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Butler, Judith, , . Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
1999, Routledge.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, ‘essential’ notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category ‘woman’ and continues in this vein with examinations of ‘the masculine’ and ‘the feminine’. Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler’s concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality.

Comment: All of this book would be very useful for a feminist philosophy course, but chapter 1 in particular would be great to use for a unit on the metaphysics of gender, by considering Butler’s account of gender being performative, and how this links in with the social constructivist account of gender.

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Cahill, Ann J., , Jennifer Hansen (eds.). Continental Feminism Reader
2003, Rowman & Littlefield
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Added by: Alison Stone, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Ann J. Cahill and Jennifer Hansen collect the most groundbreaking recent work in Continental feminist theory, introducing and explaining pieces that are often mystifying to those outside the field and outside academia. With these essays, Continental Feminism Reader begins the process of reanimating feminist politics through the critical tools of its contributors.

Comment: A collection of essays that represent a range of continental-philosophy influenced approaches within feminism, for example with selections from the work of Judith Butler and Kelly Oliver. It could be used as the basis of a course on feminist philosophy if approaching it from a continental perspective, or separate chapters could be used as some of the readings.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Black Feminist Epistemology
2007, In Craig J. Calhoun (ed.), Contemporary Sociological Theory. Blackwell. pp. 327.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: US black feminist thought reflects the interests and standpoint of its creators. Indeed, White men have control over knowledge. And, Black women’s ideas have been controlled by White men interpretation of the world. This means that Black feminist thought can best be viewed as subjugated knowledge.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Defining black feminist thought
1997, In Linda J. Nicholson (ed.), The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory. Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Introduction: … A definition of Black feminist thought is needed that avoids the materialist position that being Black and/or female generates certain experiences that automatically determine variants of a Black and/or feminist consciousness. Claims that Black feminist thought is the exclusive province of African-American women, regardless of the experiences and worldview of such women, typify this position. But a definition of Black feminist thought must also avoid the idealist position that ideas cna be evaluated in isolation from the groups that create them. Definitions claiming that anyone can produce and develop Black feminist thought risk obscuring the special angle of vision that Black women bring to the knowldege production process.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of black feminist thought
2004, In Sandra G. Harding (ed.), The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Black women have long occupied marginal positions in academic settings. I argue that many Black female intellectuals have made creative use of their marginality their “outsider within ” status-to produce Black feminist thought that reflects a special standpoint on self family, and society. I describe and explore the sociological significance of three characteristic themes in such thought: (1) Black women’s self-definition and self-valuation; (2) the interlocking nature of oppression; and (3) the importance of Afro-American women’s culture. After considering how Black women might draw upon these key themes as outsiders within to generate a distinctive standpoint on existing sociological paradigms, I conclude by suggesting that other sociologists would also benefit by placing greater trust in the creative potential of their own personal and cultural biographies.

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Collins, Patricia Hill, , . Social Inequality, Power, and Politics: Intersectionality and American Pragmatism in Dialogue
2012, Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26 (2):442-457.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Introduction: June Jordan (1992) had her eye set on an understanding of freedom that challenged social inequality as being neither natural, normal, nor inevitable. Instead, she believed that power relations of racism, class exploitation, sexism, and heterosexism were socially constructed outcomes of human agency and, as such, were amenable to change. For Jordan, the path toward a reenvisioned world where ‘freedom is indivisible’ reflected aspirational political projects of the civil rights and Black Power movements, feminism, the antiwar movement, and the movement for gay and lesbian liberation. These social justice projects required a messy politics of taking the risks that enabled their participants to dream big dreams.

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Curtis, Annaleigh, , . Feminism Part 1: The Sameness Approach
2014, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: In both academic and non-academic discussions of feminism, there is sometimes a lack of appreciation for the diversity among feminist positions. Two people may be called feminists while disagreeing about a range of theoretical and practical issues, like the nature of oppression, sex work, or abortion. In this and the next essay, I lay out two general feminist approaches to sexist oppression: the sameness approach, the difference approach, and the dominance approach. This first essay focuses on the sameness approach.

Comment: An introduction to ‘the sameness approach’ in feminism.
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Curtis, Annaleigh, , . Feminism Part 2: The Difference Approach
2014, 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Nathan Nobis

Abstract: Different strands of thought that arise out of political movements are often difficult to categorize and also often answer to many names. The ‘difference approach’ to feminism is discussed here, following Haslanger and Hackett. This approach is sometimes also called radical, cultural, or gynocentric feminism.

Comment: An introduction to feminism, focusing on ‘the Difference Approach’ to feminism.
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Hein, Hilde, , . Refining Feminist Theory: Lessons from Aesthetics
2010, In Hilde Hein and Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds.), Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective. Indiana University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: Because it embraces a domain that is invincibly pluralistic and dynamic, aesthetic theory can serve as a model for feminist theory. Feminist theory, which takes gender as a constituted point of departure, pluralizes theory, thereby challenging its unicity. This anomalous approach to theory is also implicit in conventional aesthetics, which has for that reason been spurned by centrist philosophy. Whilst aesthetics therefore merits attention from feminists, there is reason to be wary of such classic aesthetic doctrines as the the thesis that art is “autonomous” and properly percevied “disinterestedly”. That belief has roots in somatophobic dualism which ultimately leads to consequences as negative for art and the aesthetic as for women. Feminists rightly join with other critics of traditional dominative dualisms; yet they can learn from the expansive tendency in aesthetics toward openness and self-reflexive innovation.

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Hutchison, Katrina, , Fiona Jenkins (eds.). Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change?
2013, Oxford University Press USA.
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Added by: Sara Peppe, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Despite its place in the humanities, the career prospects and numbers of women in philosophy much more closely resemble those found in the sciences and engineering. This book collects a series of critical essays by female philosophers pursuing the question of why philosophy continues to be inhospitable to women and what can be done to change it. By examining the social and institutional conditions of contemporary academic philosophy in the Anglophone world as well as its methods, culture, and characteristic commitments, the volume provides a case study in interpretation of one academic discipline in which women’s progress seems to have stalled since initial gains made in the 1980s. Some contributors make use of concepts developed in other contexts to explain women’s under-representation, including the effects of unconscious biases, stereotype threat, and micro-inequities. Other chapters draw on the resources of feminist philosophy to challenge everyday understandings of time, communication, authority and merit, as these shape effective but often unrecognized forms of discrimination and exclusion. Often it is assumed that women need to change to fit existing institutions. This book instead offers concrete reflections on the way in which philosophy needs to change, in order to accommodate and benefit from the important contribution women’s full participation makes to the discipline.

Comment: This book offers a detailed analysis about how women’s role in philosophy is perceived and all the viable ways to chage the status quo. This can be used for undergraduate women studies courses or feminist philosophy courses.

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Langton, Rae, , . Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts
1993, Philosophy and Public Affairs 22(4): 293-330.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Summary: Considers the idea of construing Pornography as a speech act – what this would mean, and the implications that follow from this. Examines arguments that pornography can i) subordinate and ii) silence women.

Comment: Great paper for a feminist philosophy course – in particular, for a unit on Pornography. It could be good to set seminar questions asking (for example) how, according to Langton, pornography silences women. It could also be good to get students to be clear on Langton’s three different types of speech act, and to give their own examples of these. (The 3 being illocutionary, perlocutionary and locutionary).

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Lehan, Vanessa, , . Reducing Stereotype Threat in First-Year Logic Classes
2015, Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 1 (2):1-13.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Matthew Clemens

Abstract: In this paper I examine some research on how to diminish or eliminate stereotype threat in mathematics. Some of the successful strategies include: informing our students about stereotype threat, challenging the idea that logical intelligence is an ‘innate’ ability, making students In threatened groups feel welcomed, and introducing counter-stereotypical role models. The purpose of this paper is to take these strategies that have proven successful and come up with specific ways to incorporate them into introductory logic classes. For example, the possible benefit of presenting logic to our undergraduate students by concentrating on aspects of logic that do not result in a clash of schemas.

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Lintott, Sheila, , . Sublime Hunger: A Consideration of Eating Disorders Beyond Beauty
2003, Hypatia 18 (4):65-86.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that one of the most intense ways women are encouraged to enjoy sublime experiences is via attempts to control their bodies through excessive dieting. If this is so, then the societal-cultural contributions to the problem of eating disorders exceed the perpetuation of a certain beauty ideal to include the almost universal encouragement women receive to diet, coupled with the relative shortage of opportunities women are afforded to experience the sublime.

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Little, Margaret Olivia, , . Why a feminist approach to bioethics?
1996, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6 (1):1-18.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: Many have asked how and why feminist theory makes a distinctive contribution to bioethics. In this essay, I outline two ways in which feminist reflection can enrich bioethical studies. First, feminist theory may expose certain themes of androcentric reasoning that can affect, in sometimes crude but often subtle ways, the substantive analysis of topics in bioethics; second, it can unearth the gendered nature of certain basic philosophical concepts that form the working tools of ethical theory.

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Lovibond, Sabina, , Scheman, Naomi. Engenderings: Constructions of Knowledge, Authority and Privilege
1993, Routledge
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Abstract: Naomi Scheman argues that the concerns of philosophy emerge not from the universal human condition but from conditions of privilege. Her books represents a powerful challenge to the notion that gender makes no difference in the construction of philosophical reasoning. At the same time, it criticizes the narrow focus of most feminist theorizing and calls for a more inclusive form of inquiry.

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