Power, Pedagogy, and Philosophy's 'Woman Problem' May 8-10 NSSR

full name / name of organization: 
PSWIP (People in Support of Women in Philosophy) NSSR
contact email: 

People in Support of Women in Philosophy (PSWIP), a student-run organization in the New School for Social Research Philosophy Department, in conjunction with New York Society for Women in Philosophy (NYSWIP) and the CUNY Graduate Center, is pleased to announce their Spring 2014 symposium:

Power, Pedagogy, and Philosophy's 'Woman Problem'

The shortage of women in academic philosophy is a problem that demands critical self reflection. We want to diagnose this problem through an immanent critique of philosophy, which contains certain paradigms of power, and pedagogical expectations. We wonder if the source of the problem lies in philosophy as a discipline, or how philosophy attempts to situate "woman" within itself. Is the lack of gender parity in philosophy due to sexism in the methodology and pedagogy of the discipline? What will it take to overcome the abysmal gender disparity in philosophy? How does a radical reconsideration of what philosophy is, and how philosophy is expressed contribute to this task? And, what would such a reconsideration of philosophy in relation to gender look like? What makes philosophy so untenable a discipline for women academics? This symposium recognizes these questions as problems that philosophy has not adequately addressed. Our purpose is not only to ask how this works, but also to determine the ways in which the underrepresentation of women in philosophy is a theoretical problem.

Power will function as the operative concept throughout our symposium, uniting a number of different approaches to a single issue. We chose power not only as a way to critique the state of current philosophical discourse, but also as a way to think the contributions of women in philosophy. Power can be viewed in various theoretical frameworks that may allow for a philosophical reconfiguration of feminism. What power structures persist and contribute to the socially sustained dominance of the masculine within philosophy? Where do gendered structures of dominance and hierarchy lie, practically and theoretically? Can the practical issues be thought philosophically? Would a reevaluation of power in terms of feminist power provide the impetus for addressing the practical and theoretical together?
Over the course of two and a half days, May 8-10, we will approach the issue practically in workshops; theoretically in panels and discussions; and performatively in the presentation of philosophical papers by or about women in philosophy. We will dedicate one day of panels exclusively to presentations by graduate students.

We welcome papers on the following topics:
– What is the "problem of women" in philosophy, is there a problem?
– Is philosophy itself a gendered discourse? Is philosophical subjectivity gendered?
– Feminist pedagogy
– Feminist theory vs. feminist philosophy
– Power in academia, feminism, philosophy
– Do we no longer have an adequate model of feminism to fit the prevailing paradigm of power, or vice versa?
– What is positive power? Is empowerment effective or even a possibility for progressive change?
-- Feminist Power
– Research papers focusing on women philosophers
– What forms of expression and communication count as knowledge within philosophy, and how can they be (or should they be) canonized in the discourse? And who gets to decide?
-The Western philosophical canon and its exclusion of women
-Feminism and Psychoanalysis
-"Women's" philosophical work
-Feminism and Ethics
We welcome suggestions for Panels.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Submissions should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation. Please attach submissions in blind review format to pswip@newschool.edu Please have "symposium paper submission" as your subject line, and include your name, title, institution, and contact information. Submissions are due by Friday January 17th. Notifications will be sent by Monday February 24th.

Jenna Goodman- PSWIP Coordinator 2013-24 and
Juniper Alcorn, Theodra Bane, Anna Katsman and Daniella Polyak