Saturday, June 30, 2007

Midwest SWIP Fall 2008 CFP

A note about Society for Women in Philosophy and their sponsored conferences:
SWIP is divided into regional groups in the U.S. -- East, Midwest, and Pacific. From what I can tell, the regional groupings serve little other than an administrative function.

Each group sponsors conferences at least annually. Eastern SWIP usually meets in the spring, sometimes in conjunction with other conferences. For example, in 2004 Eastern SWIP met the day before a conference sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State on the feminism-related topic of "Epistemologies of Ignorance." Midwestern SWIP holds a conference in the fall and one in the spring, and the Pacific group usually meets twice a year. The conferences are not strictly regional, though, since presenters may come from any area of the country. Indeed, since academics do move (at least once, from graduate school to other employment, and often more than that), the regional memberships do not always represent the members' current academic homes.

SWIP also organizes multiple sessions at each of the three APA division meetings, and often organizes sessions in conjunction with other groups with overlapping interests, such as the Society for Analytical Feminism or the APA's Committee on the Status of Women.

There is also a SWIP group in the UK and one in Canada.

I've attended two Eastern SWIP conferences and one Canada-SWIP. They are always programs that range over a wide variety of philosophical disciplines, and are a great place to network, especially for graduate students and young professionals. (See Sharon's earlier post here.)

Organizers of the Eastern and Pacific SWIP conferences, in particular, make an effort to construct programs that include both papers focusing specifically on feminism and papers that address women in philosophy more generally. That is, there are papers on feminist bioethics alongside history of philosophy papers alongside social epistemology and social theory. In addition to a number of feminist papers, they attract submissions that analyze, critique, and extend the work women philosophers (e.g, papers on Hannah Arendt).

Although I've never attended a Midwest SWIP conference, their cfp's and programs have always struck me as being more specifically focused on feminism and women's issues while being more inclusive in terms of format, encouraging presentation styles outside of the typical philosopher-at-the-lectern-reading format. (A footnote to this inclusive message, though, is that, as an analytic philosopher, I don't feel as welcome to submit to the Midwest as to the Eastern--I don't know if that's just me or if I'm picking up on a message that analytic philosophers have other venues.)

And now, the announcement:

Midwest Society for Women in Philosophy
Call for Papers

Midwestern SWIP has always had a practice of making
its programs spaces for work that develops feminist
ideas, theory, philosophy and practice. We have not
included on our programs work that is not engaged in

At this time, we amend this practice so our programs
are spaces for work that, whatever else it does,
connects themes of feminism and male supremacy with
themes of anti-racism and white supremacy.

Midwest SWIP is an interdisciplinary conference with
a particular emphasis on troubling the discipline of
philosophy and the theory/practice dichotomy.

Fall 2007 Division Meeting
October 26-28, 2007
University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2007

We invite work in all areas relating to feminist
anti-racist theory/practice, from political theory and
ethics to metaphysics and epistemology as well as
papers, panels, and performances that engage feminist
anti-racist praxis and theorizing more broadly.

Papers, poetry, panel proposals and/or other proposals
and queries should be sent via email to each of the
Gaile Pohlhaus at
Sophie Vick at

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