Conference: Women Philosophers in the Process of Decolonization

Donnerstag, 17. Februar 2022 um 14:00 Uhr

Organized by Namita Herzl - Universität Hildesheim

Online Conference

March 17th and 18th 2022

Presented by Koselleck Project
Histories of Philosophy in a Global Perspective

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 19th century. 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. Since years feminist postcolonial theories have been struggling with the question of how to include gender in the attempt of decolonizing philosophy. Considering these ongoing debates, it is now important to go beyond the framework of post- and decolonial feminist theories that have been developed within a western philosophical framework. Examining the theories of black feminism, Latin-American feminism, Asian feminism etc. can lead to a wider, more complex, and global perspective on developing critiques about the problems we face with institutional oppression. Regarding this process of revealing blind spots of the history of philosophy and feminism, 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.

Margaret A. McLaren
Shay Welch
Stephanie Rivera Berruz
Tiesha Cassell

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