9 thoughts on “GCC: Men and Faith

  1. I heard from Mark Lance, via F/B, “Everyone from the workshop [a workshop fully funded this summer] -including 4 women -we invited and funded to the conference. It looks like all the women declined to give papers. Two are commenting and I think they are being funded the same as the rest of us.” He’s not denying the main presentations are all men, but it matters that the context was not as it seems.

  2. Thanks Kate (and Mark). I’m not sure that this suggests the context was not as it seems though.

    From the GCC page, “We make no claims whatsoever about the causes of such conferences: our focus is on their existence and effects. We are therefore not in the business of blaming conference organisers, and not interested (here, anyway) in discussions of blameworthiness. Instead, we are interested in drawing attention to this systematic phenomenon. (We also have an awesome theme song. And an interview about the theme song can be found here.)”

    In other words, the post isn’t intended to communicate anything about context. Many conferences that we include in the GCC have invited women to participate. If the conference were one where only participants from the workshop could present, and all the women from the workshop declined, that may be slightly different (I’m not sure because I’m not sure that no previous GCC post has referenced such a conference, and I’m not sure how we would want to square such an instance with the broader pattern), but this one did put out a CFP, so I presume that it was not the case that only participants from the workshop could be included.

    I am, however, very happy to read that women will be commenting and that women were invited in any case.

  3. Just to get more context… Were any women explicitly invited to give papers? Or just to attend? Or comment?

  4. I take it that 4 women were invited to give papers from the comment above, but that all of them declined.

  5. Just a quick question for Kate and/or Mark, Was there a workshop first and a conference later where four women participated in the first but none in the second?

  6. C @ #6, Yes, more or less: what Mark and Jon reported on Facebook is that the workshop, which was first, is where four women participated, and the conference, which came second, is where those same four women chose not to participate. (Other women are participating as commenters on papers.)

  7. There were five women who attended the workshop and were funded to do so. All of them were invited to present a paper. All declined. At least two of them are commenting. Perhaps other women who didn’t attend the workshop are also commenting, but I don’t know. (I also attended the workshop, I was also invited to give a paper, I also declined, and I am commenting.)

    Jon Kvanvig, who ran both the workshop and the conference, has an excellent record of women participating and presenting at his conferences. I think this serves to show that even someone who is sensitive to this issue and wants gender-balanced conferences, and who specifically invites five women to present, and issues a CFP and anonymously reviews papers that come in (of which none, as it turns out, were authored by women), can end up with an all-male set of speakers.

    I went through the suggestions for avoiding a gendered conference (https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/how-to-avoid-a-gendered-conference/), and I can’t see how following any of them could have prevented this. Although there are other things that could have, like inviting particular women who weren’t at the workshop and didn’t submit papers after seeing the CFP. Perhaps that post could be updated with new suggestions as situations like this arise.

  8. I know Jon has been fantastic in promoting gender balance in philosophy of religion events, so for the organizers it is an anomaly, an unfortunate coming together of circumstance. It is telling, nonetheless that there were no women submitting to the conference. In May I organized a small philosophy of religion conference where there were 10 slots for participants, and to my shock, in about 30 submissions, only 4 were by women! We anonymized the abstracts and fortunately, 3 out of 4 of papers submitted by women got in. The low submission rate still meant that 70% of our contributed speakers were male. So it would be interesting to see why women aren’t specializing in philosophy of religion, or submitting to PoR conferences.

Comments are closed.