Analize – Journal of Gender and Feminist Studies

AnaLize is one of the few journals of feminist studies published in Eastern Europe. It exists since 1998 but had a long break and has been recently re-launched as an on-line, open access, peer-reviewed international journal.

It published lots of good stuff in the past, and got the Civil Society Prize for Best Civil Society Publication in 2001. Do send contributions – the current cfp is on ‘Controlling (women’s) bodies’.

Here’s the link:

How to be an ally: one view

I don’t actually agree with everything in this, but there’s a lot that’s really good and it’s sure as hell pithy:

if you think you have said something stupid to me, you can ask. You can say, “Did I just say something stupid? If so then I’m sorry.” Then – and this is the tricky part – don’t say that particular thing ever again.

(Thanks, R!)

An interview with Cato Taylor

Cato Taylor is a PhD student at the University of Alberta and she covers lots of turf, including fatness, fashion, and being a woman of colour in Philosophy.

Here’s her terrific, articulate response to being asked about often being the only one of her kind in the discipline, like being a unicorn.

“Hah! You’re not the first person to have called me a philosophy unicorn and I so hope that this somehow comes to be one of my officially recognized titles from now on. Unfortunately, institutionalized philosophy does have a, frankly, pretty well deserved rep for being one of, if not the most homogenous of all the humanities. According to the most recent data from the Canadian Philosophical Association’s Equity Committee (which, full disclosure, I am currently a member of), only 31% of tenure-line philosophers in Canada are women and the majority of them are able-bodied white women. Visible minorities make up only 5.5% of the profession and only 0.3% of those surveyed identified as having a disability. And Canada is actually doing pretty well comparatively; as of 2011, less than 125 of the 11,000 members of the American Philosophical Association were black and less than 30 of those were women. Of the 14,000 professors employed in all disciplines in the UK, only 50 are black and none of those 50 are philosophers. So, yeah…as an out queer fat woman of colour who, at times, presents as physically disabled (I occasionally walk with a cane), I have always stuck out in philosophy like something of a sore thumb. As you might imagine, my experiences thus far in institutionalized philosophy (I’m a PHD student just less than a year away from completion) have been pretty mixed. I have both borne witness to and experienced sexism and racism and have seen close friends deal with both macro and micro forms of sexual aggression which, if the blog What is it like being a woman in philosophy? is any indication, seem to run rampant within our discipline.However, I have also had a lot of wonderful experiences which have sustained me and help keep my passion for philosophy alive. I’ve met many wonderful, thoughtful, passionate people through philosophy who have become cherished friends and mentors and the support i have received from these folks over the years has been essential to my continued dedication to my work. But, I think like many other “unicorns” working in fields where our mere presence is “important” and worth noting, I have something of a complicated, sometimes fraught relationship with philosophy.”

Go read the rest of the interview here,

International Society for Justice Research – cfp

The 15th biennial conference of the International Society for Justice Research (ISJR) will be held from June 19-22, 2014, on the campus of New York University, organized by Professor John T. Jost. The conference will take place primarily in facilities of the Leonard N. Stern Business School, New York University, in the heart of Greenwich Village (near historic Washington Square).

There will be three major conference themes:

(1) Economic inequality (the 1% vs. the 99%);
(2) Law, justice, and social science; and
(3) Progress, social stability, and change.

One of the keynote speeches will be given by Mahzarin R. Banaji, who is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

Special invited symposia will be chaired by Guillermina Jasso (NYU/Sociology), Aaron C. Kay (Duke/Fuqua), Joshua Knobe (Yale Cognitive Science/Philosophy), Elizabeth Levy Paluck (Princeton Psychology/Public Policy), Manfred Schmitt (Koblenz-Landau/Psychology), Tom R. Tyler (Yale/Law School), and Kees van den Bos (Utrecht/Social Psychology).

We kindly invite you to submit contributions—especially symposium contributions involving four speakers—on a topic related to one of the conference themes or on any other aspect of fairness, legitimacy, or social justice. We would also like to ask you to help us spread the word about the conference. Please feel free to share this announcement digitally and otherwise.

The Program Committee now invites submissions of symposia (consisting of four speakers—or three speakers plus a discussant), individual talks/papers, and posters. See here for more information.

The submission deadline is December 15, 2013. Additional information about the conference including travel, hotel accommodations, and the submission procedure is available on the conference website.

ISJR is an interdisciplinary organization with an international membership, representing over 25 countries and a range of disciplines, including Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, History, Law & Criminal Justice, and Management & Organizational Behavior. ISJR is among the most important professional organizations world-wide representing social and behavioral scientists working in the field of justice. Its biennial scientific meetings aim to stimulate interdisciplinary dialogue and share the most recent developments and discoveries in theory and research on social justice.

Members of the Organizing and Program Committees include: John T. Jost (Chair), Steven Blader, Jojanneke van der Toorn, Claudia Cohen, Peter Coleman, Guillermina Jasso, Jaime L. Napier, Michael Wenzel (ISJR President), and Batia Wiesenfeld. Please feel free to contact any of us with questions, comments, or concerns.

Where are all the (Pythagorean) women gone ?

Feminist History of Philosophy

     Until recently my doing ancient philosophy meant writing about Plato and Aristotle with a side helping of the Stoics. Then I decided to look into ancient women philosophers and discovered, among others, Perictione I, the author of a short text called « On the Harmony of Women ». Looking around on the internet for something to read to bolster my so far meager research on Perictione, I was delighted to come accross two brand new titles on Pythagorean women writers : Annette Bourland’s Huizanga’s Moral Education for Women in the Pastoral and Pythagorean Letters , and Sarah Pomeroy’s Pythagorean women : their History and Writings.This adds to a non-negligeable existing literature on the topic, counting the first four chapters of volume I of Waithe’s History of Women Philosophers , and Plant’s anthology Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome.


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Race and Gender in Black Athena

This is an old documentary. But watching especially the first 15 minutes, it struck me anew how alike academics’ reactions to suggestions that they might be racist or sexist are. “Maybe we (classicists, historians, philosophers…) used to be a tad racist, a long time ago, but that’s long gone.” The implication being that if they do not accept Martin Bernal’s claim that Greek thought may have add Black Egyptian roots, it’s because those claims are intrinsically wrong! Of course!

Sandra Harding wins the 2013 John Desmond Bernal Prize

Great news!

From FEMMSS list:

On 10/19/2013 4:50 PM, Sharon Traweek wrote:

At the annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Sandra Harding, UCLA Departments of Gender Studies and Social Sciences & Comparative Education, received the 2013 John Desmond Bernal Prize, “awarded annually to an individual judged to have made a distinguished contribution to the field of Social Studies of Science.”

Past winners have included many of the “founders and prominent scholars who have devoted their careers to the understanding of the social dimensions of science and technology.” The first four winners were Derek de Solla Price, Thomas Kuhn, Robert Merton, and Joseph Needham. [1981-1999 the ratio was 17 men to 2 women; 2000-2013 the ratio is 6 men to 8 women.]

John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971) was an important molecular biologist, a prominent British intellectual, wartime science adviser to Lord Louis Mountbatten, and the author of _The Social Function of Science_ (1939), as well as many other books.


Feminists as a group of elite white women: How have we contributed?

What happened?  The wave of feminism starting in the 60’s and 70’s was so full of promise.  How could we possibly have become – or become know as – a group working largely for the interests of elite white women?

Nearly everything in the second sentence above is contestable, but surely something has gone wrong.  For example, many of us find our female students do not identify as feminists, even though they accept feminism’s basic commitment to equal rights for women.  And a fair number of women of color feel we’ve either dumped them or just never noticed them.

Whenever I’ve been part of a discussion of this problem, we seem to end up focused on one or both of two things:  (1) our agenda is not broad and inclusive enough, and (2) we are not good at promoting/advertising ourselves.  In a recent Guardian article, Nancy Fraser sees feminism’s failures in terms of more foundational problems.  The title, “How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it” gives one a hint at what she’ll say.

Among many other things, Fraser sees feminism as having made some very crucial mistakes; over all

we can now see that the movement for women’s liberation pointed simultaneously to two different possible futures. In a first scenario, it prefigured a world in which gender emancipation went hand in hand with participatory democracy and social solidarity; in a second, it promised a new form of liberalism, able to grant women as well as men the goods of individual autonomy, increased choice, and meritocratic advancement. Second-wave feminism was in this sense ambivalent. Compatible with either of two different visions of society, it was susceptible to two different historical elaborations.

As I see it, feminism’s ambivalence has been resolved in recent years in favour of the second, liberal-individualist scenario – but not because we were passive victims of neoliberal seductions. On the contrary, we ourselves contributed three important ideas to this development.

1.  Combatting the idea of the family wage in a way that’s left us with two career families, usually underpaid, as  necessity.

“Neoliberalism turns a sow’s ear into a silk purse by elaborating a narrative of female empowerment. Invoking the feminist critique of the family wage to justify exploitation, it harnesses the dream of women’s emancipation to the engine of capital accumulation”

2.  Substituting identity/gender politics for class-oriented politics.

“In the era of state-organised capitalism, we rightly criticised a constricted political vision that was so intently focused on class inequality that it could not see such “non-economic” injustices as domestic violence, sexual assault and reproductive oppression. Rejecting “economism” and politicising “the personal”, feminists broadened the political agenda to challenge status hierarchies premised on cultural constructions of gender difference.”

3.  Objecting to the paternalistic government/welfare state that have left us with an attack on all welfare.

“Finally, feminism contributed a third idea to neoliberalism: the critique of welfare-state paternalism. Undeniably progressive in the era of state-organised capitalism, that critique has since converged with neoliberalism’s war on “the nanny state” and its more recent cynical embrace of NGOs.”

Her critique is presented swiftly, and there is lots to discuss.   One thing we might worry about especially now when the profession as a whole is starting to notice that the women are missing, is whether we will end up leaving professional philosophy essentially unaltered by feminist values.  Anyone for status hierarchies?

{Thanks to JT}