SAF seeking nominees to Exec

The Society for Analytical Feminism is an APA-affiliated group that organizes two sessions at every division-meeting of the APA. We encourage feminist philosophers to consider nominations (self- or other) to the two vacant positions on the Executive Committee and be part of shaping APA programs. (Please submit nominations by email to safnomination at gmail dot com.)

For current members of the Society for Analytical Feminism, it is time to consider nominating oneself or others for elections, and also a good time to renew annual membership dues. (Dues may be paid on our website; see the membership page for details.)

The SAF nominations committee hereby issues this call for nominations for two vacant positions on the Executive Committee. The two positions open are President and Executive Committee member. Thanks to the officers vacating these positions for their years of service and their dedication.

Nominations, including self-nominations, may be made by any current member of the SAF.  For the purposes of this election, “current member” means “dues paid at least through the 2018-19 academic year.” If your membership dues are not up to date but you wish to participate in this election, you are welcome to do so provided your dues are paid by July 31, 2018.

If you are nominating someone other than yourself, the nominee should be consulted and agree to be nominated and must also be/become a current member of the SAF.  The nominations committee will confirm that all nominees are willing to serve.  Candidates will be asked to submit statements about themselves and their reasons for running to aid voters in their decision-making.

The Executive Committee consists of 4 members in total, including the President and Secretary/Treasurer, each of whom serves 3-year terms. For more details, please see the SAF constitution and by-laws on our website.

Nominations for this election will close on Friday, July 13 at 11:59 pm PST.  Voting will take place electronically from Monday, July 16 through July 31.

Please submit nominations by email to safnomination at gmail dot com.

Nominating Committee: Myisha Cherry (ex officio), Anita Superson, Susanne Sreedhar

 

Zheng: Precarity is a Feminist Issue

‘In her article, “Precarity is a Feminist Issue: Gender and Contingent Labor in the Academy,” Robin Zheng establishes that two common myths—“the myth of meritocracy” and “the myth of work as its own reward”—not only reinforce the academic job crisis but also have gendered origins, ultimately allowing gender stereotypes and job insecurity to reinforce one another within the discipline of Philosophy.’

Read the full interview at The Philosopher’s Eye.

It’s Juneteenth

200 years ago:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” —General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston, June 19, 1865

 

If you want to work for equality, try Racial Equity Here; it is a national movement to advance racial equity by dismantling structural racism, city by city, town by town.  Click here.

Interview with Anita Allen

George Yancy interviews incoming Eastern APA President Anita Allen. It’s a wonderful interview– optimistic in places, but also scathing where it needs to be. Here is one of the appalling bits.

Is the denigration of black women philosophers a thing of decades past? Are we beyond being asked to fetch coffee for department chairs and worse? Regrettably, no. In October 2017 a very senior Harvard-educated white male philosopher, whose wife is also an academic, wrote to me seeking feedback on an op-ed he hoped to submit to The New York Times or The Washington Post. He did not like my feedback. He ended an email lamenting his failure to get anything more than “duncical shit” as feedback on his work by letting me know that he had recently imagined seeing my face in the photographs he used in masturbation! Incredible, right? I wrote back to explain why I was offended and to sever ties. I assume that if such a thing could happen to me, some very, very serious harassment and racism must be happening to young women in the field.

Read more.

UK: upskirting legislation blocked

Upskirting is a depraved violation of privacy. It is outrageous that a single Tory MP has been able to derail a much needed and universally supported change in the law. But that is exactly what has happened.

While the actions of one backwards, out-of-touch Tory anger me greatly, it is nothing in comparison to the hurt I feel for the women who have been harassed and degraded because they don’t have the protection they need from the law. The experiences of these women, such as Gina Martin who founded the campaign, are what inspired me to lodge my bill to make upskirting a specific sexual offence.

Read more here.

Interview with Helen De Cruz

Particularly interesting to read about how it was non-Western philosophy that drew her to the subject.

But when I was in my final two years, about half of the program’s credits (world art studies) could filled in with anything students liked. I chose courses such as Introduction to Indian Philosophy and Religion, Islamic Philosophical Theology, Chinese Philosophy and Thought, Comparative Study of Culture (with lots of Native American philosophy, especially as our professor had been studying Navajo culture for years). Our courses on African art and Oceanic art also looked at philosophical ideas, such as the Luba theories on memory and material culture, or the Polynesian concept of mana.

So I found my way slowly into philosophy through all this non-western material. My two absolute favorite courses were Islamic philosophical theology and Indian philosophy and religion. Both professors were passionate about the topic. With our Indian professor, we watched a 5-hour film of the Mahabharata with the class, and we went to a Jainism exhibition in Antwerp. We saw several of the classic darśanas (literally, points of view, of orthodox Hindu thought), as well as unusual heterodox schools such as materialism. Our Islamic philosophical theology professor loved the Mu ‘tazila school and greatly disliked Al Ash ‘ari and Al-Ghazali, blaming them for the decline of everything that was good and proper in Muslim philosophical thinking. He also was a very careful and thorough teacher, trying to impart some Arabic as we went along (always showing the root of each philosophical term as this would help us in our understanding—I am still not sure how that would work). I cherish those courses as they broadened my mind. In spite of my professor’s lack of sympathy for Al-Ghazali, I was, and still am, an admirer of his rigorous and engaging writing.

How not to react to a Title IX case

And– appallingly– feminist scholars are part of the problem. None of the considerations below should influence an investigation of this sort.

The letter, dated May 11 and addressed to NYU’s president and provost, said Ronell was under investigation by the university’s Title IX office. The signatories, worried that she had already been damaged by the proceedings and anxious that she would lose her job, asked that she receive “a fair hearing.”

It also listed her many accomplishments in the fields of philosophy and literature and seemed to suggest that her stature in those fields and at the university should be considered in the investigation. Though the letter’s signatories said they didn’t have access to a “confidential dossier” from a Title IX investigation, they stated their “objection to any judgment against her.”

“This is an example of a kind of misuse or abuse of Title IX.” “We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the letter said. “If she were to be terminated or relieved of her duties, the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed.”

Read about the letter here.

Incels and the Literary Canon

I’m recently back from talking about Kate Manne’s important book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny at the Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA) conference. It has a lot to say about the normalization of male entitlement to women’s attention. Women who do not provide in accordance with gendered norms are often criticized  as being cold, stuck-up, aggressive, etc. And there are many cases, correspondingly, of men reacting badly, sometimes violently, when women do not give them things to which they feel entitled.

This analysis applies extremely well to incel (involuntary celibate) culture online. So with this on my mind, I saw this interesting article linked on a friend’s Facebook page, which had a lot to say about how popular and canonical literature reinforces this mindset. (We should probably also include movies – I’m looking at you, romantic comedies!)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jun/04/incel-movement-literary-classics-behind-misogyny

Reassessing the canon allows us to see that one of the reasons why “he was a lonely virgin” sounds like reasonable justification to us for a spree killing is that we have long valorized male isolation. Our literary canon treats such desire as if it is a (if not the) central topic in the lives of white men. It treats the frustration of male desire as if it merits exploration time and again. Maybe people like Jordan Peterson and Ross Douthat (two mainstream writers who have recently entertained the possibility that society would benefit from “sex redistribution”) wouldn’t think male isolation was a privileged social problem (rather than an individual psychological problem) if our literary culture didn’t also support that idea. Maybe Donald Trump wouldn’t have won the presidency in a country that didn’t worry so much about what white men think all the time.

CFA: Analytical Feminism at Central APA 2019 in Denver

Society for Analytical Feminism

Feminist Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS by July 6, 2018

SAF Session at the Central Division APA

Denver, CO, February 20-23, 2019

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 The Society for Analytical Feminism invites submissions of abstracts of papers or proposals for a session at the 2019 Central Division APA meeting in Denver. The Society seeks abstracts of works that examine feminist issues by methods broadly construed as analytic, or that discuss the use of analytic philosophical methods as applied to feminist issues. Authors should submit abstracts for papers of a length appropriate to a 20-minute presentation time. (If you are proposing an author-meets-critics session, involving multiple people, we welcome that information but expect an abstract-length proposal indicating that the author has confirmed to you their intention to participate, as well as indication of the relevance of the book/author to a SAF session, such as the themes to be discussed.)

Please delete all self-identifying references from your abstract to ensure anonymity. Send submissions as a Word or PDF attachment with the subject line SAF AT APA to Kathryn Norlock (kathrynnorlock at gmail dot com). Deadline for submissions: Friday, July 6, 2018. Graduate students or underfunded professionals whose papers are accepted will be eligible for the Society’s $350 Travel Stipend. Please indicate in your email if you fall into one of these categories and wish to be considered for the stipend.

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The Society for Analytical Feminism provides a forum for the discussion of issues concerning analytical feminism. Its purpose is to promote the study of issues in feminism by methods broadly construed as analytic, to examine the use of analytic methods as applied to feminist issues, and to provide a means by which those interested in Analytical Feminism may meet and exchange ideas. The Society annually organizes sessions for the Eastern Division, Central Division, and Pacific Division meetings. Membership in the Society is open to all who are interested in and concerned with issues in Analytical Feminism. Annual dues are $25 for regularly employed members, $15 for students, unemployed, underemployed, and retired members. For more information about SAF, including membership form, please visit our website.