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Under-Represented Groups in Philosophy



A SWIP-UK / BPA Conference

Supported By: The Mind Association, The Aristotelian Society

Venue:  Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Dates:  November 26th / 27th, 2010

Flyer (PDF)


Organisers: Dr Jules Holroyd, Dr Alessandra Tanesini


  • Louise Antony (UMass, Amherst) 'Different Voices or Perfect Storm? Explaining the Dearth of Women in Philosophy’

  • Helen Beebee (Birmingham University) 'Women and deviance in philosophy'.
  • Teresa Blankmeyer-Burke, (Gallaudet University, Washington DC) 'Triple Threat: Brown, Female, and Deaf'.
  • Samantha Brennan, (University of Western Ontario) 'Rethinking the Moral Significance of Micro-Inequities: The Case of Women in Philosophy'
  • Pamela Hood (San Francisco State University) 'Socrates and King: An Invitation to Philosophy'
  • Jennifer Saul (University of Sheffield) 'Unconscious Influences and Women in Philosophy'
  • Mahlet Zimeta (Roehampton University) 'Philosophy and the Social Good'
  • Roundtable discussion, chaired by Komarine Romedehn-Romluc (Nottingham University)

  • SWIP-UK AGM meeting.

The conference will start at 10.30 on Friday 26th (first paper at 11am), and end on Saturday 27th at approximately 3.30pm.

Unwaged/student/SWIP member: £20
Waged: £25
Deposit for conference dinner: £5

The registration includes lunches and refreshments, but does not cover accommodation or the conference dinner (which will be reasonably priced). Possible accommodation venues can be found in the PDF document in the side bar. Further alternatives can be found at

NB: it is advisable to book as early as possible, as sporting events in the city means accommodation is very hard to find nearer the event. If you have difficulties finding suitable accommodation, please contact us for assistance.

Please let us know if you have any requests concerning accessibility or reasonable accommodation.

The University may be able to provide childcare during some of the conference: please let us know if you would like us to try to make arrangements.

Event rationale
Women in the profession of academic philosophy are in a minority. Discussion in print and online has recently focused on possible explanations of this, with attention being paid to the effects of stereotypes, solo status, and hostile or chilly environments in academic culture. Discussions have also highlighted the underrepresentation of individuals of minority racial or ethnic identities, disabled people, and from working class socioeconomic backgrounds.

There have also been a number of positive attempts to address problems that may face minorities in the profession, and increase their visibility in philosophy. Some strategies include:

  • Gathering data on the number of women and underrepresented minorities in philosophy
  • Alerting conference organisers as to the problems of homogenous speaker programmes and encouraging them to consider speakers from a more diverse pool;
  • Constructing databases of writings by women in philosophy, to facilitate greater gender-balance in undergraduate reading lists;
  • Coordinating networks of minorities in philosophy to facilitate working links, and, for example, to promote the work of women in philosophy;

This conference aims to focus attention on the following topics;

a) identifying the specific problems that minorities in philosophy encounter, especially those that may perpetuate or sustain that minority status;

b) articulating the philosophical concepts and frameworks that may be of use in thinking about these problems;

c) identifying strategies that might be employed in attempting address gender imbalances and the underrepresentation of disabled people and individuals of minority racial or ethnic identities

d) exploring the philosophical underpinnings of these strategies, and critically assessing them.