The Midwest division of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWiP) held its annual conference at Centre College Oct. 7-9 for the first time in the organization’s 40-year history. SWiP was formed to help overcome sexist practices within the profession and to promote and support feminist philosophical scholarship. Since its inception in the 1970s, divisions have formed throughout the world.
This year’s conference was organized by Eva Cadavid, associate professor of philosophy, and the programing committee included Lauren Woomer (DePaul University) and Tempest M. Henning (Vanderbilt University). The event was attended by philosophy scholars from across the United States, as well as Centre students and faculty members.
“I was approached by the members of the organization and asked if I would be interested in hosting this year’s conference,” Cadavid says. “It was such a wonderful opportunity for us.
“SWiP welcomes the work of scholars at any stage in their careers,” Cadavid continues. “Centre students, including members of the Philosophy Club and the Feminist Alliance, were in attendance.”
The program committee gives preference to women and members of other marginalized groups who are working on feminist projects that engage multiple axes of oppression.
According to Cadavid, the conference is a venue not just for the members to develop their work but also to foster the work of students. At a past conference, Cadavid presented work she completed with Sidney Katie Rogers ’17, Allyson Scott ’16 and her Centre colleague W. David Hall. Rogers and Scott went on to present their research at several other national conferences.
The Midwest U.S. Division of SWiP invites papers in all areas of feminist philosophy, theory and praxis, including but not limited to ethics, social/political philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, epistemology and metaphysics. It is especially interested in enriching discussions about contemporary social and political issues, and welcomes work that explicitly interrogates how such issues intersect with race, gender, ability and class.
The conference was made possible by funds provided by Centre’s Office of Academic Affairs, and Cadavid is quick to thank many in the campus community for the success of the event.
“I received generous support from Dean Stephanie Fabritius, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity Initiatives Rodmon King, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of English Dan Manheim, and Professor of Art Judith Jia,” Cadavid says. “The Philosophy Club helped set-up for the opening reception, and Taylor Shofner ’17 and Jake McGuirk ’19, along with members of the philosophy program, helped me organize and host the event. The gender studies faculty helped me co-host the opening reception.
“I would be honored if Midwest SWiP asks us to host again,” Cadavid adds. “It was a big deal for us to have this opportunity.”
by Cindy Long