Rethinking the curriculum
May 11, 2011 § 3 Comments
There’s been lots of discussion on this blog (and others) of how to get women on the syllabi for undergraduate courses. I am teaching intro in the Fall, and I have found it difficult to appropriate articles to “shoehorn” into the topics I supposed an intro class should cover– the ontological argument, skepticism, etc. But rather than let that force me to have an all-male syllabus, I just rethought what an intro class should be. I picked a few classic moral philosophy papers by Elizabeth Anscombe, Susan Wolfe, and others and redesigned the syllabus to have a strong focus on ethics. True, it doesn’t quite fit the typical intro mold (though we’ll do a bit of metaphysics and phil religion too). But the mold has never been particularly accommodating to women philosophers, and I’d rather my students read great papers written by philosophers with diverse perspectives than hit a certain prescribed set of topics.
I’d say if you too are struggling to get gender balance on your syllabi, it may also be time to rethink some of your assumptions about the curriculum.