If the UK Media Wrote about the UK like it writes about Latin America…

Some light satire for your Thursday afternoon, but the central point is well-taken.

As the May regime collapses into economic chaos and repression, what hope now for the British people?

Following a disastrous and disputed General election in which she could not secure a democratic mandate, the United Kingdom’s increasingly unpopular authoritarian leader, Theresa May, has resorted to side-stepping the constitution to protect her deeply corrupt and weakened regime.

A massive bribery scheme to buy the loyalty of Far-Right Northern Irish lawmakers and the support of pariah state Saudi Arabia are now all that keep the embattled Autocrat in her Downing Street base.

You can read the full article here.

Hypatia: Why We are Not Weighing In

Many of us have been asked why Feminist Philosophers is not taking a public stance in the Hypatia controversy.  There are several reasons.

 1. We are a group blog.  As individuals, we hold a wide range of opinions on the topic.  There is no view that would be the blog’s view.

2. Some of us are associated in various capacities with either Hypatia or other feminist philosophy journals, and therefore feel it would be inappropriate to weigh in.

But also:

3. Some of us do not feel that online discussion of this issue is doing any good for anyone.  A variety of carefully thought-out positions have already been articulated, and we do not feel that we would have anything useful to add.  Much of the online discussion has only served to cause more pain to people on all sides who are trying their best to do what is right.  We do not want to add to this.  In short, even though we are a blog, we don’t think that online discussion is always useful.  In this case, we think further online discussion is counterproductive, and we’re not going to contribute to it.

Delia Graff Fara (1969-2017)

We are saddened to report the death of Delia Graff Fara.

Delia Graff Fara, a noted professor of philosophy of language at Princeton University, died peacefully at home July 18 after a chronic illness. She was 48.

Fara served on Princeton’s faculty for 11 years. She made exceptional contributions to her field and was a highly engaged member of the philosophy community, her colleagues said.

“Delia was an eminent scholar, an extremely conscientious teacher and an exemplary department citizen,” said Michael Smith, the McCosh Professor of Philosophy and department chair.

You can read the rest of the obituary from the Princeton webpage here.

Jason Stanley also has also written an obituary, posted at the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers, which can be read here.

CFP ends Sep.4 for SAF at Pacific APA

Come to San Diego!     CALL FOR PAPERS
SAF session at the PACIFIC APA 2018

San Diego, California, March 28 to April 1, 2018

Deadline for submissions: September 4, 2017.

The Society for Analytical Feminism invites submissions for a session at the 2018 Pacific Division APA meetings.

The Society welcomes papers that examine feminist issues by methods broadly construed as analytic, or discuss the use of analytic philosophical methods as applied to feminist issues. Authors should submit papers appropriate to a 20-minute presentation time. Please delete all self-identifying references from your submission to ensure anonymity.

If you are proposing a panel or author-meets-critics session, we will require the names of all participants in this panel (and titles and abstracts of panel presentations). Panel proposals should be appropriate to a two-hour session.

Send submissions as a word attachment to Kathryn Norlock with the subject line, SAF AT PACIFIC APA, to (kathrynnorlock at gmail dot com), on or before September 4, 2017.

Graduate students or underfunded professionals whose papers are accepted will be eligible for the Society’s $250 Travel Stipend. Please indicate in your email if you fall into one of these categories and wish to be considered for the stipend.


Open letter on precarious and short-term contracts

We write as members (existing staff, students, and graduates) of UK humanities departments to object to the proliferation of precarious short-term teaching contracts across UKHE institutions. As the UCU has reported, nearly half of UK universities now use zero-hours contracts to deliver teaching, and more than two-thirds of research staff are on fixed term contracts.

We recognise the need for short-term contracts in limited contexts; we also recognise that such contracts can sometimes provide early career academics with useful experience on the road to more permanent positions; however, this can only be the case if such contracts are not precarious, and if the temporary staff members are treated ethically.

A ‘precarious’ short-term contract may:

– last less than 12 months and/or be less than 1.0 FTE
– require an appointee to undertake a full teaching load with no paid time allocated to research
– require an appointee to take the summer months as ‘unpaid leave’
– require an appointee to prepare for the post in his/her own time prior to appointment
– require an appointee to take up the position on a few days’ notice.

Unethical treatment of appointees while they are in post regularly compounds the disadvantages of these terms.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

Lively Possibilities for Fall Teaching

With fall semester approaching, remember the new teaching resource, The Deviant Philosopher. If you’re looking for ways to liven up your courses with work from diverse philosophical sources, check out some of the possibilities included there. Even better, as you’re preparing your courses, if you have “deviant” approaches already in play, consider submitting them to The Deviant Philosopher – share your strategies with others!

Everything you need to know and a contact tab for any questions can be found here.  Submitting work is easy and, since you’re already preparing, you should share your wealth!

Some highlights from the existing database:

A spectrum of possibilities for teaching women philosophers in Greek philosophy from Jerry Green.

Ways to enhance your class on Modern philosophy with Modern women from Liz Goodnick.

A full unit from Robin Zheng on teaching sexual preferences.

A creative approach to setting students onto diverse research paths from Kate Norlock.

Teaching Marilyn Frye’s “Oppression” as a critique of hedonism from Emily McRae.

There’s much more there and we hope you’ll submit more!

The job search is almost over

And you are down to two candidates. One is a young man, with two very professional articles in good journals, in addition to a PhD from a very good dept. The other, a middle-aged woman whose appearance among the finalists is due to some pesky people, has some early lackluster articles, and a spotty employment record. She has support among people who speak of her originality, but in highly analytic philosophy the best work is done by the young. Right?

If the older woman is not chosen, your department’s loss may be very significant. Marina Ratner, whose career in some ways reflects the lack of support she had, did extremely important and influential work after 50. Her work underpins that of two people who won Fields Medal, the Nobel Prize of mathematics. From the NY Times:

Her dynamics research helped unravel mathematical problems that had resisted more direct, traditional approaches of attack.

Dr. Avila said Dr. Ratner’s work had been the basis for that of younger mathematicians like Elon Lindenstrauss and Maryam Mirzakhani, two winners of the Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics. Dr. Mirzakhani, the first woman to win a Fields, also died this month.

“What is remarkable about these results of Ratner is how many unexpected applications they had,” Dr. Lindenstrauss said in an email. “It is almost as if this dynamical fact was a philosopher’s stone that allowed many mathematicians to show quite remarkable things, in remarkably diverse situations.”

She found little support in Russia, where she was born, and not much in Israel.

“She had a very hard time in Russia,” said Alexandre Chorin, a colleague at the University of California, Berkeley. “The Russians took a variety of steps to penalize her.”

Dr. Ratner and her daughter immigrated to Israel in 1971, where she was a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was able to pursue her mathematical research but was unable to find a permanent position.

Her work caught the attention of Rufus Bowen, however, at Berkeley, and he lobbied the university to hire her. It did, in 1975, initially for a temporary position, and even that, given her relatively meager record, was controversial in the department. She eventually became a tenured professor.

So this brilliant woman who produced transformative work started out as an adjunct! Awwwkkk!

Your hiring choice is clear.

An aside: the article remarks

Dr. Ratner’s style of working may have contributed to her not receiving as much acclaim as some thought she deserved. She always worked alone. At Berkeley, she earned high marks as a teacher of undergraduates but was the thesis adviser to only one doctoral student.

The remark seems naive to me. Her survival may have depended on her being able to work alone. In any case, many women in a dept are not included in the community of researchers.

Finally, is she really the cause of her not having grad students?

Reminder: Aug.7 deadline for SAF at Central APA

Come to Chicago! CALL FOR PAPERS

SAF Session at the Central Division APA

Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Feb. 21-24, 2018

Deadline for submissions: Monday, August 7, 2017.

The Society for Analytical Feminism invites submissions for a session at the 2018 Central Division APA meetings in Chicago, IL.

The Society seeks papers that examine feminist issues by methods broadly construed as analytic, or discuss the use of analytic philosophical methods as applied to feminist issues. Authors should submit full papers of a length appropriate to a 20-minute presentation time. Please delete all self-identifying references from your submission to ensure anonymity.

Send submissions as a word attachment to Kathryn Norlock
(kathrynnorlock at gmail dot com).

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.

Are we seeing the end of white privilege?

ACcording to an opinion piece in the NY Times, the economic differences between white and black populations in the US have remained the same for 50 years.

The income gap between black and white working-class Americans, like the gap between black and white Americans at every income level, remains every bit as extreme as it was five decades ago. (This is also true of the income gap between Hispanic and white Americans.)

In 2015 — the most recent year for which data are available — black households at the 20th and 40th percentiles of household income earned an average of 55 percent as much as white households at those same percentiles. This is exactly the same figure as in 1967.

Indeed, five decades of household income data reveal a yawning and uncannily consistent income gap between black and white Americans across the economic spectrum. Fifty years ago, black upper-class Americans had incomes about two-thirds those of white upper-class Americans, while the black middle class — those in the 60th percentile — earned about two-thirds as much as its white counterpart. Those ratios remain the same today.

The median white household has about 13 times the wealth of the median black household — and much of that wealth is transferred between generations. This remarkable gap helps perpetuate the consequences of centuries of social and economic injustice.

Many readers commenting on this piece ‘argue’ that it is not white privilege or racism that is creating the gaps. Rather, despite a lot of contrary facts, they believe it is the fault of black Americans.

CFP: Epistemic Injustice and Recognition

Call for Papers Feminist Philosophy Quarterly Special Issue:
‘Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory’

Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017

Guest Editors: Paul Giladi (University College Dublin), Nicola McMillan (Lancaster University), and Alison Stone (Lancaster University).

Confirmed contributors: José Medina, Danielle Petherbridge, Matt Congdon, Rebecca Tsosie, and Miranda Fricker (afterword)

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly seeks submissions for a special issue on Epistemic Injustice and Recognition Theory. An important development in contemporary Anglo-American feminist epistemology has been the concept of epistemic injustice, which, as articulated for example by Miranda Fricker, has emerged out of and re-invigorated a rich line of work in feminist epistemology on epistemic exclusion, silencing, subordination, and motivated ignorance, including work by Linda Alcoff, Kristie Dotson, José Medina, and Charles Mills. Another important development in moral and political philosophy, especially in the Continental tradition, has been the philosophy of recognition. Recognition theory has roots in the work of Beauvoir and Fanon, although its most influential recent articulation has been by Axel Honneth, with debates about recognition and inclusion taken forward in feminist contexts by Iris Marion Young and Nancy Fraser amongst others.

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