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Gender and Ontology Reading Group

ASCA/OSZW Reading Group organized by Alex Thinius

“If the female function is not enough to define woman, and if we also reject the explanation of the ‘eternal feminine’, but if we accept, even temporarily, that there are women on the earth, we then have to ask: what is a woman?” (de Beauvoir 2011 [1949], 4-5)

Gender is troubled and troubling. It is deeply personal, political, and politicized. But what is gender actually? What should we make today of the distinction between sex and gender? Is de Beauvoir’s question answered all along? The reading group (re)reads classical and contemporary paradigmatic approaches to what it is to be of a gender, what it is to be gendered, what genders are etc. The aim is a deeper understanding of different options for understanding what gender is.

Everyone working on or interested in gender is welcome. Expertise in gender studies, philosophy of gender, ontology/metaphysics, political and social philosophy, philosophy of science, or philosophy of the body/mind is welcome but not necessary. The program and formate is up to the interests of the participants.

Topics have been or may be: de Beauvoir and different readings of her work, constructivist accounts, Marxist feminism, phenomenological approaches, sexual difference approaches, queer and trans theory, analytic feminism, (feminist) empiricism, new materialism, decolonial approaches, black feminism, historical work on 19th century sexology, early- and proto-feminism. In addition to the ontology of gender, we might as well look at the gender of ontology.

The reading group will meet once a month and is hosted by ASCA/Universiteit van Amsterdam and the OZSW study group feminist philosophy. Please email at any time to participate and for more information.

Dates 2018/2019: second last Friday of the month, 16.00-18.00.

First meeting 21/09/: Bettcher, T. M. 2009. 'Trans Identities and First-Person Authority' In Laurie Shrage (ed.), You've Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.