Feminist Theory and the Philosophical Tradition; 2.12.2011, Helsinki

An International PPhiG Symposium
Feminist Theory and the Philosophical Tradition

University of Helsinki, Finland
Main building, Room 5
Fabianinkatu 33, third floor
December 2nd, 2011

This symposium will explore the connections and the tensions between contemporary feminist theory and the tradition of philosophy. Contemporary feminist thinkers have appropriated the tradition of philosophy in imaginative ways, but these allegiances also divide feminist thinkers: they sometimes appropriate very different or even opposing philosophical ideas about the subject, gender and power, for example.

Some of the questions that we want to explore in this symposium are: How are various philosophical ideas and thinkers appropriated in contemporary feminist theory? What are the implications of these allegiances for our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality? To what extent is it necessary for feminists to engage in a fundamental rethinking of philosophical concepts and categories in order to act politically in the present? Is it possible to identify something like ‘feminist philosophy’ or should we contend that there are only ‘feminist philosophies’ fundamentally contesting each other?

Keynote speaker: Dr Stella Sandford

Stella Sandford is Reader at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London. She is the author of The Metaphysics of Love: Gender and Transcendence in Levinas (2001), How to Read Beauvoir (2006) and Plato and Sex (2010).


10.15-10.30 Johanna Oksala: Welcome

10.30-12.00 Stella Sandford (Kingston University): Short Circuits: Contemporary Feminist Theory and the History of Philosophy

12.00-13.30 Lunch break

3.30-15.00 Panel I:
Miira Tuominen (University of Jyväskylä): Diotima and the Erôs of the Individual in Plato's Symposium
Eva Maria Korsisaari (University of Helsinki): The Discourse of Ennobling Love in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Irigarayan Approaches

15.00-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-17.00 Panel II:
Rachel Jones (University of Dundee): Feminist Philosophy as a Post-Kantian Project: Irigaray's Transformation of the Transcendental
Tuija Pulkkinen (University of Helsinki): Traces of Hegelian Thought in Contemporary Feminist Theory

19.00 Dinner

This symposium is free and open to all. If you would like to attend the conference dinner (at your own expense), please send an email to tuija.modinos(at)helsinki.fi by November 15, 2011.

Organizer: Research team Politics of Philosophy and Gender (PPhiG), Centre of Excellence Political Thought and Conceptual Change, University of Helsinki. http://www.coepolcon.fi/pphig

Further information: Coordinator Tuija Modinos tuija.modinos(at)helsinki.fi