CFP: Bodily Difference, Elemental Difference: Alterities of Political Ecology — DATE CHANGES!

We’ve just received word from the organizers of the Bodily Difference conference we told you about here that they have had to revise the conference date and the submission deadline. The updated cfp is below.

Call for Papers

38th Annual Fall Colloquium

 

Towson University

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

 

Bodily Difference, Elemental Difference: Alterities of Political Ecology

 

Friday, September 5, 2014*

 

Félix Guattari has written, “Now more than ever, nature cannot be separated from culture; in order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems … we must learn to think ‘transversally’.” To think ‘transversally’ would be to intertwine deliberately the ecological and the political, thinking these concepts simultaneously in order to do justice to both.

Taking Guattari’s suggestion seriously, how might bodily difference and radical bodily specificity inform a transversal ecological-political philosophy? How does non-normative bodily experience— of race, ability, cis and transgender, class, sexuality— open up ways of approaching ecological-political concerns, of parsing “eco-logy”? How might political experiences of bodily discontinuity and asymmetry inform philosophical ecologies? How do philosophical traditions explore the significance and specificity of lived bodies ecologically?

 

We’d be very interested in papers exploring but certainly not limited to the following topics:

 

Eco-Political Philosophies of Disability, Universal Access

Existential Phenomenologies of Bodily Alterity

Political Ecology of Vital Materialism

Intersexualities and Ecofeminism

Transgender Ecologies

Environmental Racism and Eco-Imperialism

Eco-Political Philosophies of Factory Farming

Political-Ecological Implications of Neoliberalism

Political-Ecological Implications of Mass Incarceration

Bodies & Body Schemas in Fanon, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir, Baldwin, Uexküll, Deleuze, Foucault, Jay Prosser, Eli Clare

 

Please send prepared for double-anonymous review in one email (1) an attached abstract of 500 words plus (2) in the body of your email detailed contact information by July 25th* to and expect to hear back by July 31st from

 

Dr. Emily Anne Parker eparker@towson.edu

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Towson University

8000 York Road

Towson, MD 21252

 

*Note date change! Apologies for any inconvenience these date changes cause.

CFP: Bodily Difference, Elemental Difference: Alterities of Political Ecology

EDIT: Note date changes below (amended 9 June 2014)

 

Call for Papers
38th Annual Fall Colloquium

Towson University
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Bodily Difference, Elemental Difference: Alterities of Political Ecology

Friday, September 5, 2014 (NEW DATE)

Félix Guattari has written, “Now more than ever, nature cannot be separated from culture; in order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems … we must learn to think ‘transversally’.” To think ‘transversally’ would be to intertwine deliberately the ecological and the political, thinking these concepts simultaneously in order to do justice to both.
Taking Guattari’s suggestion seriously, how might bodily difference and radical bodily specificity inform a transversal ecological-political philosophy? How does non-normative bodily experience— of race, ability, cis and transgender, class, sexuality— open up ways of approaching ecological-political concerns, of parsing “eco-logy”? How might political experiences of bodily discontinuity and asymmetry inform philosophical ecologies? How do philosophical traditions explore the significance and specificity of lived bodies ecologically?

We’d be very interested in papers exploring but certainly not limited to the following topics:

Environmental Politics of Disability, Universal Access
Existential Phenomenologies of Bodily Alterity
Political Ecology of Vital Materialism
Intersexualities and Ecofeminism
Transgender Ecologies
Environmental Racism and Eco-Imperialism
Political-Ecological Implications of Neoliberalism
Political-Ecological Implications of Mass Incarceration
Bodies & Body Schemas in Fanon, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir, Baldwin,
Deleuze, Foucault, Jay Prosser, Eli Clare

Please send prepared for blind review in one email (1) an attached abstract of 500 words plus (2) in the body of your email detailed contact information
by July 25th (NEW DATE!) to
and expect to hear back by July 31st from

Dr. Emily Anne Parker eparker@towson.edu
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252

CFP: Interrogating Disability and Prostheses

Special Issue: Women, Gender & Research, 2020/1

The meaning and significance of bodily differences, norms of embodiment, and imaginaries about (‘proper’) personhood are central problematics within feminist studies, disability studies and feminist bioethics alike. These problematics relate not only to differential experiences and contexts for living particular lives, but also to associated social and institutional power-relations, hierarchies and policies, as well as to the material and technological circumstances that in different ways shape – limit and make possible – different ways of living.

In this Special Issue we invite papers that critically examine diverse phenomena of disability, whether physical or mental, congenital, acquired, or age-related, from feminist perspectives.

In particular, contributors are invited to think critically and creatively about disability in relation to the objects, notions or metaphors of ‘prostheses’. Prostheses can be thought of in relation to a diverse multitude of phenomena – from wheelchairs to hormone replacement therapy – that in different ways shape and reshape not just functionality, but the very fabric of human lives, particularly in the context of disability. In addition, the prosthetic metaphor is operationalized in a wide range of contexts, evoking a blending of human and technology to triumphantly overcome the ‘natural’ limitations of the ‘ordinary’ human body.

The development of increasingly sophisticated technologies that can aid individuals with disability (e.g. high-tech prostheses, brain implants, exo-skeletons, intense pharmaceutical interventions, etc) have changed drastically the modes through which disability is represented and understood in mainstream and alternative cultures. In consequence, the use and/or incorporation of prostheses cannot be read as simply utilitarian and in disability (and similarly in organ transplantation) is often associated with a dysphoria that indicates the difficulties of identity reformation (Sharp 2006; Sobchack 2010; Shildrick 2015). Despite a biomedical reading of prostheses as always therapeutic and often literally life-saving, recipients may tell a different story of how the incorporation of non-self elements into the body can cause disruption in one’s phenomenological experience and therefore to the sense of self – an issue not just about enduring physical discomfort but mental distress that far exceeds the positivist claims made for biotechnological interventions. The patterns of inclusion and exclusion, and categories of normal and abnormal, and natural and artificial, that generally circulate in western societies, contribute further to the ambiguities and contradictions that problematise each act of incorporation.

The Special Issue welcomes contributions that unsettle the familiar certainties of modernist thought by exposing all the gaps, fissures and aporia between the ideal and the actual that render some lives – often those of people with disabilities – unsustainable. Interdisciplinary
approaches and approaches that bring an important gendered dimension to these considerations, as well as analyses of the diverse aspects of social injustice and local and global inequalities as related to health and ability, are particularly encouraged.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Gendered representations of disability and prostheses
Disability and the posthuman
Gender affirming/transforming prostheses
Neural prostheses
Technologies and materialities of disability
Queering concepts and practices of prostheses and disability
Norms of embodiment, personhood and ‘healthy’ bodies
Disability, crip and feminist theory/methodology
Disability/prostheses and feminist bioethics
Disability policies and inequality

Editors:
Lisa Käll, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm University.
Jonathan Mitchell, Ph.D. Student, School of Philosophy, University College Dublin.
Tobias Skiveren, Ph.D. Student, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University.
Morten H. Bülow, Ph.D., Coordination for Gender Research, University of Copenhagen.

Deadline for abstracts (max 300-word + up to 100 word author bio): February 25, 2019

Deadline for articles: August 25, 2019

All contributions must be in English and should be submitted to: redsek@soc.ku.dk

Guidelines for contributors: http://koensfoeskning.soc.ku.dk/english/kkof/guidelines/

For more information about the journal Women, Gender & Research / Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, see: http://koensfoeskning.soc.ku.dk/kkf or http://koensfoeskning.soc.ku.dk/english/kkof/

CFP: Critical Philosophies of Life

Critical Philosophies of Life
March 24-25

Keynote speaker: Dr. Cynthia Willett (Emory University)

Duquesne Women in Philosophy invites philosophical papers and abstracts on the broad theme of “life.” Full papers of approximately 3000 words suitable for a 20 minute presentation will be prioritized, though long abstracts of a minimum 700 words are also welcome. Preference will be given to papers that engage with normative assumptions and traditional ways of framing the notion of ‘life’ as well as papers from perspectives in feminist, anti-racist, critical philosophies of race, disability, queer, post-colonial studies, and perspectives outside the Western tradition, such as those from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The conference will take place March24-25 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Please send submissions prepared for blind review to dwipcontact@gmail.com by January 5th 2017.

The conference will prioritize accessibility for all. For any questions or concerns please contact us dwipcontact@gmail.com.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out by January 15th.

Possible areas include but are not limited to:

the meaning/character/history of life
the good life, living well and ways of living
philosophies of birth, death, pregnancy, illness/disease, aging/maturity
issues in bioethics
philosophies of sex, sexuality, gender, bodily difference
philosophies of biology, history of philosophy of science and medicine
biopower and biopolitics
nature, environmental, ecological, and animal philosophies
life under capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, racism, violence
eugenics, slavery, life in prison, life-without-parol
life and the law
questions from disability studies
desire, habit, space, the temporality of life
technology, art, music, beauty, justice

**The conference and roundtable discussion are generously supported by a Hypatia: a journal of feminist philosophy through a Diversity Project Grant, the Department of Philosophy, and the Women and Gender Studies Program at Duquesne University. Please see our website for details on DWiP and a list of past conferences: http://duq.edu/d-wip

CFP: Feminist Phenomenology, Medicine, Bioethics, and Health

“Feminist Phenomenology, Medicine, Bioethics, and Health”

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Special Issue 11.1

Guest Editor

Lauren Freeman
Department of Philosophy
University of Louisville
Lauren.Freeman@Louisville.edu

Although by no means mainstream, phenomenological approaches to bioethics and philosophy of medicine are no longer novel. Such approaches take the lived body – as opposed the body understood as a material, biological object – as a point of departure. Such approaches are also invested in a detailed examination and articulation of a plurality of diverse subjective experiences, as opposed to reifying experience under the rubric of “the subject” or “the patient.” Phenomenological approaches to bioethics and medicine have broached topics such as pain, trauma, illness, death, and bodily alienation – to name just a few – and our understandings of these topics have benefitted from and are deepened by being analyzed using the tools of phenomenology.

There is also a rich history of approaching phenomenology from a feminist perspective. Combining these two approaches and methodologies has furthered our understandings of lived experiences of marginalization, invisibility, nonnormativity, and oppression. Approaching phenomenology from a feminist perspective has also broadened the subject matter of traditional phenomenology to include analyses of sexuality, sexual difference, pregnancy, and birth. Moreover, feminist phenomenological accounts of embodiment have also helped to broaden more traditional philosophical understandings and discussions of what singular bodies are and of how they navigate the world as differently sexed, gendered, racialized, aged, weighted, and abled. Feminist phenomenological accounts and analyses have helped to draw to the fore the complicated ways in which identities intersect and have made the case that if we are really to understand first person embodied accounts of experience, then a traditional phenomenological account of “the subject” simply does not suffice.

The aim of this special issue is to explore and develop the connections between feminist phenomenology, philosophy of medicine, bioethics, and health. The issue will consider on the one hand, how feminist phenomenology can enhance and deepen our understanding of issues within medicine, bioethics, and health, and on the other hand, whether and how feminist approaches to medicine, bioethics, and health can help to advance the phenomenological project.

Topics appropriate to the special issue include, but are not limited to, feminist phenomenological analyses and/or critiques of:

• Health, illness, and healthcare
• Social determinants of health (e.g., food justice, environmental justice, labor equity, transnational inequities)
• Negotiating medical bureaucracies and access to care
• Health/care in constrained circumstances (i.e., in prisons, as migrants, in conditions without secure health insurance)
• Sex and gender
• Rape, sexual violence, or domestic violence
• Transgender and trans* experiences of embodiment, health, or healthcare
• Intersex experiences of embodiment, health, or healthcare
• Death and dying
• Palliative care and end of life
• Caregiving for ill friends, family members, and children
• Pregnancy, labor, childbirth
• Miscarriage
• Abortion, contraception, sterilization
• Organ transplantation
• Cosmetic surgery
• Body weight
• Addiction
• Mental illness
• Physical and cognitive disability

Submission Information

Word limit for essays: 8000 words.

IJFAB also welcomes submissions in these additional categories:

• Conversations provide a forum for public dialogue on particular issues in bioethics. Scholars engaged in fruitful exchanges are encouraged to share those discussions here. Submissions for this section are usually 3,000–5,000 words.
• Commentaries offer an opportunity for short analyses (under 4,000 words) of specific policy issues, legislation, court decisions, or other contemporary developments within bioethics.
• Narratives often illuminate clinical practice or ethical thinking. IJFAB invites narratives that shed light on aspects of health, health care, or bioethics. Submissions for the section are usually in the range of 3,000–5,000 words.

Deadline for submissions: February 1, 2017

Anonymous review: All submissions are subject to triple anonymous peer review. The Editorial Office aims to return an initial decision to authors within eight weeks. Authors are frequently asked to revise and resubmit based on extensive reviewer comments. The Editorial Office aims to return a decision on revised papers within four-six weeks.

Submissions should be sent to EditorialOffice [at] IJFAB.org indicating special issue “Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine” in the subject heading.

All submissions should conform to IJFAB style guidelines. For further details, please check the IJFAB website. For further information regarding the special issue please contact Lauren Freeman at

Lauren.Freeman [at] louisville [dot] edu

Sex/gender and the brain: addition.

Gendered genes, gonads and genitals line up quite strongly.  That is, if you have a female version of one, the odds are very high that you will have female versions of the others.  Similarly for male versions.  Rebecca JordanYoung has argued in a number of venues that behavioral traits do not line up anything like as neatly.  Rather, bits of behavior and parts of character traits seem mixed up in comparison.  We may think that being nurturing and compliant go together in women and aren’t present in men, but in fact there are compliant and nurturing men, non-nuturing and compliant men, and so on.  Similarly for women.

This picture should lead us to suspect that the brain, in which our bodily movements originate, should manifest the same diversity.  And if female genes, gonads and genitals aren’t matched with a fairly uniform set of female character traits, we should wonder whether there is much like “a female brain” or a male one.

The topic of the gendered brain is widely discussed, but a new view is opening up, and it is much what one would expect, given the information above.  Using MRI imaging, researchers have looked at regions of the brain in which there are zones more reactive in men and others more reactive in women.  But the percentage of individuals possessing only the male zones or only the female zones is extremely small.  The women possessing only the womanly features – nurturing, compliant, more artsy than scientific, and so on and on – form a tiny group.  Ditto for men.

As a somewhat dense, but really exciting article in the Guardian puts it:

[What we expect is] Not a “male brain”, or a “female brain”, but a shifting “mosaic” of features, some more common in females compared to males, some more common in males compared to females, and some common in both.

This is exactly what the new study found for the first time, with colleagues from Tel Aviv University, the Max Planck Institute, and the University of Zurich. They tested this prediction by analyzing magnetic resonance images, which directly capture structural properties of the brain, from more than 1,400 human brains from four large data-sets. They identified in each data set the regions showing the largest differences between women and men. Next, they defined a “male-end” (males more prevalent than females) zone and a “female-end” (females more prevalent than males) zone for each of these regions, based on the range of scores of the most extreme third of men and women, respectively. They found that between 23% and 53% of individuals (depending on the sample) had brains with both “male-end” and “female-end” features. In contrast, the percentage of people with only “female-end” or only “male-end” brain features was small, ranging from zero to 8%.

Cordelia Fine is one of the authors of the article above; the other is Daphna Joel, a scientist on the study reported.  Cordelia Fine should be familiar to our readers as a splendid researcher on issues about sexism in neuroscience.

Addition:  I’ve just seen the somewhat dismissive NY Times report

Overall, the results show “human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories,” male and female, the researchers concluded.

Larry Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, who didn’t participate in the new study, said he agreed that brains contain varying mixtures of male and female anatomical traits. But that doesn’t rule out differences in how the brains of the two sexes work, he said.

There’s “a mountain of evidence proving the importance of sex influences at all levels of mammalian brain function,” he said.

That work shows how much sex must matter, “even when we are not clear exactly how,” he said in an email.

 

Though we are not told about it, Cahill most certainly has a dog in this fight.  He concedes that we don’t have male and female brains, but he wants to emphasize what he’ll see are some important differences.  He may well have in mind, among other studies, “Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain,” from PNAS, vol 111, no 2.  The study claims to show the familiar idea that “male brains are optimized for intrahemispheric and female brains for inter hemispheric connections.”  It would take at least one book to sort out the history of this claim, but let me note that the research in the study is hotly contested.

Cordelia Fine, writing in Slate, summarizes challenges to the PNAS study, and notes that a subset of the study’s authors have published contradictory research.  She suggests the original paper may be the most neurosexist report of the year.

I’m not claiming to settle the issue, but rather to make it clear that agreement that there aren’t in general male and female brains is significant, given how fraught the research in this field is.

Call for Papers

“Feminist Phenomenology, Medicine, Bioethics, and Health”

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics

Special Issue 11.1

Guest Editor

Lauren Freeman
Department of Philosophy
University of Louisville
Lauren.Freeman@Louisville.edu

Although by no means mainstream, phenomenological approaches to bioethics and philosophy of medicine are no longer novel. Such approaches take the lived body – as opposed the body understood as a material, biological object – as a point of departure. Such approaches are also invested in a detailed examination and articulation of a plurality of diverse subjective experiences, as opposed to reifying experience under the rubric of “the subject” or “the patient.” Phenomenological approaches to bioethics and medicine have broached topics such as pain, trauma, illness, death, and bodily alienation – to name just a few – and our understandings of these topics have benefitted from and are deepened by being analyzed using the tools of phenomenology.

There is also a rich history of approaching phenomenology from a feminist perspective. Combining these two approaches and methodologies has furthered our understandings of lived experiences of marginalization, invisibility, nonnormativity, and oppression. Approaching phenomenology from a feminist perspective has also broadened the subject matter of traditional phenomenology to include analyses of sexuality, sexual difference, pregnancy, and birth. Moreover, feminist phenomenological accounts of embodiment have also helped to broaden more traditional philosophical understandings and discussions of what singular bodies are and of how they navigate the world as differently sexed, gendered, racialized, aged, weighted, and abled. Feminist phenomenological accounts and analyses have helped to draw to the fore the complicated ways in which identities intersect and have made the case that if we are really to understand first person embodied accounts of experience, then a traditional phenomenological account of “the subject” simply does not suffice.

The aim of this special issue is to explore and develop the connections between feminist phenomenology, philosophy of medicine, bioethics, and health. The issue will consider on the one hand, how feminist phenomenology can enhance and deepen our understanding of issues within medicine, bioethics, and health, and on the other hand, whether and how feminist approaches to medicine, bioethics, and health can help to advance the phenomenological project.

Topics appropriate to the special issue include, but are not limited to, feminist phenomenological analyses and/or critiques of:

·      Health, illness, and healthcare

·      Social determinants of health (e.g., food justice, environmental justice, labor equity, transnational inequities)

·      Negotiating medical bureaucracies and access to care

·      Health/care in constrained circumstances (i.e., in prisons, as migrants, in conditions without secure health insurance)

·      Sex and gender

·      Rape, sexual violence, or domestic violence

·      Transgender and trans* experiences of embodiment, health, or healthcare

·      Intersex experiences of embodiment, health, or healthcare

·      Death and dying

·      Palliative care and end of life

·      Caregiving for ill friends, family members, and children

·      Pregnancy, labor, childbirth

·      Miscarriage

·      Abortion, contraception, sterilization

·      Organ transplantation

·      Cosmetic surgery

·      Body weight

·      Addiction

·     Mental illness

·      Physical and cognitive disability

Submission Information

Word limit for essays: 8000 words.

IJFAB also welcomes submissions in these additional categories:

·      Conversations provide a forum for public dialogue on particular issues in bioethics. Scholars engaged in fruitful exchanges are encouraged to share those discussions here. Submissions for this section are usually 3,000–5,000 words.

·      Commentaries offer an opportunity for short analyses (under 4,000 words) of specific policy issues, legislation, court decisions, or other contemporary developments within bioethics.

·   Narratives often illuminate clinical practice or ethical thinking. IJFAB invites narratives that shed light on aspects of health, health care, or bioethics. Submissions for the section are usually in the range of 3,000–5,000 words.

Deadline for submissions: February 1, 2017

Anonymous review: All submissions are subject to triple anonymous peer review. The Editorial Office aims to return an initial decision to authors within eight weeks. Authors are frequently asked to revise and resubmit based on extensive reviewer comments. The Editorial Office aims to return a decision on revised papers within four-six weeks.

Submissions should be sent to EditorialOffice@IJFAB.org indicating special issue “Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine” in the subject heading.

All submissions should conform to IJFAB style guidelines. For further details, please check the IJFAB website at http://www.ijfab.org/cfp.html

For further information regarding the special issue please contact Lauren Freeman at Lauren.Freeman@louisville.edu

The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals

Abstracts and call for participation: The Ethics of In-Vitro Flesh and Enhanced Animals (sponsored by the Wellcome Trust)

When will this conference take place?
18-19 September 2014

Where will the conference be held?
Rothbury, Northumberland, England

The conference will take place at the Rothbury Golf Club, starting at 9.00 hrs on Thursday and finishing at 17.00 hrs on Friday.

Call for participation
Everyone who is willing to discuss the conference themes is invited to participate. As places are limited, early booking is advisable. Speakers will generally present papers in 30 mins, followed by 30 mins of discussion.

How do I register?
Registration is made by paying the fee of £ 30, using the following link: http://webstore.ncl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&catid=36&prodid=301
Registration includes the conference dinner on Thursday night, as well as lunches and refreshments on Thursday and Friday. Lunches will comprise a main course, with an option to purchase dessert. For any specific dietary or access requirements, please email Jacqueline.McAloon@ncl.ac.uk. Please note that, for administrative reasons, it is not possible to register for part of the conference. Please also email Jacqueline to inform her whether you would be interested in participating in an informal, pre-conference meeting for drinks and/or dinner on Wednesday evening.

Who are the speakers?
Bernice Bovenkerk, Philosophy Group, Wageningen University.
Amanda Cawston, Faculty of Philosophy and Downing College, University of Cambridge.
Jan Deckers, School of Medical Education, Newcastle University.
Clemens Driessen, Cultural Geography, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen University.
Arianna Ferrari, Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Linnea Laestadius, School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Clare McCausland, Human Rights & Animal Ethics Research Network, University of Melbourne.
John Miller, School of English, University of Sheffield.
Lars Øystein Ursin, Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Kay Peggs, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
G. Owen Schaefer, Lincoln College, University of Oxford.
Barry Smart, School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth.
Cor van der Weele, Department of Communication, Philosophy and Technology, Wageningen University.
Read More »

CFP: Translation

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
DEADLINE: DECEMBER 1, 2011

2012 philoSOPHIA conference on the theme of “Translation”
6th Annual Meeting
April 12-14, 2012
Miami University, Oxford OH

Keynote Speakers: Karmen MacKendrick, LeMoyne College
Elissa Marder, Emory University
Angelica Nuzzo, CUNY

To trans-late, meaning ‘to carry across’ or ‘to be borne across,’ conveys a dual sense of communication and departure, fidelity and betrayal. The 2012 philoSOPHIA conference will have as its theme ‘Translation,’ broadly conceived, taking the work of translation to include translating across disciplines, genres, traditions, texts, historical epochs, and languages. For example, translation could take place between aesthetics and politics, between science and philosophy, between beauty and morality, between the body and language. We envision an array of political, ethical, aesthetic, and epistemological approaches that could be pursued in asking about the meaning, value, and work of translation in its multivalent sense. More particularly, we are interested in pursuing some of the following questions: What kinds of translation are possible or impossible, obligatory or self-indulgent, more or less difficult? Does or should translation transform or preserve its ‘original,’ and how does translation alter our understanding of the original in salutary or damaging ways? Are there right and wrong ways to translate, across, for instance, disciplines, historical periods, or structures of experience? Are all differences porous to translation or are some forms of strangeness impervious to transposition into another realm? Are bodily or material phenomena accessible to or commensurable with the language we use to describe them and ourselves? How does translation provoke resistance or acquiescence? Does the work of translation presume the reconciliation of antagonisms or can it maintain them? What is the temporality of translation? Questions of translation are especially critical for feminist philosophers, who re-read and often criticize the historical and textual resources of the tradition of philosophy, bringing new questions to bear on older fields of inquiry. Moreover, feminist theorists often work liminally, between or across disciplines, and this also means confronting divergent assumptions and discourses and considering how best to move between them. We welcome papers that pursue either more recognizable questions of translation or those that may evoke any sort of encounter between the familiar and the strange.

Two travel prizes of $500 each will be awarded to the best graduate student papers.

Guidelines for Submission:
You can submit either:
1. Individual abstracts of 500-700 words.
2. Panel proposals (500 words) with individual abstracts (500-700 words each). Panel proposals should include three panelists.
3. For those (graduate students only) wishing to be considered for a travel award, a complete paper (3000 words). Please also declare your status as a graduate student in the body of your e-mail.

Abstracts, panel proposals, and papers should be submitted in an email attachment suitable for blind review. In the body of your email, please include your name, affiliation, contact info, and a brief bio, along with the title of your presentation.

Please submit all proposals electronically to philosophia2012@gmail.com
For more information, go here.

‘Feminist’ is being reclaimed as a socially acceptable identification …

but not by the likes of us. No, it’s Sarah Palin and Co. And there are interesting issues, both political and philosophical here. In order to convincingly deny that Sarah Palin’s a feminist, one might suppose we need a clear definition of what ‘feminist’ means, or at least some agreed-upon necessary condition that she doesn’t meet. Does our lack of such things show that we should call Palin a feminist? Kate Harding suggests not:

So, can’t I just agree to disagree with Sarah Palin – or at least to ignore her use of the term and continue to go about my business? Well, evidently not, or I wouldn’t be writing this. The problem is, words mean things. I could start calling myself a red meat conservative, or campaign for those of us who are against the death penalty to “reclaim” the term “pro-life,” but at some point, the relationship between your beliefs and your choice of words either passes the sniff test or it doesn’t. And someone who actively seeks to restrict women’s freedom calling herself a feminist is, not to put too fine a point on it, a liar. There’s a difference between a big tent and no boundaries whatsoever; if Palin’s “entitled to be accepted” as a feminist just because she says she’s one, then the word is completely meaningless — as opposed to merely vague and controversial. And I might just start calling myself a “right-winger” because I’m right-handed, or a “fundamentalist” because I believe everyone deserves a solid primary education, or a “birther” because I once hosted a baby shower.

But Harding also makes some important points on the opposite side:

So why is the idea of “Sarah Palin, feminist,” any worse than the umpteen bona fide prominent feminists who have promoted racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and the ongoing dominance of only a certain type of women’s voices over the years? Arguably, it’s not. Arguably, it’s the logical endpoint of a movement long shaped by women who are but one –ism away from the top of the heap in the first place, and perhaps more interested in taking that one step up than in ending oppression all the way down. If the feminist movement primarily serves women who are already tantalizingly close to full kyriarchal approval, we probably shouldn’t be surprised when a group of women who are even closer – basically just like the old feminists, except they don’t expect the government to help anyone and aren’t fussed about bodily autonomy! – decide they’re yet more qualified to run it.

And if you find that thought as horrifying as I do, a good, long look in the mirror is probably in order.

What do you think?