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An early evening of Cocoa and Film! 13th November, SCR Castle, Durham.

Join us for our first Cocoa party of the year, on 13th November from 4-6pm in Castle SCR. As well as Cocoa (and other beverages), please look forward to a presentation on the project with details about how you can get involved, the reading group, internships, as well as some documentary footage of interviews with Mary Warnock and Mary Midgley about mid-century Oxford philosophy and women in philosophy. All...

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Join us in Dublin in May 2018 for the SWIP Ireland AGM!

We are joining SWIP Ireland in May to co-host the SWIP Ireland AGM! The theme is Women in Philosophy: Past, Present and Future. Papers from all approaches and traditions in philosophy including submissions on neglected historical figures, reports of archival visits, as well as reflection on methodological practice and on visions for philosophy in the future are encouraged. JOIN US!!! Call for Abstracts Society for Women in Philosophy, Ireland In association with In Parenthesis, Durham University Would like to announce the 6th Annual Conference and General Meeting of SWIP-Ireland 17-19 May, 2018 University College Dublin, Ireland Conference Theme Women in Philosophy: Past,...

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Sebastian Sanchez-Schilling heads to Newnham College Archives…

During the Easter holidays, I was lucky enough to visit the Newnham College Archives. After attending the (In Parenthesis) film screening and the subsequent talk by Mary Midgley, I felt compelled to take part in the project and aid it whatever way I could. I live in Cambridge so I thought my proximity to the colleges would be of help. Dr. Wiseman took me up on my offer and directed me towards Newnham College – mentioning some of the findings that Dr. Sophia Connell had presented at the workshop hosted after the film screening. Anne Thompson, the College Archivist,...

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Wiseman at BSHP

Rachael Wiseman gave a brilliant presentation at this year’s British Society for the History of Philosophy annual conference in Sheffield, as part of the panel on Women in Analytic Philosophy (thanks for Sophia and Veronique for organising). As part of the talk, Rachael set out some of the main philosophical themes that emerge from reading the In Parenthesis philosophers as a school, as well as setting out their methodology, which we are calling depictive metaphysics. Depictive metaphysics is revisionary, and is distinct from descriptive and critical metaphysics. This is partly what we will be discussing at the upcoming annual...

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In Parenthesis at Durham Teacher’s Conference

Thanks to all the philosophy teachers who participated in the conference organised by Liz McKinnell at Grey’s College in early April. Downloadable teaching materials will appear through this portable soon! Please email us to arrange a visit for your students to the Midgley...

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Workshop with Mary Midgley!

We had our first discussion workshop on 18th March. Mary Midgley and members of the Midgley family were in attendance, along with panel members. Topics for discussion included the Wartime Context, Did It Matter that they were Women? and the philosophical work of the Wartime Group. We also had a visit to the Midgley Archive at Palace Green Library. Thanks to everyone involved! It was a super occasion. Here’s the workshop handout to give you an idea of what we discussed. We think the jury is in: they are a School!...

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In Parenthesis Film Night, Side Cinema

Thanks to all who attended the In Parenthesis film night on 17th March, and especially to Mary Midgley who, as ever, was a complete inspiration. Clips of footage will be uploaded soon. In the meantime, here is a little taster…...

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In Memoriam: Pamela Sue Anderson

Last year, Pamela Sue Anderson was to be the keynote speaker at our International Women’s Day conference ‘Resounding Voices’. She couldn’t make it and, in her stead, Liza Thompson read out the text of her beautiful paper. You can read it below. It offers a way of conceptualising what we are, or should conceive ourselves as,  (collectively) doing  as philosophers: cultivating reciprocal relations to the unknown. Read Pamela Sue Anderson’s...

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Identity and a good life

Just had a great session with some fantastic young philosophers talking about our women as part of Durham’s post-offer open day! We asked the question ‘How might a person’s experience and identity affect their idea of human flourishing?’ Great discussion of Anscombe’s ‘Promising and its Justice’, Midgley’s ‘The Myths we Live By’, Foot’s ‘Natural Goodness’ and Murdoch’s ‘Sovereignty of the...

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Reading Group Facebook Group

We now have a Facebook Group for all you wonderful ‘satellite’ reading groups scattered across the globe! It’s called LivingInParenthesis. (Hopefully) you can request to join the Group directly through Facebook. Otherwise send a request to info@inparenthesis.co.uk and we can work something...

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More In Parenthesis News!

Sorry for the brief lapse! The In Parenthesis group have been busy behind the scenes but we keep forgetting to update you all. Last month saw us host Silvia Panizza for a departmental research seminar on ‘Moral perception beyond supervenience: a Murdochian perspective’ She then joined us for a reading group meeting on Iris Murdoch’s ‘The Sublime and The Good’. We also hosted a Cocoa Party in the Castle SCR. Here we are talking about the project with some of our wonderful students and colleagues.    Yesterday our UG In Parenthesis reading group kicked off – more on this...

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First Reading Group Meeting

We had our first Reading Group meeting last Friday in Durham! Discussion was  wide-ranging. We wondered how the private language argument and considerations about rule-following play out in Anscombe and Murdoch, the Kantian aspects (if any?) of Foot’s Natural Goodness, and whether we can see themes on interiority in Murdoch writ large in Midgley’s treatment of myth. All very sketchy and tentative but a super start. We are looking forward to getting stuck into the detail with Anscombe next July. Please join us and share your thoughts via our twitter feed @parenthesis_in using...

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Visit to Foot Archive at Somerville College

Yesterday we all spent the day at Somerville College, delving into Philippa Foot’s archive! The archive contained a variety of interesting materials –  a number of notebooks, drafts of papers, photos, newspaper clippings and postcards. Thanks to Lesley Brown, Ann Manuel and the archival team at Somerville! Hopefully in the months to come we will be able to jot down concrete reflections on some of what we found there. In the meantime, here’s a photo of us all in the SCR at Somerville – apparently, Philippa and Elizabeth were often to be found there, sitting by the fire after...

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Erasmus+ traineeship with the In Parenthesis Project!

We are currently welcoming expressions of interest from MA and research students in EU universities for a traineeship on the In Parenthesis project through the instrument of Erasmus+. The internship will be funded via Erasmus+ through the ‘Sending Institution’ – that is, your home university. If you are interested, drop us an email outlining how you meet the ‘The Intern’ criteria, along with your CV (please direct emails fao. Clare Mac Cumhaill (clare.maccumhaill@dur.ac.uk). We are currently looking for an intern for January to April 2017. Below is a sample ‘Learning Agreement’ which you can send to your Erasmus co-ordinator at your home institution in order to establish your eligibility (viz. from the point of view of the ‘Sending Institution’ and your particular study program). Fortunately, Erasmus+ is still live for 2016-2017 despite the recent referendum. We welcome your applications and to fostering new research links outwith the UK....

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Questions for Midgley?

We are meeting Mary Midgley on Monday next week to get further low-down on the Golden Age. Send us your questions! These can range from ‘Who taught you Kant?’, ‘What do you think about contemporary philosophy?’, ‘In ‘Beast and Man’, what do you mean by ____’?, ‘What was Elizabeth Anscombe like?’ to…...

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British Academy Funding Success!

We are thrilled to announce that the In Parenthesis project has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant! The grant will run for two years from April 1st 2016. Among other initiatives, a monthly reading group will kick off soon. Virtual posts will give pointers and context on key Wartime Group texts. If you want to join in, or set up a satellite reading group, let us know! In Parenthesis Grant Proposal Abstract Elizabeth Anscombe, Phillipa Foot, Mary Midgley, Iris Murdoch, and Mary Warnock all graduated from Oxford during WWII. This period has been called “The Golden-Age of Female Philosophy” since it constitutes a unique case of women achieving collective prominence in the male-dominated discipline of philosophy. While each member of the ‘Wartime Group’ is recognized as an important philosopher, no study has been made of these remarkable women as a collective or distinct philosophical school. The current project acts as a corrective. Historical work will paint a picture of the structural and institutional conditions under which they studied and worked. As the social and intellectual landscape of academic philosophy was altered as a result of the disruptions of WWII, some have hypothesized that the absence of men, both as tutors and peers, created a more conducive environment for women to flourish intellectually and professionally. Archival work will test this suggestion. Their philosophical worldview will be detailed through close...

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Pamela Sue Anderson: ‘Silencing and Speaker Vulnerability: Undoing an oppressive form of (wilful) ignorance

Presented at International Women’s Day Conference Durham University, UK 8 March 2016 Silencing and Speaker Vulnerability: Undoing an oppressive form of (wilful) ignorance Pamela Sue Anderson ABSTRACT The French feminist philosopher, Michèle Le Doeuff, has taught us something about ‘the collectivity’, which she discovers in women’s struggle for access to the philosophical, but also about ‘the unknown’ and ‘the unthought’ (Le Doeuff 1989, 128). It is the unthought, which will matter most to what I intend to say today about a fundamental ignorance, on which speaker vulnerability is built. On International Women’s Day, it seems appropriate to speak about – or, at least, to evoke – the silencing which has been imposed on women by an oppressive form of ignorance. My question is: how do our resounding voices as women – on 8 March 2016 – avoid what feminist philosophers have distinguished as wilful forms of silencing? Silencing exploits vulnerability; and speaker vulnerability is an exposure to either violence or affection, in its dependence on an audience. My response seeks to undo the silencing of women by transforming an ignorance of vulnerability into a distinctively ethical avowal. To see the significance of this undoing, we will consider how our contemporary global world reduces vulnerability to an openness to violence, ignoring what has been unthought: an openness to affection. A wilful ignorance of vulnerability develops not as a lack of...

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