Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

7 Awful Things Told to Cracked by Syria’s War Refugees November 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Monkey @ 10:44 pm

Cracked specialise in listicles – 5 Things I Learned Infiltrating a Paranormal Convention, 5 Weird Ways You Didn’t Realize TV Is Sexist, you know the sort of thing. A recent article is the excellent We Met Syria’s War Refugees: 7 Awful Things They Told Us. It’s from September this year, but readers may not have seen it. It’s well worth a read – and, a weep – but I’ll just quote

#1. People Are Helping (And You Can Too)
Let’s give credit where credit’s due: Plenty of folks in Europe have been unbelievably awesome to the refugees flooding into their countries. German police in Munich actually had to ask people to stop sending in aid donations, because they were too “overwhelmed” to process everything they’d received. Thousands of people in the U.K. have volunteered to host refugees in their homes. But it isn’t enough… And the truth is, most countries don’t open their borders until the citizens raise enough of a stink to overcome the stink being raised by the opposition. While the E.U. floundered for a while at how to deal with the whole mess, they recently passed a sweeping plan that will rehome 150,000-plus new refugees. European members of parliament credited citizens getting super pissed off with shaming the government into doing the right thing.

Read more here.


Refugees in Lesbos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Monkey @ 8:12 pm

Calais is, of course, only one of several places along Europe’s borders where refugees gather. Another is Lesbos, where some people making the dangerous crossing from Turkey in flimsy boats end up. Many don’t make it, and drown at sea. Conditions on Lesbos are appalling. The island cannot cope with the numbers of refugees arriving. A few volunteer organisations try to help as best they can, but provision is woefully inadequate.

“There are thousands of children here and their feet are literally rotting, they can’t keep dry, they have high fevers and they’re standing in the pouring rain for days on end. You have one month guys, and then all these people will be dead”.

Those were the final words of Dr Linda on the phone, a doctor that our volunteer organisations (Help Refugees and CalAid) had asked to fly out to Lesbos in response to an emergency cry for help from an overwhelmed volunteer on the ground…

The situation in Moria [a refugee camp on Lesbos] is utterly catastrophic. I’ve had people holding half dead babies up to me the whole day and we have nowhere to send them. All the NGOs are inside and doctors only rarely come out. Tomorrow will be a disaster, there are no dry clothes for anyone, no shelter, there are children sleeping in bin bags, no food, no blankets, no diapers for babies. No access to drinking water for the people at the back of the line, people will sleep in the wet and cold tonight in the open air, half the people will wake up sick, some will die.

You can read more here.

Want to help? How to Help Refugees has a list of all the organisations working on Lesbos, and information about how to get involved.


Police violence in the Jungle, Calais

Filed under: Uncategorized — Monkey @ 7:42 pm

European readers of this blog will no doubt know about the unofficial refugee camp at Calais. For those of us based in the UK, it’s the nearest such encampment to our borders. Calais has long been a place where migrants gather – for some, it’s the last point on a perilous journey to their intended destination of the UK. Conditions are, as one might imagine, horrendous. Astonishingly (or perhaps not, given Europe’s general, long-standing reluctance to deal adequately with forced migration), the first report into conditions in the Jungle – the largest migrant shanty town in Calais – was only carried out this year. It makes for an upsetting read. Around 3,000 people – men, women, and children (some of the women are pregnant) – live in ‘diabolical [conditions], with cramped makeshift tents plagued by rats, water sources contaminated by faeces and inhabitants suffering from tuberculosis, scabies and post-traumatic stress disorder… in conditions far below any minimum standards for refugee camps’. There is insufficient food, insufficient drinking water, and a lack of washing facilities. You can read the Guardian write-up here.

In addition, refugees are continually subject to police violence. A friend who has volunteered as a doctor in the Jungle reported that many of the people coming to her had wounds from police dogs that were set upon them. Other friends doing migrant support in the Jungle report that the police use tear gas daily. They are also using rubber bullets and concussion grenades. One such night of police violence occurred on November 9th:

Without the slightest sense of concern for the 60 or 70 families resident in this area of the camp the police’s barrage of tear gas and flash balls scattered over the camp, setting light to a tent, a pile of rubbish, trees, and bushes.

Mothers stood by while the police attacked, shouting in French that there were children in the camp. Groups of families returning from another part of jungle were caught by a plume of tear gas blowing across the area. Many of the protestors on the road used signs to protect themselves but the police continued to attack from several angles.

Late into the night, the police begin patrols to find migrants who had hidden in bushes by the road. At one point at least 20 cops shot tear gas for a full 5 mintues into an area until it was covered in smoke.

As the night continued, the intesnsity of the tear gas increased. The wind spread the cloud of caustic vapour around the entire west side of the camp. This was a clear message from the police, if you protest we will punish all of you. During the night there was also many injuries from tear gas canisters hitting people, causing burns and bleeding.

The injuries from this assault are difficult to quantify, it is easy to count the scores of respiratory problems, skin and eye irritations but the psychological trauma is harder to see. Women, children, and men fleeing conflict are treated to the best of French hospitality, a night of indiscriminate chemical repression exacted on the entire population of the camp.

You can read more here.

This is no way to treat people. Write to your governments. There needs to be a humane, European-wide response to the refugee crisis. We should not tolerate people living in these conditions on our shores.




CFA Embodied Religious Experience November 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacey Goguen @ 3:17 pm

Inviting abstracts for two Embodied Religious Experience workshops! The common purpose of these two workshops is to expand contemporary understandings of religious experience by incorporating perspectives and methods from within

  1. •the philosophy of gender and sexuality
  2. •mystic religious traditions (particularly in the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian traditions)
  3. •social ontology and epistemology.

Each workshop will have a similar structure and theme; in particular, both workshops will explore how social structures (such as religious, sexual, and/or class hierarchies) impact not only who is seen as having ‘genuine’ religious experiences, but also the ways those experiences are expressed or reported (and even their experienced content). While we especially welcome philosophical approaches to these topics, we also encourage perspectives from other disciplines, such as sociology, theology and religious studies, psychology, and anthropology.

Workshop I will be held March 14-16, 2016 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2015. Decisions will be made by January 15, 2016.

Workshop II will be held August 8-10, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado.

Deadline for abstract submission: March 1, 2016. Decisions will be made by April 1, 2016.

Lodging and meals will be provided at both workshops; we also expect to be able to cover travel expenses for participants.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should be prepared for blind review and approximately 500-750 words. Abstract should also include a separate cover page stating the abstract title, as well as the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and email address. All submissions should be sent to ereligion@princeton.edu. Any questions for the project leaders — Christina Van Dyke (Calvin College) and Robin Dembroff (Princeton University) — should be sent to the same address.

More information about the Embodied Religious Experience project–as well as a list of confirmed participants for each workshop–is available at our project website, www.princeton.edu/~ereligion. (This initiative is funded by The Experience Project, a multi-disciplinary research project supported by the John Templeton Foundation. More information about the larger project can be found here: http://the-experience-project.org.)


CFP: trans* experience in philosophy

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 2:27 pm

Call for papers:

Trans* Experience in Philosophy Conference-

May 13-15, 2016, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Extended Submission Deadline: January 10, 2016

This conference aims to explore the intersections between transgender studies and philosophy by bringing philosophical reflections to bear on trans* experience, representation, identity, and politics. We welcome papers that engage a variety of issues or topics, including but not limited to trans* embodiment, ethical concerns specific to trans* persons, the relationship between transgender studies and feminist philosophy, and how classical philosophical frameworks might elucidate aspects of trans* experience. Through these reflections, we also hope to interrogate our understanding and practice of inclusivity in academia. Considering the attention given to the status of women in philosophy in more recent years, we are particularly interested in addressing the practices, content, and implicit biases of philosophy with regard to non-conforming genders and non-cisgender bodies.

Papers engaging with trans* experience and perspectives broadly construed from all philosophical and interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches are welcome. Priority will be given to submissions with an intersectional emphasis and, when relevant, of those directly affected by or self-reflectively allied with the trans* persons.

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Talia Mae Bettcher and Dr. C. Riley Snorton

Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to: (more…)


No more feminism at A-Level Politics November 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 5:49 pm

If current plans go ahead.

The section on feminism in a revised version of the course put to consultation by the Department for Education has been removed, along with the topics of sex/gender, gender equality and patriarchy.

To sign a petition, go here.


Women at APA Meetings November 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stacey Goguen @ 6:36 pm

Eric Schwitzgebel has a post up at The Splintered Mind about women’s attendance at APA Meetings. 

As expected, the majority of philosophers on the APA main program are men, but the gender ratios are less skewed now than they were a few decades ago. Overall, the proportion of women on the APA main program has increased from about one sixth in 1975 to about one third in 2015.

Merging all three divisions, here is the gender breakdown by year:

1955: 6% women (7/121, excl. 5 indeterminable)
1975: 16% women (62/397, excl. 20)
1995: 25% women (220/896, excl. 38)
2014-2015: 32% women (481/1526, excl. 177 [note 2])


Dialogues on Disability -Nancy Stanlick

Filed under: Uncategorized — Monkey @ 4:02 pm

It’s that time again! – Shelley’s latest interview as part of her Dialogues on Disability series is now out. This time she interviews Nancy Stanlick, who talks (amongst other things) about ‘invisible’ and ‘unspeakable’ disabilities, based partly on her own experience of having a colostomy.

Nancy is Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida. She specializes in ethics, social philosophy, and history of modern and American philosophy. When Nancy isn’t at her job or at home doing job-related things, she plays online video games, works in her yard, reads, and watches old movies. She also enjoys her cats and sleeping in late on Saturdays.

You can read the interview here.

Shelley also suggests having a look at So Bad Ass, which is an excellent collection of thoughts and resources about disability, ileostomy, and body image (plus more!) from UK-based feminist photographer, writer, and speaker, Sam Cleasby.


Athene Donald on York Men’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 2:40 pm

The ever-wise Athene Donald begins her rumination by pointing out the sad situation we find ourselves in:

So now one part of the university is annoyed that anyone ever considered celebrating the day and, by virtue of what was written in the original statement, apparently trivialising the problems women face; another part are equally annoyed that the day is no longer being celebrated claiming that this implies the university doesn’t consider men’s rights are important. This is turning into a hopelessly polarised debate which won’t do anyone any good and certainly won’t make gender equality any nearer. It is all really rather tragic.

It’s worth noting that I think one thing which would have helped is a better explanation from York of their actions. They deleted their statement and dropped their plans without giving reasons other than that people were “upset”.  And in describing the original plans, they mentioned only a desire to attend to issues of men’s mental health.  This left the impression that feminists were opposed to caring about men’s mental health.  (And many unprintable comments we’ve received have certainly taken it this way.)

Donald also has a very interesting discussion of the stats on which York based its claim that women now find it easier than men to gain academic appointments.  These turn out to be based on their own internal numbers. Donald discusses many ways that these numbers need much further analysis to be useful.  But I’d also note that there was nothing in the original statement to indicate that this particular claim was a York-specific one, so it was very misleading to place it alongside the rest of the claims, which were about society as a whole.

I’ll close by noting that I share Donald’s hope that we can move beyond the current situation to one in which men and women can make common cause to tackle the problems we all face– feminists can, should, and do care about male mental health.  The pressure on men not to admit to such problems is a result of the very gender roles that feminists are devoted to fighting.  We should be working together in these fights.



American Association of Philosophy Teachers Conference—Call for Papers November 18, 2015

Filed under: events,Uncategorized — cornsay @ 1:12 pm
Tags: ,

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 http://philosophyteachers.org/conference/

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 http://www.philosophyteachers.org for some model proposals from past years and additional information about the AAPT or the workshop-conference.



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