Women on Liberty 1600-1800

Earlier this month, the Monash Prato center hosted an invited symposium on women’s writings on liberty between 1600 and 1800.

The organizers, Jacqueline Broad (Monash, Australia) and Karen Detlefsen (Penn, US) are hoping to put together an edited volume in the near future. This will be an exciting new publication for the Recovery Project, and, as noted by Sarah Hutton in her abstract (below), new, insofar as the individual women philosophers featured are connected together around a theme: liberty.

Here are the abstracts .

Continue reading

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British history of philosophy with women.

I just received the announcement for the 21st Anniversary issue of the British Journal of the History of Philosophy. The issue, which has good gender balance as far as authors are concerned, contains one favourite article from each of its 21 issues.  Three of the articles chosen are written about female philosophers:


Perhaps not a roaring success, but – I feel – a success nonetheless.


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Now that’s a meaningful course evaluation!

Sandrine Berges:

Some very heartening and compelling thoughts from students about why we should insist on teaching early modern women! And that applies to other periods of the history of philosophy, of course.

Originally posted on Feminist Philosophers:

The following is from Jessica Gordon-Roth, Assistant Professor at CUNY-Lehman. The emphasis was added by me, because it is splendid:

I asked my ‘Modern’ students how studying women philosophers shaped their understanding of the early modern period. To my surprise many took the opportunity to express how studying these women affected their understanding of philosophy more generally.

“Reading female philosophers helped me not only understand and appreciate the role of women in philosophy…it also expanded and challenged my understanding of many philosophers. For example Catharine Trotter Cockburn’s defense of Locke expanded on some vague points Locke made (which could be what Locke meant to say). So it opened my eyes to the possible implications of Locke’s arguments. Princess Elisabeth presented faults and questions about Descartes’ work which I would have never thought of myself and so it helped and inspired me to dig into Descartes’ arguments and all subsequent arguments…

View original 355 more words

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Grant opportunity for Phd on early modern/enlightenment women philosophers in Monash

Here are the details:

Note that the closing date is 2 June.

We are seeking a suitably qualified PhD candidate to carry out research on the topic of freedom in the early modern and/or enlightenment periods (c. 1650-1800). The candidate will be based in the Philosophy department at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and supervised by Dr Jacqueline Broad. The candidate’s research will be connected to a larger project, ‘Women on Liberty: From the Early Modern Period to the Enlightenment (1650-1800)’, funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (project no. DP140100109; chief investigator, Dr Broad).

Project description: The main purpose of this ARC project is to further our understanding of moral, political, and metaphysical concepts of freedom in women’s philosophical writings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The project examines women’s ideas about liberty as freedom from external interference, freedom from domination, and freedom as self-determination. It also examines interconnections between women’s moral and metaphysical conceptions of free will and their political views.

The successful candidate will be expected to carry out independent research that complements this larger project in some way. For example, research proposals might focus on either individual male or female philosophers of the periods, or on specific philosophical issues to do with gender and freedom in this era, or on topics pertaining to freedom alone.

Candidate requirements: Applicants must have, or expect shortly to have, a first-class honours degree, or masters by research degree, in philosophy, politics, history of ideas, or feminist theory. Further details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD at Monash are available at http://www.monash.edu/migr/apply/eligibility/phd/

From January 2013, Monash University has introduced Graduate Research Programmes, which will incorporate coursework and research training skills development. For more information, please go to: http://www.monash.edu/migr/why-monash/phd/index.html

Start date: The successful candidate will be expected to take up the stipend by either second semester 2014 or first semester 2015.

Remuneration: We offer a stipend to the value of $AUD28,715 per annum full-time rate (tax-free stipend), for three years. Prospective international applicants should note that international fees will be paid for the life of the scholarship.

Please send an expression of interest via email to Dr Jacqueline Broad at Jacqueline.Broad@monash.edu, including:

  • Full Academic Record and Curriculum Vitae.
  • A brief statement on (i) why this project is suited to your background and interests, and (ii) your proposed research topic.
  • Contact details of two academic referees.
  • Indication of when you would be available to take up scholarship.

Closing date for expressions of interest: Monday, 2 June 2014.

Any enquiries: Dr Jacqueline Broad, Jacqueline.Broad@monash.edu

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Eric Schliesser’s posts on De Gournay

Following the publication of Desmond Clarke’s translation of early texts by feminist philosophers, and Marcy Lascano’s review of it in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, I was hoping for a growth of interest in women philosophers from the philosophical community. It’s happening: Eric Schliesser has two posts, this month, on De Gournay: here and here.

The second post raises interesting questions on the relationship between church politics and gender inequalities.

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Symposium: Women and Revolution in the 18th Century

This symposium in Lund started this morning, and carries on till tomorrow afternoon. So if you’re nearby you should go!


The conference aims to investigate the political, philosophical, historical and linguistic meaning and importance of the French revolution, with particular emphasis on the role and representation of women in revolutionary discourses in Europe in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Venue: Pufendorf Institute, Biskopsgatan 3, Lund

Contacts: Lena Halldenius, Anna Cabak Rédei, Ulrika Björk

All are welcome! Pre-registration is not necessary, but if you plan to attend we appreciate if you notify one of the contact persons. There is no fee.

Organized by: Human Rights Studies, Lund; Semiotics, Lund; Philosophy, Uppsala


The full program is here.

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Talk on the Du Chatelet archives.

I have just received the following notice from Andrew Brown, the president of the Fonds de dotation Voltaire:

Le catalogage des documents aux Archives départementales de la Haute-Marne est pratiquement terminé et les premières recherches ont pu commencer. Bernard Ducouret, conservateur du patrimoine, Service régional de l’Inventaire (Champagne-Ardenne), prépare une publication sur le château de Cirey et donnera une conférence issue de ses recherches le 15 avril :
Les travaux réalisés au château de Cirey-sur-Blaise par Voltaire et Mme Du Châtelet (1734-1749)
« En juin 1734, à la suite de la condamnation de ses « Lettres philosophiques », Voltaire doit quitter Paris. Il accepte l’hospitalité que lui propose son amie Émilie Du Châtelet au château de Cirey. Tous deux y demeurent jusqu’en 1739 puis n’y font plus que de courts séjours jusqu’à la mort de la marquise en 1749. Dès leur arrivée, ils entreprennent des travaux pour rendre habitable cette demeure quelque peu à l’abandon et font aménager les jardins. Mme Du Châtelet s’occupe ensuite de réaliser de luxueux appartements tandis que Voltaire construit une aile en rez-de-chaussée, « la galerie », principalement dédiée à l’étude des sciences. Ces travaux sont connus depuis longtemps, grâce, entre autres, à la correspondance de Voltaire. Le fonds Du Châtelet, entré récemment aux Archives départementales de la Haute-Marne, les confirme tout en ajoutant une foule de précisions sur leur nature, leur date exacte, livrant le nom des artisans et des artistes qui y ont œuvré. »
20h30 mardi 15 avril 2014, salle Niederberger, Conseil général de la Haute-Marne, entrée par la rue du Capitaine Tassard, 52000 Chaumont.
Nous vous rappelons que des informations sur la disponibilité des archives à Chaumont, sur l’avancement des numérisations et sur les publications basées sur les documents retrouvés en 2010 seront diffusées régulièrement par le Bulletin de la Société Voltaire auquel vous pouvez vous abonner via societe-voltaire.org/bulletins.php.
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