Women and Philosophy Exhibit in the Regenstein!

Two UWIP board members, Julie Huh and Alaina Bompiedi, have been working with Bibliographer of Religion and Philosophy Anne Knafl to develop a Woman and Philosophy exhibit on the fourth floor of UChicago’s main campus library, the Regenstein:

Why are there so few women philosophers? Why does it matter? This exhibit responds to the ongoing underrepresentation of women within the field of Philosophy by highlighting the work of three University of Chicago faculty members: Hannah Arendt, Marjorie Grene, and Martha Nussbaum. Selections from their work will be juxtaposed with materials that reflect the historical and contemporary influence of women and gender tensions on the study of Philosophy at the University.

Click link in the title for more information.


Weeks 4-8: Screenings and Discussions of “Examined Life”

For much of the quarter, we watched film segments of the philosophy documentary Examined Life, featuring interviews with philosophers Judith Butler, Martha Nussbaum, and Cornel West. The discussions that followed focused on what phenomenology can teach us about the constructed abnormality of disability, whether (given Nussbaum’s criticism that social contract theorists did not factor in marginalized individuals from the start, and thus could not fully account for the rights and needs of non-able-bodied males) it’s incoherent for her to draw so much from Aristotle in developing her capabilities approach, and the accessibility of philosophy — whether Cornel West succeeds in making philosophical rumination accessible to those outside of academy.

We also hosted discussions on the unfortunate news of the rampant sexual harrassment and negative climate at UC-Boulder and Northwestern that came out this quarter: has there been a shift in the entire discipline over the past year that is no longer tolerating such behavior? Does this news, unfortunate as it is,  therefore bode well for the future inclusiveness of philosophy?

As always, please join our listhost if you would like to get timely updates on the meetings before they occur.

Week 3: Q&A with Prof. Kathleen Higgins (UT Austin)

This week, we hosted a Skype session with Professor Kathleen Higgins from the University of Texas, Austin. Here was our announcement of the event:

In the spirit of the 21st century, when philosophy is routinely done via Skype, UWIP will be hosting a videoconference with a very special guest, Prof. Kathleen Higgins from UT Austin. We will be having a Q&A session, where Prof. Higgins will be answering questions related to the philosophical fields of her studies. Currently, she is writing about the aesthetics of loss and mourning, and her main areas of research include continental philosophy, philosophy of the emotions, and aesthetics, particularly musical aesthetics. Please see below for her complete bio.*
As usual, there will exist pizza, coffee, and ice cream at the meeting.
All graduate and undergraduate students are more than welcome join us, so let us fill up Harper 141 at 6 pm, Wednesday Jan. 22nd, so that we may welcome her to the UChicago community. Hope to see you there!
*Prof. Higgin’s Bio:
KATHLEEN M. HIGGINS (Ph.D. 1982, Yale) is Professor of Philosophy.  Her main areas of research are continental philosophy, philosophy of the emotions, and aesthetics, particularly musical aesthetics.  She has published a number of books: The Music between Us:  Is Music a Universal Language? (University of Chicago Press, 2012); Comic Relief: Nietzsche’s “Gay Science” (Oxford University Press, 2000), What Nietzsche Really Said (with Robert C. Solomon, Schocken Books, 2000), A Passion for Wisdom (with Robert C. Solomon, Oxford, 1997), A Short History of Philosophy (with Robert C. Solomon, Oxford, 1996),The Music of Our Lives (Temple, 1991; rev. ed. 2011), and Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra” (Temple, 1987; 2nd ed. 2010), which Choice named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1988-1989.  She has edited or co-edited several other books on such topics as Nietzsche, German Idealism, aesthetics, ethics, erotic love, non-Western philosophy, and the philosophy of Robert C. Solomon.  She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2013), Visiting Fellow of the Australian National University Philosophy Department and Canberra School of Music (1997), and Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center (1993).  She has also received an Alumni Achievement Award from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (1999).  She is a frequent visitor to the Philosophy Department of the University of Auckland.

Week 5: “Reflecting on Symbols”

Hope you guys are hanging in there! This week, as a mental study break from all the critical inquiry you are engaging in for your midterms, we would like to engage in our philosophical creativity by having an impromptu reflection session. 

At the beginning of the meeting, we’ll do a brief check-in to see how you are holding up in terms of classes and academic workload. Then, we’ll begin our newest activity:

Ten images will be passed out. We’ll spend 10-15 minutes contemplating on the symbols at hand and on our thoughts. Then, we’ll spend the remainder of the meeting sharing. (NB: You will not be required to produce pedantic schemas.)

Free food and coffee will be provided!

Hope you guys can make it, and see you this Wednesday (10/30)Stuart 209, at 5:30 pm.

Week 4: “Moral Differences and Distances” by Cora Diamond

This week, we’ll be reading Cora Diamond’s “Moral Differences and Distances.” It’s 18 pages long, but 7 pages of that is directly excerpted from a newspaper, so it should go pretty quickly. Reading it is definitely worth your while — it’s one of my favorite essays in philosophy and is still resonating with me months after having read it the first time. It’s about how our own personal ethical schemas can come into conflict with what we find interesting, or humorous, or beautiful, and how that tension can manifest in popular media. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. (If you’re pinched for time, focus on pages 202-215. And if people are very interested but unable to get through it all, we can consider continuing the discussion next week.)

We will be meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 PM in Stuart 209. See you all there!

Week 3: “The Subjection of Women” by J.S. Mill

Happy third week! We’ll be discussing a feminist text by John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of WomenWe do not wish to bombard you with reading, so we are assigning only two sections (but feel free to read more if you like!):

+ Women in the arts and sciences (Ch. 3 – pg. 40)
+ Moral education of males (Ch. 4 – pg. 47) 

Pizza will be available to fuel our discussion, and our meeting will be at 5:30 pm, Wednesday October 16, in Stuart 209. Hope to see you there, and have a great week!

PS. In light of our discussion last week:

Imágenes integradas 1

Articles of Interest

Some of you were asking about the additional articles that came up in conversation this evening. One, “Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equity,” was on the front page of the New York Times a few weeks ago and discusses the initiatives undertaken by the administration to produce an extremely rapid narrowing of the gender disparity. The other, “Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?,” recounts the personal experiences of a woman who chose not to go into academic physics. Both are highly interesting and pertinent to our ongoing conversation!