The APA has released a statement of their opposition to bullying and abuse. As I note in my comment here, it’s a remarkable reflection of the state of our profession that this is controversial.
From Inside Higher Ed:
As for the APA statement, [George Yancy] said that the association “is encouraging philosophers (and nonphilosophers) not to engage in threatening discourse, nasty putdowns, racist and sexist insults. It is seeking forms of discourse that are critical, but not filled with hatred or derogatory personal attacks or insults. In my case, after viewing many of the messages that I received in response to ‘Dear White America,’ I think that the APA wisely took this as an important opportunity to speak out against what was/is clearly unacceptable violent and racist discourse and to show support for members who engage in various forms of public philosophy, especially forms that challenge crucial issues of our contemporary moment. There is so much more work that needs to be done as the APA rethinks its identity, but it is on the right track and I am thankful for that.”
Mahlet Zimeta (one of the tiny handful of black philosophers in the UK) is playing a key role in a Women’s Hour series on appearance. She brings in figures ranging from Hegel to Andrea Dworkin!
Do check it out!
Launch programme: Mirror, Mirror – All About Appearance
Yesterday’s programme: Appearance and Invisibility
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.
Really wonderful blogpost by Christina Van Dyke on the difficulties and rewards of adding medieval women philosophers to one’s courses.
As I rolled up my sleeves and went to work, I discovered that although female contemplatives in the Middle Ages might not have thought of themselves as engaging in philosophy per se–and although what they wrote often tends not to fit neatly into our contemporary conceptions of even just philosophical theology—if you take a step back and think of philosophy as the love of wisdom, perennially addressing the issues that human beings have wondered about “Since the dawn of time,” it turns out that medieval women have a wealth of things to say about classic philosophical debates involving, say, self-knowledge, love, human nature, ethics, God, and the meaning of life.
These women weren’t writing in a vacuum, either: they engaged with and influenced intellectual, theological, and cultural movements across (what’s now modern-day) Europe. We’re not just talking Heloise (who, of course, is best known for her affair with Abelard)–Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Sienna, and Julian of Norwich are just a few of the female contemplatives whose advice and counsel were actively sought out by the leading intellectual and ecclesiastical figures of their day…
I will grant you right now that this is going to take some work, and probably some anxiety that this isn’t philosophy. Just remember–Anselm’s Ontological Argument is part of a prayer, for heaven’s sake. The list of people we consider medieval philosophers is already a pretty motley crew by modern standards. That fact is, as far as I’m concerned, one of our subfield’s greatest strengths. Broadening the scope of who gets included in that crew gives us more to talk about with people in different fields, as well as deepening our knowledge of the full range of medieval perspectives on philosophical issues.
Philosopher Janet Stemwedel has written an excellent piece for Forbes on the Marcy sexual harassment case. She explores the interesting fact that the astronomy community seems more responsive to victims’ needs than his university is.
You might think a university would recognize itself as something like a community, and that it would prioritize protecting vulnerable individuals within the community (like students) from harm. Maybe a university’s institutional policies are even intended to protect students, but in their operation they seem not to work that way. In this case, a professor found to have violated a university policy is essentially told not to do it again — because if he does, maybe the university will suspend or fire him.
This doesn’t seem to do a lot to protect current and future students from the same kind of harm from the same professor.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please choose at least one descriptor from those provided below, and include your choice(s) with your abstract.
- History of Philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Enlightenment, Nineteenth-century, Twentieth-century, Other)
- Feminist Theory and/or Philosophy (European, Asian, African, American, Australasian, Other)
- Value Theory (Meta-ethics, Ethics, Bioethics, Environmental Ethics, Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Other)
- Epistemology (including Philosophy of Science)
- Metaphysics (including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion)
- Philosophy of Language (including Logic, Philosophical Logic)
Suggestions for panels (with three speakers per panel) are also welcome.