Reader Query: Leading Female Aestheticians?

Mahlet Zimeta writes:

I’m co-chairing with Bence Nanay (Antwerp/Cambridge) the 2013 annual conference for the British Society of Aesthetics. We’ve been asked to come up with some names of possible keynote speakers for two keynote slots, and we have also been soliciting contributions. But all the suggestions so far, bar one, have been male. We are unhappy with this situation. So I’d be very grateful for your help or the help of SWIP members with any suggestions.

We are after
– Leading female aesthetician

– Leading female non-aesthetician who might have published some work in aesthetics or whose work might bear on aesthetics (for example, someone from Mind, Ethics, Metaphysics, Social Philosophy)

The speakers do not need to be UK-based, because there is a budget for overseas travel expenses, though UK preferred if possible because we are keen to nurture and promote UK philosophers.

She’s also keen to hear suggestions for symposia or author-meets critics sessions.

21 thoughts on “Reader Query: Leading Female Aestheticians?

  1. Off the top of my head:

    Martha Nussbaum
    Marcia Muelder Eaton
    Anne Eaton (A.W. Eaton)
    Jenefer Robinson
    Catherine Wilson (does some work in phil. of literature)
    Susan Feagin
    Sherri Irvin
    Eileen John
    Stacie Friend

    Catherine Abell

  2. Lots of strong names already suggested there! I would also add Kathleen Stock as well.

  3. Also Michelle Forrest – I don’t know her apart from one article, and I know she’s more into philosophy of education, but still.

    I’m starting a life as an aesthetician, and I find the gender ratio really disappointing. This post is a good resource!

  4. I don’t know enough about aesthetics to know who the “leading” figures are outside of a top few, but I think that Barbara Montero’s work is very interesting.

  5. I don’t know enough about aesthetics to know who the “leading” figures are outside of a top few, but I think that Barbara Montero’s work is very interesting.

  6. Cynthia Freeland (Houston)
    Lydia Goehr (Columbia)
    Jenefer Robinson (Cincinnati)
    Carolyn Korsmeyer (Buffalo)
    Sheila Lintott (Bucknell)
    Elisabeth Schellekens (Durham),

  7. Carolyn Korsmeyer
    Carolyn Korsmeyer

    Ph.D., Brown

    110 Park Hall
    University at Buffalo
    Buffalo, NY 14260-4150

    Phone: (716) 645-0144
    Fax: (716) 645-6139
    Areas Of Competence:

    Aesthetics; Emotion Theory; Feminism; Ethics.
    Current Research Interest:
    Sample Publications:

    Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 2011).

    The Taste Culture Reader: Experiencing Food and Drink (ed.) (Oxford: Berg Publishers 2005)

    Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction (London: Routledge, 2004)

    Literary Philosophers: Borges, Calvino, Eco, Edited with J. Gracia and R. Gasche (London: Routledge, 2002)

    Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999)

  8. Just a few additions to some of these excellent suggestions:

    Diana Raffman
    Amy Mullin
    Peggy Zeglin Brand
    Sonia Sedivy
    Margaret Macdonald
    Sondra Bacharach
    Anita Silvers
    Annette Barnes
    Stephanie Ross
    Judith Tormey
    Patricia Werhane
    Dabney Townsend
    Margaret P. Battin
    Flo Leibowitz
    Deborah Knight

  9. Off the top of my head (some of these philosophers are more ‘leading’ than others)

    Martha Nussbaum
    Susan Feagin
    Marcia Muelder Eaton
    Anne Eaton
    Jenefer Robinson
    Sherri Irvin
    Eileen John
    Catherine Wilson (does a little in phil. of literature)

  10. Obviously, as you’ve notes, aesthetics is a funny discipline which takes insights and follies from most other philosophical disciplines. But it’s worth stressing the other obvious fact that a lot of aesthetics is close to art criticism; so if anyone knows of any good English Lit academics, or good artists who know the mores of academic conferences, then they’re hardly less suitable keynotes for not being employed by philosophy departments.

  11. From a related discipline:
    Ellen Dissanayeke

    Author of numerous books on the origins of art including,

    Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began

    Homo Aestheticus: Where Art Comes From and Why

    What Is Art For?

    She was writing on this topic a long time before Denis Dutton made it more popular in his book The Art Instinct (and to Denis’s credit, he acknowledged that fact).

  12. Thank-you very much for these excellent suggestions – they are much appreciated.

    Some of the suggestions have been guest speakers at the BSA conference before, and some others are – or until very recently, were – involved in running the BSA or its conference or journal (the British Journal of Aesthetics). But the other suggestions are fantastic, and I’ll also pass the list on to the London Aesthetics Forum :

    Many thanks!

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