Welcome back to the DRL Newsletter!
We hope that you had a good start of the year. We definitely did! Read on to find out what’s been happening at the Diversity Reading List in the last few months.
Have your say!
We invite you to take part in a short survey on how you use the DRL. Your answers will help us improve and further develop the List.
MAP & DRL Workshop
Thanks to everyone who came to the joint DRL-MAP workshop held in Sheffield in November! We had a very fruitful discussion, touching on how syllabi can be developed in tandem with DRL, and how we can make the wider department communities’ diversify their syllabi too. We also added 27 new entries to the DRL! Look forward to more DRL-MAP collaborations in Yorkshire during 2019.
DRL and OPEN Scotland
We had a stall at the Online Philosophy & Education Network Scotland launch event on Jan 11th. We are looking forward to developing closer collaborations with OPEN Scotland, working on education and knowledge exchange projects related to diversity and feminism. For now, check out the post we wrote for them.
At the Mary Shepherd Philosophy Conference
We also appeared at the recent undergraduate conference focusing on gender, race and discrimination. It was a fantastic, thought-stimulating event, most successful at showing how important and practical diversity issues are in the discipline.
Lady Mary Shepherd in stone
The conference inspired a petition to erect a statue of Lady Mary Shepherd in her home town of Edinburgh. We would like to strongly promote this initiative and see this prominent female philosopher represented next to the statues of Hume and Smith. Please sign and promote it!
There are two diversity-focused events forthcoming for Wikipedia: one on 15 Feb, based at the Imperial College London and focusing on women in STEM, the other on 20 Feb, based at the University of Edinburgh and focusing on Scottish history and beyond. If you specialise in philosophy of science or history of philosophy, join the events in person or online!
Alice Murphy and Andrea Blomqvist – both active MAP-members and DRL-supporters – are hosting a conference on Learning from Imagination in Leeds, 23-24 May 2019. A call for abstracts have been sent out which you can find here.
Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Paul
I recently completed my PhD at the University of Leeds, focusing on Philosophy of Religion and Metaphysics. In my experience, Philosophy of Religion is where the lack of diversity is especially blatant. In my first year, I spoke at a conference where I was not only the sole female presenter, but also the sole female delegate. I began to think about stereotype threat a great deal. Meanwhile, a typical UG course focuses on a typically masculine figure of God in a predominantly Christian context, with core readings authored almost exclusively by white men. But there are women and minorities working in this area, and things are improving – I’ve seen some great syllabi, including on a course I taught.
And there is the DRL. I’d been aware of it for years – my fellow PhD student, Alison Toop, was heavily involved in it. Towards the end of my PhD, I jumped at the chance to be involved when I saw that Leeds will fund a guest editor. I focused on what I knew, adding 70 new entries in Philosophy of Religion and Metaphysics. I was really pleased to be able to make this contribution. I’ve now left academic Philosophy, but initiatives like the DRL reassure me that ‘sole female delegate’ conferences and exclusively white male syllabi are becoming a thing of the past.
New Text Spotlight
Today we’d like to draw your attention to the edited volume of critical essays by female philosophers entitled Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change? edited by Katrina Hutchinson and Fiona Jenkins (2013, OUP). This book deals head on with one of the key issues that the DRL is trying to tackle – under-representation of women in academic philosophy. In the publishers note it states: “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”. We agree! And we think that the DRL is contributing to such change!
Get involved, get funded!
We continuously expand our list and you can help us by contributing papers via our contribution page.
We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our fantastic volunteers. If you would like to join them and volunteer for us please get in touch! There are so many ways to get involved: reviewing public contributions; helping us with small one off jobs; becoming a regular editor; and promoting the DRL at events and online.
You might even be able to access funding to support your time working on the DRL like Emily Paul (see above). We’re keen to support any volunteers in getting this kind of funding. You can read more about this here.
Thanks so much again for all your support,
The DRL Team