speakers.

  4. I think conference organisers were restricted to UK speakers due to cost. And by it being a small area, I was thinking of people working in the overlap between analytic and continental philosophy. I’m not convinced there are so many people in that area. But maybe I’m just wrong about this.

    In answer to the very important question raised by magicalersatz above – I’m inclined to think one just has to accept them and hope for better next time. But maybe that’s defeatist.

  5. I guess on smallness of area, I was thinking the area covered work that engages (‘uses’, if you like!) both traditions; but perhaps the organiser(s) took it that the area covers work that explicitly reflects on the metaphilosophical questions around engaging both traditions. The latter would certainly be smaller. However, I’d have thought that lots of people who do the former could say something about the metaphilosophical issues, if asked.
    Within the UK, for instance, Kathleen Lennon, Tanja Staehler, Katerina Deligiorgi, all do things in philosophy of mind/phenomenology that bridge the division of traditions; and there are many many others who bridge the division, albeit not specifically in relation to mind/body/embodiment – Alessandra Tanesini, Genia Schonbaumsfeld, Sabina Lovibond…that’s just without stopping to think.
    I’m not suggesting anything could now be done, but my guess is that when one asks women and they say no, there are always more women who could be asked.

  6. Men and women are not the only categories. Conversations that ignore, for example, Intersex people and people challenging the binary, and resolutions to suggest inviting specific people on the assumption that the people being identified have certain gender or sex characteristics, can be objectifying and troubling. I’m not saying that the campaign for equality in conferences is wrongheaded–but how to go about it in an inclusive way needs further thought.

  7. Thanks, Lee. It’s a really important concern, but I’m not yet seeing a clear way of addressing it. One of thoughts behind the GCC is that there are enough women in philosophy that a conference without any women invited speakers is worth calling attention to as part of a pattern. My impression is that the number of non-binary people in philosophy is too small for one to be able to say the same thing about conferences without non-binary speakers. But I do see that the GCC tends to give the impression that there are only two genders, which is definitely one we don’t want to give. I’d welcome thoughts on how to address this!

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