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Swansea Appeal; Feminist Theory Where Next?; Realism and the Human Sciences Conference 1991

NEWS

SWANSEA APPEAL
In RP 56 Peter Osborne reported on the troubles in the Philosophy
Department at University College Swansea. A number of philosophers there had alleged breaches of academic standards by
the examining board for the M.A. in Philosophy and Health Care,
and in response to requests by five members of the department,
together with twenty members of other departments and some
philosophers at other universities, the University of Wales ViceChancellor, it was reported, had promised to set up an independent committee of inquiry to investigate the allegations.

There seems now to be some doubt about whether this
committee will in fact be set up. Instead, three of the Swansea
philosophers who made the original allegations are now themselves the subjects of official counter-complaints by the Head of
the Philosophy Department, Professor D.Z.Phillips. The fear is
that the’ Swansea Three’ will be victimised and their case against

the alleged malpractices covered up or at least consequently
prejudiced.

A Swansea Three Defence Committee has accordingly been
established. It is asking philosophers, and any other academics
concerned about threats to academic standards in the present
difficult climate, to write to the Vice Chancellor of the University
of Wales, Professor E Sutherland, at the University College of
North Wales, Bangor, expressing their concern, supporting an
independent inquiry into the original allegations, and insisting
that there be no vicitmisation of the three Swansea philosophers.

The Defence Committee also invites contributions to the cost of
their defence.

Cheques should be made payable to the Swansea Three
Defence Committee and sent to 17 Bristol Road, Brighton BN2
lAP.

Feminist Theory Where Next?

Feminist Theory Where Next? is a conference to be held at
Glasgow University Scotland on 23-26 March 1991
Organised around three thematic areas (Methodology – Theories
of Subjectivity – Ethics and Politics), the conference aims at a
reconsideration of feminist theory, and of the forms it has taken
in different countries over the last twenty years, in order to
identify trends, map divergencies and analogies, and trace directions for future research.

It is hoped that the conference will provide a truly international and interdisciplinary forum, bringing together feminists
from the most varied backgrounds. Feminism has always been
interdisciplinary in its theoretical approach, and international in
its political commitment; the conference’s purpose is to promote
a more direct confrontation between thinkers coming from different
traditions in terms both of their national-cultural backgrounds and
of their specific intellectual trainings (as historians, scientists,
literary critics, etc.).

To give you an idea of the scope of the event, the themes for
plenary discussion are organised as follows:

56

Method
– is there a feminist science?

– social theory and women’s time
– women and theology
Subjectivity
Expressing the subject
– feminism and psychoanalysis
– biography, history, memory
– performance, aesthetics, the body
The position of the reader
– spectatorship and the gaze: feminist film theory
– reading representation: feminist art history
– ‘personal criticism’: feminist literary theory
Ethics and Politics
– the ‘essentialism’ debate
– feminist organisation and women’s action
– collectivity and difference – issues of class and ethnicity

Radical Philosophy 57, Spring 1991

We are putting out a general call for papers, and we are also
inviting speakers whose work seems to us to have made significant contributions in the field.

For further details write to: Dr Sandra Kamp, Department of
English Literature, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G 12 8QQ,
tel 041-3398855 x 4164, fax 041-3304601.

Call for papers
We are planning a collection of Feminism and Epistemology and
would welcome proposals from anyone who would like to contribute. Graduate students are especially encouraged to submit.

These are some of the issues we hope might be addressed in the
volume, and we expect your proposals will alert us to other issues
currently being formulated.

(1) Identity and Difference: What is a significant epistemological
category?

(2) The Knowing Subject
(3) The Possibility of Objectivity
(4) Problems of Legitimacy
(5) Ideology versus Discourse
(6) Knowledge and Power
(7) Feminist Perspectives: The Applications
We hope to include papers from a variety of feminist approaches.

Realism and the Human
Sciences Conference
1991

Timescale

Proposals as soon as possible to: Kathleen Lennon, Department
of Philosophy, The University, Hull, HU6 7RX; and Margaret
Whitford, Department of French, Queen Mary and Westfield
College, Mile End Road, London El 4NS
Completed papers: December 1991.

We can arrange translations from French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Swedish.

23-25 July 1991,
University of Sussex

Controversies and Frontiers of
the Social Sciences
This is the seventh annual conference in a series concerned with
the nature of realist philosophy and its relationship to the human
sciences. It will focus on controversies regarding the frontier
between social science and neighbouring fields of inquiry, and
between realist philosophy and politics.

Themes
– Realism and Socialism: No necessary connection?

– Social science and the humanities
– Understanding history: narrative or mechanisms?

– Reference and Representation
– Nature/Society: problems of emergence
In addition to plenary sessions on these themes there will also
be workshops on research programmes
Speakers at previous conferences have included Mary Hesse,
Roy Bhaskar, Russell Keat, Michele Barrett, Mike Rustin, William
Outhwaite, Kate Soper, Ted Benton, Hilary Rose and Alan
Chalmers.

For details and application forms, or to offer a paper, contact
Andrew Sayer, School of Social Sciences, University of Sussex,
Falmer, Brighton, BNl 9QN, England, tel. 0275 606755

Radical Philosophy 57, Spring 1991

57

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