Gendered Inspirations

The eternally fabulous Helen Mirren caused a stir at last night’s Empire Awards when she noted that director Sam Mendes cited only men when naming his inspirations. Mendes made a speech upon receiving his “Empire Inspiration” award (apparently that’s a thing) in which he discussed filmmakers who have inspired him through his career, but all the filmmakers he mentioned were male. When collecting her own award (for “Empire Legend” – apparently that’s also a thing), Mirren remarked:

I don’t want to unduly pick on Sam Mendes, but when he spoke about his inspirations earlier this evening, I’m afraid not a single one of the people he mentioned was a woman. Hopefully in five or 10 years, when Sam’s successor is collecting their Inspiration award, the list will be slightly more balanced in terms of its sexual make-up. In the meantime, this one is for the girls.

In addition to being intrinsically awesome, I take it that this is proof that Helen Mirren tacitly endorses our Gendered Conference Campaign, right? RIGHT???

CFP: Slavery and Emancipation

CFP: Slavery and Emancipation
Wednesday 4th September – Friday 6th September
MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory 2013

Historically, the institution of slavery was the focus of a great deal of philosophical research. Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Wollstonecraft, Bentham, Locke, Rousseau, Paine, Wilberforce, Grotius, Pufendorf, Nietzsche, Marx, and many others, considered such topics as the definition of slavery, the rightness or wrongness of slavery, which sorts of people could or should be enslaved, and whether (and if so, when) they should be emancipated.

In recent years, by contrast, philosophers have shown little interest in slavery. Yet they have nonetheless produced a plethora of work on related topics, such as freedom and equality. This is not because slavery is no longer with us; indeed, according to some accounts there are more slaves now than at any other time in history. Given that 2013 marks the 175th anniversary of the final emancipation of all enslaved persons in the British Empire, this seems an appropriate time to renew our philosophical focus on slavery and on those who enslave and are enslaved.

Possible topics to be addressed include, but are not restricted to:
—What is slavery? How is slavery different from other forms of unfreedom/inequality/labour etc?
—What was mistaken about historical arguments for slavery?
—How do we best explain the wrongness of slavery? Why were the actions of slave
owners, slave traders, or those involved in the initial enslavement, wrong?
—Do people not involved in slavery have obligations to oppose slavery?
—Are slaves obliged to resist their own enslavement?
—Can a person consent to be a slave?
—What is the relationship between slavery and sexism/racism/ableism/heteronormativity
—What do slave narratives tell us about the nature or wrongness of slavery or about the
rightness of emancipation?
—What is emancipation?
—Who can emancipate whom, when, and from what?
—Is emancipation all that is owed to slaves? Does the legacy of slavery and emancipation
require further action?

We welcome expressions of interest from graduate students, from junior researchers, and from established scholars. If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please submit, to both convenors, an abstract of 500-1000 words (or a complete paper), by Friday 31st May 2013. We will expect a full version of your paper on Emancipation Day, Thursday 1st August 2013. We hope this will give participants the opportunity to read the papers in advance and to give and receive more detailed feedback during the workshop.

Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, natcole AT
Simon Roberts-Thomson, serobertsthomson AT

The Bloggies Disappoint

Sad to see this post by Bug Girl on Facebook this morning: “The webbies blog awards won by an anti-feminist blog and a climate change denier this year. ARG.” Best weblog overall was won by the climate change skeptic’s site Watts Up With That?  and the Cowardly Feminist was a finalist in best overall and also in best topical weblog. Especially frustrating to see Watts Up With That take the best science blog too. As Bug Girl comments, “There should be some actual, you know, science involved in that.”

(Correction: The Bloggies ( not the Webbies. Thanks to a reader for pointing that out.)

Don’t Buy Transphobia

Don’t Buy Transphobia is a campaign to force the Daily Hate Mail to change its transphobic ways by putting pressure on companies that advertise in its pages.

For those who have not been keeping up with recent events, Lucy Meadows was a primary school teacher in Accrington, who was transitioning from male to female. The school were supportive, Lucy was just getting on with her life, but then the Press found out and hounded her until she killed herself. Chief amongst them was Richard ‘National Disgrace’ Littlejohn of the Daily Mail, whose column is one hate-filled rant after another – each one aimed at those the Daily Hate has deemed the enemies of Modern Britain (the LBQT community, immigrants, etc.).

If you’ve had enough of this, then don’t buy from companies that advertise in the Mail, and write to let them know why.

You can also sign the petition calling for Littlejohn’s dismissal here.

Baby denied NHS operation due to parents’ immigration status

A baby in Portsmouth has been denied operation on the NHS due to her parents’ immigration status. Sanika Ahmed suffered nerve damage in her arm during birth, and if the operation is not carried out within the next four weeks, her arm will be left paralysed. Her father was working in the UK legally until his work permit expired in 2009. Both parents are currently in the process of applying for leave to remain. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Middlesex say that the parents must pay for Sanika’s treatment, or wait until they have been granted leave to remain in the UK. If are not allowed to stay, the future for a girl with a paralysed arm in Bangladesh is not particularly bright. You can read more here.

Reminder: Distinguished Woman noms by April 1

Call for Nominations: Distinguished Woman Philosopher 2013

Each year the Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy comes together to honor a woman philosopher whose contributions to the support of women in philosophy and to philosophy itself are outstanding and merit special recognition. A panel and reception celebrating the honoree’s accomplishments will be organized for the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association, December 27-30, 2013.

Nominations should include a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae and a minimum of two supporting letters, which summarize the nominee’s contributions to philosophy and support of women in philosophy.

NOTE: Two-thirds of letter writers for any given nomination must be members of the society for women in philosophy, in good standing.

Please e-mail all nominations to Rochelle Green, ESWIP Distinguished Woman Philosopher Award Secretary ( no later than April 1, 2013.

Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs at Faculty Women of Color in Academia conference at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Dr. Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs (co-editor
of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women
in Academia) will deliver a keynote address at the Faculty Women of
Color in Academia conference at the University of Illinois in
Champaign-Urbana. The keynote, which is open to the public, will take
place at 7:30 pm in the Illinois Ballroom of the I Hotel (1900 S.
First Street, Champaign) and will be followed by a book signing.
For more information, see

Presumed Incompetent is a path-breaking account of the intersections
of race and class in the working lives of female academics. For more
information about the book (including reviews of the book and
endorsements from Gloria Steinem, Kim Crenshaw, Mari Matsuda and Norma
Cantu), please see the publisher’s website at: