When crafting my Intro to Ethics syllabus for the upcoming semester, I tried to find as many great pieces by women as I could, hoping that I could meet the 20% challenge. I didn’t do any conscious counting, though…until now. Here’s how it turned out:
100 total philosophers that we will be reading or reading about (about 10 are actually scientists or other non-philosophers)
56 are from required readings & activities, 44 from recommended ones.
Required Readings (Men-Women): 68% – 32% (38-18)
Recommended Readings (M-W): 63% – 36% (28-16)
Women of color on the syllabus: Rabi’A Al- Adawiyya, Michelle Alexander, Michele Moody-Adams, and Caster Semenya as someone we’re reading about. Wooo!! …That’s actually super sad that I’m excited to have more than 1% WoC on my syllabus.
So overall not shabby, considering that current efforts to get 20% women authors on syllabi are seen by some as necessarily lowering the quality of what we teach. <sarcasmfont> I really had to lower my standards to include Foot, Nussbaum, Anderson, Moody-Adams, Korsgaard, Langton, and Fricker. </sarcasmfont>
I know this is not incredibly difficult when you’re teaching ethics, but it was still rather amusing how many times I stumbled upon a great piece that would make me think, “Oh ya; they do ethics and are awesome. I should teach them. Why didn’t I immediately think of that? And why aren’t they in the textbook?”
I’m using one textbook and everything else is from individual essays. Total authors from the textbook: 29. Men-Women ratio of authors I’m using: 80% – 20% (23-6). (For the textbook as a whole the ratio is probably between 5-10%, which is my guess from eyeballing it).
How goes other people’s efforts to craft syllabi without atrocious demographics?