Presented by Koselleck Project
"Histories of Philosophy in a Global Perspective"
Organized by Namita Herzl
Information and Registration: firstname.lastname@example.org
For many centuries the discipline of philosophy maintained a tradition that denied intellectual abilities of women. As practices and processes of colonization supported the dissemination of philosophical works almost exclusively written by male philosophers, ideas and theories written by female thinkers have been ignored. This institutional ignorance started to change since the movement of women’s rights in the 19thcentury. But especially the rise of feminism in the 1960s caused a rapidly growing interest in the works of female philosophers within academic philosophy. Nonetheless, women that are being discussed are mainly of European origin. This shows that colonial relations of power continue to persist in our present. While white women philosophers have criticized the oppression of the female gender, they lacked the awareness of situating themselves within the system of white domination. As it is the responsibility of academic philosophy to overcome such dynamics of suppression and destructive enmeshment on a global level, an interinstitutional shift must happen in order to avoid further oppressive practices in the future. We want to establish a theoretical foundation by examining the structural causes that have led to the exclusion of non-European women thinkers, in order to overcome a tradition that has denied the intellectual competence of women in the system of domination throughout the history of colonization. Our goal is to find sources to reconstruct the knowledge of marginalized women philosophers who have been excluded from the canon until today. Looking into standard histories of philosophies of all regions of the world, raised naturally the question: Where are the women philosophers and their contributions? Why are they rarely or not at all included? It is also striking that if philosophical works by women were mentioned, their achievements were often ridiculed. It was often doubted whether works originated at all from the women who claimed to be authors.
Regarding this process of revealing blind spots of the history of philosophy, our first attempt is to overcome a tradition that denied intellectual competence of women in the system of domination throughout the history of colonization. Secondly, the structural causes that led to the exclusion of non-European women thinkers shall be examined. In this discussion, our final aim is to find sources for reconstructing the knowledge of women philosophers that have been excluded from the canon until today.
Un-sunn Lee (Sejong University)
Betty Wambui (State University of New York)
Priyanka Jha (Banaras Hindu University)
Khimaja Connell (University of the West Indies)