femphil reading circle

about

The Feminist Philosophy Reading Circle started as a student initiative in WS 2017/18 at the University of Bayreuth. It aims at creating a welcoming space for students to engage with gender-related issues, with different pieces of academic work and material being discussed each time (mostly authored by women).

current programme

Male Privilege and feminism in 2020, 10.11.20 – 09.02.21
Held by Paula Hüttisch & Meike Schneiders

What stereotypes and norms are we imposing on women and men in our societies today? And how are we hurting not only women but also men with these gender norms and stereotypes? 
How can we move forward? How can we fight our own biases and debunk them?

To what are we entitled?

To analyze these questions we will read excerpts of Kate Mannes newest book “Entitled – how mens privilege hurts women” enriched by other authors and perspectives. 
Manne is an associate professor at the Sage School of Philosophy, at Cornell University and considered one of the Top 10 thinkers of our time (Prospect UK). 
 
This reading group welcomes everyone. No matter their gender, sexuality, political position, [insert whatever] or even their study program. Everyone is welcome!

As of right now we are planning to do the reading group via Zoom. (Maybe we will be able to switch to meetings, but we’ll discuss that in the group.)

 
Last but not least we are going to provide you with the reading materials. 
Meeting 01 / 10.11.20
Meeting 02 / 17.11.20
Meeting 03 / 24.11.20
Meeting 04 / 1.12.20
Meeting 05 / 8.12.20
Meeting 06 / 15.12.20
Meeting 07 / 22.12.20
Meeting 08 / 12.1.21
Meeting 09 / 26.1.21
Meeting 10 / 9.2.21
reading club

registration:

meike.schneiders@philosophy-economics.de

past events

Das andere Geschlecht / 28.04 – 04.08.2020
Held by Paula Hüttisch & Meike Schneiders

Was bedeutet es eine Frau zu sein? Dieses Semester werden wir im Rahmen der Feminist Philosophy Reading Group gemeinsam Ausschnitte Beauvoirs Werk lesen und diskutieren. Aufgrund der aktuellen Lage wird die Lesegruppe bis auf Weiteres online stattfinden. Deshalb ist eine kurze formlose Anmeldung per Mail für das erste Treffen sehr wichtig.,

Das andere Geschlecht, Simone de Beauvoir

Für die erste Sitzung stellen wir euch die Einleitung gerne per Mail zur Verfügung. Wer dauerhaft dabei sein will sollte die oben genannte Ausgabe des Buches erwerben.

Treffen am 28. April: Organisatorisches und Einleitung
Treffen am 5. Mai: Erster Teil: Schicksal (III, Seite 77-86), Mythos (III, Seite 318-329)
Treffen am 12. Mai: Junges Mädchen
Treffen am 19. Mai: Sexualität
Treffen am 26. Mai: Situation (VII Seite 667-670) & (X Seite 747-55 und Seite 780-81)
Treffen am 9. Juni: Rechtfertigungen (XII Seite 799-815 und Seite 830-31)
Treffen am 23. Juni: Die unabhängige Frau
Treffen am 7. Juli: Schluss
Treffen am 21. Juli: Freiraum und Diskussion
Treffen am 4. August: Sekundärliteratur und Abschluss

past events

Women and Knowledge / 05.12.2018

“I, for one, feel lucky to be living at this exciting, if problematic, moment in the history of women and the history of science. The intersection of these two histories will have immense consequences for women. It is also possible that it will have have equally immense consequences for science. A science that is to be “for humanity” will have to be for women as well as for men; it will have to be a science directed by feminists – males as well as females. Since women are to be found in every class, race and culture, it will have to be directed by a global feminism, not by a movement that seeks merely to add women to the group of men in the West who are overadvantaged.” (Harding 1989)

“Within the western philosophical tradition, emotions have been considered as potentially or actually subversive of knowledge. […] Reason rather than emotion has been regarded as the indispensable faculty for acquiring knowledge. Emotions are neither more basic than observation, reason, or action in building theory, nor secondary to them. Each of these human faculties reflects an aspect of human knowing inseparable from the other aspects.” (Jaggar 1996)

In our discussion, we will look at the relation between women and knowledge, both by revising past and present history of women in sciences to inquire upon the future of the field and through a critical assessment of the traditional epistemological model underlying the production of knowledge in the Western world.

Pornography, sex and consent / 07.06.2018

“It seems undoubtedly true, as the feminist sex radicals argue, that it is possible to be empowered to be a sexual subject by consuming pornography. Indeed, it may even be the case that, in a culture in which pornography is taken to be an authoritative discourse about sex, even those who do not directly consume pornography are nonetheless empowered as sexual subjects by it. And yet it is nonetheless true that, given the sexist nature of much pornography, using it might (paradoxically) empower women to be subordinate subjects. […] Insofar as pornography is empowering, it is a possible site for resistance, but insofar as the genre is structured to a large extent by relations of masculine dominance and feminine subordination, it is also a possible site of the application and articulation of oppression.”
(Allen 2002)
 
“Pornography is an essential issue because pornography says that women want to be hurt, forced, and abused; pornography says women want to be raped, battered, kidnapped, maimed; pornography says women want to be humiliated, shamed, defamed; pornography says that women say No but mean Yes — Yes to violence, Yes to pain.” (Dworkin 1981)
 
The debate about pornography is long-standing but still far from exhausted. After all, talking pornography means making assumptions about or calling into question complex notions of gender and concepts of domination, autonomy and consent among else.
In our discussion, we will analyze and contrast radical and moderate philosophical views of pornography and explore its links to further issues of relevance to feminist literature and the philosophy of sex (such as sex work and consent).

Romantic love and relationships / 24.05.2018

“What we call romantic is a philosophical issue that touches on the core of who we are, and what we value […] We collectively write the script that determines the shape of the privileged relationship style. This script has changed, and will continue to change. But currently that process goes on largely below the radar: we aren’t supposed to see it happening, or realise that we can control it. Romantic love maintains a wholly ‘natural’ image, evading challenge or critical scrutiny by seeming inevitable, incomprehensible and wonderful. We must get beyond this. 
(Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins) 

Is romantic love necessarily exclusive? Is there a proper way to love somebody? Is fear of commitment a gendered phenomenon? Do we tend to overestimate the importance of the individual autonomy of each partner in a relationship? One hour and a half and a mission: answering all of these questions – and more –, exploring the nature and meaning of romantic love and how it affects the relationship between the genders (and viceversa). Accept the challenge and come to our next Feminist Philosophy Reading Club session Thursday the 24th May!

Masculinity as Homophobia /03.05.2018

Is masculinity a natural trait or a performed act? What implications does homophobia – men’s fear of other men and the necessity to prove their virility in front of them – have for the way men conceive of and treat women? Why are almost all violent extremists men? What are the consequences of the #MeToo movement for the dominant narrative of masculinity? …What do YOU think?

If you want to share your thoughts with fellow students, come and engage in some grassroots philosophy at our next Feminist Philosophy Reading Club session this coming Thursday! This summer’s very first meeting will be devoted to a discussion of the concept of masculinity and build on a key reading by sociologist M. Kimmel: “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity”.

Knowledge and social power /18.01.2018

What is the relationship between knowledge and social power? When does attributing a speaker a low level of credibility qualify as an act of injustice? How do stereotypes about gender/race/age/disability undermine our confidence in someone’s trustworthiness? How can we effectively combat our prejudices in our practices of knowledge-acquisiton?
 
In the next session of the Feminist Philosophy Reading Group, we shall be discussing some of these pertinent issues, as featured in Miranda Fricker’s “Powerlessness and Social Interpretation”.In this paper, she concentrates on a particular form of epistemic injustice, which harms the ability of members of marginalised social groups to make sense of significant social experiences in their lives. She goes on to expand on the harms that follow such conceptual impoverishment and proposes ways to remedy it.

Underrepresentation in academic philosophy /26.10.2017

In the opening session of the reading group, we will be discussing the broad theme of women and their continuing under-representation in academic philosophy. The field has historically proven to be an inhospitable environment for prospective and current female philosophers, and we seek to collectively investigate and analyse some of the reasons that underlie this trend.
 
Some of the big questions we expect to tackle in the session include the impact of social and institutional conditions on the representation of women and other minority groups in philosophy, the effects of stereotypes on shaping behaviour and academic/career prospects, and the often-unrecognised influence of unconscious biases on the participation of women and other minority groups in philosophy. The paper we shall be discussing in the first session is “Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat and Women in Philosophy” by Jennifer Saul. Notably, we will be using it as an anchor to orient our discussion, and expect it to function more as a springboard for our collective enquiry on the topic.
Finally, we aim to keep the group as interactive and accessible as possible and will have the floor open towards the end of the session for gathering ideas and suggestions regarding themes and issues to be discussed in the upcoming weeks. We very much hope to see you there!
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