American Association of Philosophy Teachers Conference—Call for Papers

The American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) has issued a call for papers for its biennial conference, to be held at Saginaw Valley State University on July 27–31, 2016. They are especially interested in proposals on inclusive pedagogies. The CFP is reproduced below, and available at

The AAPT is a collegial community of engaged teacher-scholars dedicated to sharing ideas, experiences, and advice about teaching philosophy and to supporting and encouraging both new and experienced philosophy teachers.  They host a biennial meeting, sessions at the APA meetings, and other events open to all philosophers, including graduate students, who wish to explore and improve their teaching.


The American Association of Philosophy Teachers

Saginaw Valley State University
Saginaw, Michigan
July 27–31, 2016

Proposals for interactive workshops related to teaching and learning philosophy at any educational level are welcome.  We especially encourage creative approaches to workshops or or panels on:

  • Innovative and successful teaching strategies
  • How work in other disciplines can improve the teaching of philosophy
  • Engaging students in philosophy outside the classroom
  • Innovative uses of instructional technologies
  • The challenge of teaching in non-traditional settings
  • Methods to improve student learning
  • Professional issues connected to teaching

Selected presentations will be considered for inclusion in AAPT Studies in Pedagogy, Volume 3, on inclusive pedagogies. Proposals on that theme are especially encouraged.

Proposals should include:

  • Session title
  • Length of the proposed session (60 or 90 minutes)
  • A one-to-three page description of what the session seeks to achieve, including an account of what participants will do during the session
  • A list of references, especially to relevant pedagogical literature
  • Descriptions of any useful handouts to be provided
  • Any equipment needed
  • Contact information for each presenter, including institutional affiliations, may be included in the email or in a separate cover sheet.
  • Please include a 100-200 word abstract suitable for the conference program.

To facilitate blind review, no identifying information should appear in the proposal.

Send submissions, via email, to Russell Marcus, by Monday, January 4, 2016.

Visit for some model proposals from past years and additional information about the AAPT or the workshop-conference.

Events at LMU’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit

The Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University is hosting two events in December which may be of interest to readers: one on “Surviving Sexual Violence”, one on “Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution”. Descriptions and links for further details:


Outliving Oneself: Surviving Sexual Violence

A conversation between Professor Susan Brison and Professor Liz Kelly.

December 3rd, 6.30 – 8pm
Susan Brison is a US philosophy professor who wrote the critically important book Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self and a more recent piece Everyday Atrocities and Ordinary Miracles: Or Why I (Still) Bear Witness to Sexual Violence (But Not Too Often).  The book is an exploration of how she coped with rape, which included asking why philosophy has so little to say about sexual violence and having to rethink her understanding of the self.  Her radical thinking informs the MA teaching in CWASU.

For further details and to register go to


Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution: Mona Eltahawy

December 7th, 6.30 – 8pm

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning writer and outspoken feminist, focusing on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism.  Following her involvement in the Arab Spring in November 2011 Egyptian riot police beat her, breaking her left arm and right hand, sexually assaulted her, and she was detained for 12 hours by the military.  Mona was one of Newsweek magazine’s 150 Fearless Women of 2012.

She will talk about her recent book Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution.

For further details and to register go to

Stop coddling Brian

A glorious article: “If our free speech isn’t in jeopardy, why won’t my TA let me spend all of class yelling “FUCK BRIAN” at Brian?

So why was it that this Tuesday my voice was silenced? Why was it that when I tried to speak my mind by swearing at Brian for the entirety of an Organic Chemistry lecture, I was told by my TA, a representative of this university, “Maybe you could not say that, because it is entirely irrelevant to our discussion of the Robinson Annulation, and it also made Brian feel threatened”?

Excuse me? Why are we coddling Brian by not allowing his education to be disrupted for fifty minutes as I repeatedly yell “FUCK BRIAN” while standing on a table and waving my hands in the air?

I came to Yale for the late night dorm room conversations, for the free discourse and the distribution of ideas. But what happens when that “idea” is that Brian sucks? Apparently in that case, the ideals on which our university was founded are simply thrown to the wayside.

‘Coddling’ Is Gendered

Or at least, the language of ‘coddling’ is gendered: ‘coddling’ codes as female or feminine. This is not complicated; synonyms offered up when you Google the word ‘coddle’ include ‘mother’ (but not ‘father’ or ‘parent’). An alternate form of ‘coddle’ is ‘mollycoddle’, with the prefix ‘molly’ said to be derived from the feminine name ‘Mary’ or (relatedly) from ‘molly’, meaning ‘girl or prostitute’ [yes, really]. I also just learned that ‘mollycoddle’ can be used as a noun, meaning ‘an effeminate or ineffectual’ [yes, really] man or boy. So there’s that.

In more ways than one, the application of ‘coddling’ language to student activism echoes right-wing ‘nanny state’ rhetoric, used to criticize left-wing policies perceived to interfere with personal freedoms. In both cases, we are invited to overlay a negative, feminized, childcare-related stereotype on to something in order to condemn it.

It’s a small point, but one I’m not seeing foregrounded in current discussions about ‘coddled’ students. Once I noticed this, it helped me make better sense of (some of) what’s going on in those discussions.