Hodge to Wolff: There are women in philosophy!

In a 29 November letter to the editor in The Guardian, Joanna Hodge avers (contra Jonathan Wolff) that Philosophy Departments continued to produce excellent women philosophers after the wartime period Wolff discusses in his 26 November report, and suggests that other women philosophers are just better at noticing them than men are. Here’s a taste:

The question is: do the men read the articles, blogs and books of these women? Do they listen to the contributions made by them at seminars, and conferences? A woman professor of philosophy would have been able to think of six or seven ranking professors of philosophy whose work they admire, who also happen to be women: Helen Beebee, Nancy Cartwright, Tina Chanter, Jen Hornsby, Catherine Malabou, Onora O’Neill, Jenny Saul.

Self-effacing mothers

Here‘s a fascinating article about how babies were made to sit through the long exposure necessary to have their portrait taken in the nineteenth century – mothers dressed up as chairs, holding them.

Here is a slideshow of the photos.

One question is whether it was always mothers – as opposed to fathers, or servants – who held the babies, or whether that’s something the journalist, Bella Bathurst, assumes.

Another point of interest, noted in the article, is that many of the photographers were women.

An interesting topic for an aesthetics class, I think.

cfp – deadline extended till 22/12/13: Anthology on the Philosophy of Slavery and Emancipation

We have extended the deadline for abstracts to be considered for inclusion in our anthology on The Philosophy of Slavery and Emancipation

The deadline for abstracts of up to 300 words is now Sunday 22nd December 2013.

We do not intend to make final decisions on the basis of the abstracts alone. We are asking for abstracts earlier than we are asking for papers, (a) because we would like to give early feedback to those who are interested in contributing a paper and (b) because we would like to begin thinking as soon as possible about the various ways in which the ideas expressed among the abstracts might be grouped in an intellectually coherent way. 

Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman and
Simon Roberts-Thomson


Call for Papers: Anthology on the Philosophy of Slavery and Emancipation

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. This anthology seeks to remedy this by presenting new work on the philosophy of slavery and emancipation. 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 who once consented to their own enslavement required to obey their masters? Do such masters have a right to such obedience? Should the state recognise, or even enforce, such contracts of slavery?
• What is the relationship between slavery and sexism/racism/ableism/heteronormativity etc?
• What is the relationship between slavery and bondage & discipline, or dominance & submission, or sadism & masochism?
• What do slave narratives tell us about the nature or wrongness of slavery or about the rightness of emancipation? 
• What is emancipation? 
• What does the history of emancipation tell us about contemporary abolitionism?
• 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?

The anthology will, in the first instance, be submitted to Cambridge University Press for possible inclusion in their new series, Slavery Since Emancipation: http://www.historiansagainstslavery.org/main/book-series/. For this reason, we especially encourage submissions that respond to the criteria for this series.

Guidelines for submissions
• Deadline for submission of abstract (150-300 words): 22nd December 2013
• Deadline for submission of paper: 1st February 2014
• Manuscripts should be in English and be between 6000 and 9000 words, including abstract, references and footnotes.
• Manuscripts should be anonymised and sent by email attachment as a word document or pdf to both editors.
• Expected date for preliminary verdict on submitted papers: 31st July 2014

Nathaniel Adam Tobias Colemanuctynat@ucl.ac.uk
Simon Roberts-Thomson, serobertsthomson@gmail.com