Missing and Marginalized: On Ending the Erasure of Women’s Lives and Experiences

Here’s the beginning of a brand new call for papers for a great-looking multi-disciplinary conference scheduled for June in Waterloo, Canada:

WOMEN ARE MISSING. From the missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, to the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria, to the women who are missing from the Chinese population due to the One Child policy, the vulnerability and expendability of women is an international scandal. Less tragic but just as ubiquitous is the absence of women internationally from political leadership and from full participation in economic life. Within academe too, women are starkly underrepresented in the STEM disciplines and in senior academic administration. Put simply, wherever you look, and at almost every level of analysis, in circumstances that range from quotidian to horrifying, women are missing out on the opportunity to flourish, and to support the flourishing of their communities. The University of Waterloo in partnership with The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) presents Missing and Marginalized: On Ending the Erasure of Women’s Lives and Experiences. In collaboration with the ACU, this international, interdisciplinary conference focuses on the role that the Post Secondary Education (PSE) sector can play in endingthe erasure of women’s lives and experiences. The conference brings together scholars from all disciplines and Commonwealth nations, as well as administrators, industry leaders, and policy-makers. The conference is organized around three pillars: Global and Aboriginal justice issues; leadership; and industry and the STEM disciplines. Internationally renowned keynote speakers:
» Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director, UN Women
» Michèle Boutin, Executive Director, Canada Research Excellence Chairs
» Barbara Birungi, Founder/Director, Women in Technology, Uganda The conference will include submitted papers organized into concurrent sessions, discussion panels and workshops, and a poster session.

See the rest of the call for papers here.

Lovely overview of stereotype threat

from an MIT student.  And it contained a discussion of a remarkable study I hadn’t come across before, on how to eliminate the gap between men and women on mental rotation.  It turns out that just spending a little time imagining oneself as a stereotypical male raises women’s scores so dramatically the gap is reduced to statistical insignificance.

In a now-famous study, psychologists at the University of Berlin falsely told participants that they had been selected to participate in a series of tests “to measure the ability to put oneself in someone else’s position” – a fabrication devised to avoid confounding factors in their real study on gender identity priming. They prepared a text describing a day in the life of a “stereotypical woman” who takes care of her family, works part time, and is insightful, helpful, and agreeable. They also prepared an equivalently-structured text outlining the activities of a stereotypical manly man who is tough, risk-taking, and does weight training after work. Subjects were randomly given one of the two texts, and then asked: “If you were the person described in the text, which adjectives would you use to describe yourself?”

Soon after participants described themselves with either the male- or female-associated traits, they were asked to take a mental rotation test presented as independent of the first part of the study, supposedly to measure their personal spatial aptitude. On this mental rotation test, women who were “primed” with the female identity scored an average of 3.86 on the exercise, compared to the female-primed males’ average of 5.14. Okay, expected. But then when primed with the male text, women scored an average of 5.49, while men scored 5.53… wait a second, what?

As it turns out, there is zero statistically significant gender difference in mental rotation ability after test-takers are asked to imagine themselves as stereotypical men for a few minutes. None. An entire standard deviation of female underperformance is negated on this condition, just as a man’s performance is slightly hindered if he instead imagines himself as a woman. (well then.) Although this study is of course not a logically definitive answer to all things “nature versus nurture,” it does add a tremendous structural asset to the growing mountain of evidence that “natural” ability differences are confounded by identity and subconscious self-stereotyping. Demographic expectations may be subtle or overt, but they are omnipresent, and they are likely much more powerful than most of us have ever considered.

Thanks to S, and S, for calling this article to my attention!

CFP: International Association of Women Philosophers

Monash: 2016 Symposium of the International Association of Women Philosophers

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a biographical note of 100 words, should be emailed to us by 30 September 2015.

The address for all correspondence is: iaph-symposium@monash.edu

Please choose at least one descriptor from those provided below, and include your choice(s) with your abstract.

  1. History of Philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Enlightenment, Nineteenth-century, Twentieth-century, Other)
  2. Feminist Theory and/or Philosophy (European, Asian, African, American, Australasian, Other)
  3. Value Theory (Meta-ethics, Ethics, Bioethics, Environmental Ethics, Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Other)
  4. Epistemology (including Philosophy of Science)
  5. Metaphysics (including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion)
  6. Philosophy of Language (including Logic, Philosophical Logic)

Suggestions for panels (with three speakers per panel) are also welcome.

For more:

Call for registration: Feminist Philosophy Workshop

Call for Registration

Feminist Philosophy Workshop

9 October 2015

University of Hamburg

Invited Speaker: Anca Gheaus (Sheffield)

“Feminism and Basic Income”

All are warmly invited to participate in our upcoming workshop on Feminist Philosophy. We intend this workshop to provide an opportunity to highlight contemporary feminist scholarship, and to bring early career researchers, established scholars, and students together to share their ideas.  Our speakers will explore a range of feminist perspectives on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, intersectionality, autonomy, implicit bias, and morality and rationality.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Erin Beeghly (Utah) – Does Morality Require Stupidity? The Case of Forbidden Base Rates
  • Jade Fletcher (Leeds) – Feminist Metaphysics and the Canberra Plan
  • Marta Jorba (Girona -LOGOS) & Maria Rodó de Zárate (Estadual de Ponta Grossa) – What Constitutes What in Intersectionality? Beyond Mutually Constitutive Models: The Wholeness of Experience
  •      Nadja El Kassar (Zürich) – An Examination of the Idea of Epistemic Advantages of the Epistemically Disadvantaged
  • Ji-Young Lee (Bristol) – A Feminist Challenge to Procedural Accounts of Autonomy
  • Robin Zheng (Cambridge) – Collective Responsibility for Implicit Bias: From Restorative to Transformative Accountability


Registration is free, but places will be limited. Please send an email to amanda.cawston@cantab.net to reserve a place. While not required, we highly recommend pre-distribution of papers, slides, or other presentation material. To that end, we will make a shared Dropbox folder available to presenters and registered workshop participants.

Location and Accessibility:

Please visit the workshop website for maps of the location as well as detailed accessibility information. Please let us know if you have any questions, or if you need further information.


Please visit the workshop website for more information. If you have any questions about this event, please contact the workshop organisers: Amanda Cawston (amanda.cawston@cantab.net) or Nathan Wildman (nathan.wildman@uni-hamburg.de)