Trying lots of things

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been rather influenced by the original “What It’s Like…” blog.  Reading it moved me to try a few things, some of which were materially successful, only one of which was a crash-and-burn.
The crash-and-burn was experienced when I thought that women’s Otherness in philosophy could be ameliorated by getting more work that explicitly mentions women into publication; the vast majority of those efforts were rejected, although sometimes with a polite “we’re not interested in this sort of thing.”  I’m back to thinking I should just publish on abstract concepts until, I don’t know, until it gets better, somehow, magically, on its own.
The more material successes involved those most inclined to service doing even more service, but what the heck, we have to start somewhere!  So I secured permission from my department to invite Sally Haslanger to give our next Big Philosopher Series lectures.  (And she accepted the invitation!  Thanks, Sally.)  I agreed to coordinate the program for a chapter of SWIP.  I said yes to more refereeing, more guest speaking, and more cross-disciplinary student supervision of graduate students.  Most recently, I chipped in on efforts to see the late Sara Ruddick’s work honoured in multiple venues.  I really believe that making space for women’s philosophy and doing what little I can to help all of us to be more visible, more obviously essential to the overall philosophical enterprise, will increase the extent to which women’s lives in philosophy are better.  I have never fancied myself a recruiter, and do not usually aim for more numbers of women to enter philosophy, but I’ve long been interested in improving the quality of life for those who choose it.  Happy are the women who can flourish in philosophy!
Thanks for What It’s Like.  It got me off my duff.


–Kate Norlock


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