Here is the description for the Engendering Dialogue project:
Engendering Dialogue: Feminist Thought and Contemporary Debates in Art, Science, and Education
This project is funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Award for the Arts and Humanities. Its aim is to build links between feminist philosophers, and researchers and practitioners in other key areas of philosophical, cultural and educational debate. By targeting debates in education, the visual arts, and cognitive science (a field in which Scottish HEIs have an internationally recognised expertise), the Network will increase awareness of the significance of gender in key areas of intellectual and cultural activity as well as in the development of educational policies and practices.
Much of the work undertaken in recent feminist thought – on areas such as the body and materiality, representation and power relations, or relational identities and difference – is also relevant to key issues in the philosophy of cognitive science (particularly embodied cognition and extended mind) as well as to the concerns of contemporary artistic and educational practice. The Network aims to make space for greater dialogue in each of these areas. Three Network conferences will bring together established thinkers and practitioners with those in earlier stages of their research or practice, while the Network website will publicise and document these events, house papers, offer links to further resources, and provide an opportunity for building further connections between Network participants.
The Network is organised by Dr Rachel Jones (Philosophy, University of Dundee) together with Project Assistant Carrie Giunta (Doctoral Researcher, Philosophy, University of Dundee). For further information or to be added to the email list for the project, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This conference was held at the RSE in Edinburgh on 9th-10th June 2011. We would like to thank all who contributed, especially those who gave papers!
- Christine Battersby’s dialogue with the work of Mike Wheeler and Andy Clark, exploring the extent to which embodied cognition / extended mind approaches would be transformed by foregrounding a female body that births;
- Mike Wheeler’s paper focussing on the problems of multiple realizability that arise by taking seriously the specificity of different kinds of bodies (including sexed bodies) in such approaches;
- John Protevi’s exploration of how to figure differentiating practices of gender, race and class so as to shift embodied/embedded/extended/enactive approaches away from assumptions about generic subjects;
- Susan Oyama’s provocation to displace the nature/nurture divide and shift instead to seeing ‘nurture’ as the totality of developmental interactions that generate the ‘nature’ of (ever-changing) organisms in ways that allow us to see humans as fully social and biological beings.
Themes that emerged from these sessions ran through the conference, in discussions and papers which sought to re-think sex and gender through the lens of embodied cognition / extended mind theories, as well as to problematise or nuance such theories through an approach more attentive to issues of sex and gender, as well as to other bodily differences and vulnerabilities. Key shared concerns emerged, including the importance of escaping the explanatory power of dualist frameworks, and of emphasising the constitutive plasticity of the material, bodily and biological.
The general consensus was that a further event provoking dialogue and debate in this field would be worthwhile: if you have suggestions for the form this should take, please email us at: email@example.com.