Textes clés de philosophie féministe: Patriarcat, savoirs, justice, ed. Manon Garcia

Manon Garcia, the author of On ne nait pas soumise, on le devient, a philosophical discussion of women’s submission based on an analysis of Beauvoir’s arguments, has brought up a much needed edited volume on Feminist philosophy in French, with Vrin.

The volume contains a selection of key texts in feminism, contemporary and historical (including a translation of a chapter from Wollstonecraft’s second Vindication, and by French feminist historians of philosophy, Michèle le Dœuff and Geneviève Fraisse.

Here are the table of contents, and a link to the publisher’s page.

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CFA: Simone De Beauvoir: New Perspectives for the 21st Century

Simone De Beauvoir: New Perspectives for the 21st Century
International Conference
June 3-4, 2021, Leuven, Institute of Philosophy

Website: https://hiw.kuleuven.be/ripple/events/de-beauvoir

Organizers: Ashika Singh (KUL), Julia Jansen (KUL), Karen Vintges (UvA), Liesbeth Schoonheim (KUL)
Keynote: Qrescent Mali Mason (Haverford), Jennifer McWeeny (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Scientific Committee: Sophie Withaeckx (Maastricht), Chia Longman (U Gent), Maren Wehrle (EUR), Nathalie Grandjean (U Namur), Grâce Ndjako (UvA), Michiel Leezenberg (UvA)

Recent years have witnessed a revival and renewed interest in the philosophical and personal writings of Simone de Beauvoir. Yet, few studies have exposed how her political commitments have shaped her writing as well as her public interventions: existentialism, Marxism, anti- colonialism and, finally feminism. This conference, starting from Beauvoir’s social and political engagement, asks to what extent she provides important tools to understand major political events of the 21st Century. Examples include, but are by no means limited to the rise of the new far-right and other forms of extremism; the growth in prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement; and the responses to the recent Covid-19 pandemic. What we want to discover, in particular, is whether De Beauvoir continues to provide us with a conceptual and practical toolkit to respond to such events, to act in solidarity with those marginalized and in resistance to oppressive

In this endeavour, when the call for racial justice grows in global prominence because of the world-wide Black Lives Matter movement, it’s time to reflect on Beauvoir’s critical observations of anti-black racism in post-war U.S.A. (L’Amérique au jour le jour (1948)) and her public engagement with and in Algeria’s struggle for independence (“Préface”, Djamila Boupacha (1962)). Moreover, when living through a pandemic crisis that compounds socio- economic and political inequalities, we might find resonances with De Beauvoir’s critique of utilitarian thinking which persisted from her earliest fiction (Les bouches inutiles (1944)) to her later work on aging (La vieillesse (1970)).

That said, we must remain attentive to the socio-historical developments that distinguish her era from ours. By critically assessing her conceptual legacy along with her activism, we might ask if the existentialist concepts of responsibility and freedom can counter today’s neoliberal invocation of these terms that perpetuate the fiction of a self-sufficient agent; or, we might interrogate what Beauvoir’s qualified appraisal of Marxism and socialism might teach us in an era deprived of social utopias, of which the third way that most social-democratic parties opted for in the nineties is symptomatic; or, what her support for the anti-colonial struggle offers us in conceiving how to act in solidarity with post-colonial subjects who continue to suffer from exploitation, othering and marginalisation across the world; or, what we might learn from her participation in the women’s movement when resisting the rhetoric and political tactics of the alt-right and their renewed naturalisation of gender roles.

This conference aims, among other things, to connect Beauvoir’s life and legacy to ongoing debates in the phenomenological tradition, largely understood. For instance, how does Beauvoir’s social critique relate to critical phenomenology, which rethinks the lived experience of those situated at the margins of various axes of differences due to gender, race, class and ability (eg. Sara Ahmed, Linda Martín Alcoff, Gayle Salomon; Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and Lisa Günther)? What often-neglected lines of influence can be exposed in her encounter with black existentialism (e.g. Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Cornell West, and Lewis Gordon) and Arab existentialism (e.g. Abdur Rahman Badawi, Taha Husayn, Mahmoud Amin el-Alem)? How does Beauvoir’s appropriation of Marx compare to the materialist phenomenology of social theorists (e.g. Pierre Bourdieu, Joan Scott, and Lois McNay)?

We invite submissions that draw on Simone de Beauvoir’s writings and activism in combination with insights from other activists and philosophers, and from scholarly fields such as critical phenomenology, post-colonial and feminist studies, intellectual history, (French) social theory, and literary studies.

A non-exhaustive list of topics includes:
–  Phenomenological accounts of anti-black racism and BLM;
–  Covid-19 and phenomenological approaches to the intersection of social inequality and physical vulnerability;
–  Existentialism and critiques of the neoliberal subject on freedom and responsibility;
–  Feminism and international solidarity;
–  Critical phenomenology and the status of lived experience;
–  Beauvoir and her contemporaries (e.g. Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison) on anti-colonial struggles for independence;
–  Beauvoir on Marxism and socialism;
–  Social critique and different genres of texts, such as (auto)biography, fiction, poetry, travel reports, philosophical essay and exposés drawing on the social sciences;
–  Diverse lineages of existentialism and Beauvoir’s travels to China, Egypt, and Brazil, amongst others;
–  Politics and social suffering in Beauvoir’s (female) contemporaries in
the phenomenological tradition, such as Simone Weil and Hannah Arendt;
–  Representations of Beauvoir in pop culture (film, literature) and the
narrative construction of identity;
–  Beauvoir’s position in debates on second wave feminism and its relation to third wave feminism (and beyond).

Please upload an anonymized abstract at
https://hiw.kuleuven.be/ripple/events/de-beauvoir/cfp by January 30, 2021
for a presentation of 20 minutes.
The results will be communicated by February 20.We can provide a limited number of small travel grants (PhD students and independent scholars only). Please indicate in your submission if you wish to apply for this grant. We closely monitor the pandemic situation and will develop a back-up plan in case travel restrictions will still be in place by June.

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Season’s Greetings

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New 2021 Women Philosophers Calendar and Portrait gallery.

My 2021 Women Philosophers Calendar is here: http://sandrineberges.com/women-philosophers-calendars.html… Please help yourself if you’d like one! There’s also a new portrait gallery and if you’d like copies write to me.

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Celebrating Du Châtelet’s birthday: Presenting the Saint Petersburg manuscripts of Émilie Du Châtelet (1706-1749)

Celebrating Du Châtelet’s birthday: The first critical and the first digital edition of the Saint Petersburg manuscripts of Émilie Du Châtelet (1706-1749), philosopher, mathematician and physicist of the Enlightenment

Online Conference with guests (Centre International d’étude du XVIIIe siècle, National Library of Russia, Duke University/Project Vox)  

Andrew Brown, Natalia Speranskaya, Ruth Hagengruber (3.15-3.45 CET) Presenting the Saint Petersburg Manuscripts First Critical and Online Edition 

Andrew Janiak (16.00-18.00 CET): “Transcending Categories- The Philosophical Originality of Du Châtelet’s Instiutions“

Clara Carus(18.00-20.00 CET): “The Principle of Contradiction in Émilie du Châtelet”

Thursday, 17 December 2020 at 3.15-3.45 pm MEZ, the critical online edition is publicly presented with Andrew Brown, Ulla Kölving (Centre international d’étude du XVIIIe siècle)  and Natalia Speranskaja (National Library of Russia) introduced by Ruth Hagengruber, director of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org/stp/

From 4 pm – 8 pm  the Birthday Party continues with Clara Carus (University of Paderborn, Center for the History of Women Philosophers) and Andrew Janiak (Duke University, Project Vox, US) Andrew Janiak will present his new work exploring the philosophical originality of Du Châtelet’s “Institutions”. Andrew Janiak is Professor of Philosophy at Duke University and Co-director of Project Vox. Clara Carus (HWPS) will be giving a talk on the Principle of Contradiction in Du Châtelet. In celebration of her birthday the talk is dedicated to the exploration of this important aspect of her work.

The event is coordinated by the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists directed by Ruth E. Hagengruber. It will be held online and is accessible via live-stream here:


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Wollapalooza 3 now online!

If you’d like to watch the whole conference, you can find the links here.

We also provided the program (link on the same page) so you can select to watch a particular talk.

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My Piece on the Hambling Statue in Public Seminar


Note that at the time of posting, there’s been a mix up with the portrait PS chose to illustrate the post (that’s Mary Shelley, not Mary Wollstonecraft!). But they’ve been notified of the mistake.

So here’s a picture of Mary Wollstonecraft (with clothes on) to make up for it:

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A conference on women philosophers in South-Eastern Europe

The “Research Center for Women in Philosophy” (www.cizuf.ifzg.hr) organizes a conference under the title: Women Philosophers in South-Eastern Europe – Past, Present and Future. The goal of the conference is to gather and exchange information on past and present women philosophers in South-Eastern Europe as well as future perspectives of women in philosophy in this region. There are two premises of the conference. The first is that while the research on women philosophers of the rest of Europe has been under way in the last few decades – or at least there is a significant growth in number and quality of scholarly texts on British, French, German, Italian etc. women philosophers –, there is little scholarly information on women philosophers of South-Eastern Europe. The second is that there is relatively little contact and mutual collaboration between presently active South-East European women philosophers as well as researchers on gender philosophy and gender-aware history of philosophy of the region.

With these challenges in mind, possible topics would include the following themes:

– The situation with women philosophers in your country in the past:

– How many women philosophers were there in the past, their works, activities etc.

– One particular woman philosopher of the past who stands out;

– The situation with women philosophers in your country now:

– What is the overall situation with professional (and amateur) women philosophers in your country nowadays;

– What is the situation with gender studies and feminist theories in your country;

– What are the expectations for the future), are women promoted to study humanities/philosophy, etc.? how does the job market for women philosophers in your country look like?

We are open to different ideas and formats. The main idea, however, is to meet (at least, on-line) and exchange knowledge about the situation of women philosophers in our respective countries and get to know each other which might help us establish further collaborations.

 The Conference will take place online, via Microsoft Teams platform.

Conference date: December 15 – 17, 2020.

There is no Conference fee.
There are still some presentation slots available – so if you are interested in an active (or passive) participation, let us know at the following email: luka@ifzg.hr

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Anne Dacier featured on Gallica blog

Anne Dacier, famous for her translation and commentary on Homer, but also part of the wife and husband team who produced the French version of Plutarch’s Lives which turned a young Manon Roland into a fervent republican, is featured in the blog of Gallica, the digital library of the BnF.

Check out the post for its content, but also links to an amazing collection of digitized texts and images.


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Mary Astell on radio 4

Today’s episode of In Our Time features Teresa Bejan, Mark Goldie and Hannah Dawson talking about philosopher Mary Astell.

You can download the podcast and check out the reading list here.

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