Philosophae in medias?

During this past summer’s NEH Institute in Boulder, one of the principal topics was the place of women in the history of philosophy. Nearly all the discussion, however, concerned women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. So, I’ve been wondering, what about women philosophers in the Middle Ages? Is any good work being done? Is anyone teaching this material? What material is there, anyway?

The conversation in Boulder mirrored a larger conversation taking place across the profession. There is, for instance, the Feminist History of Philosophy blog. Andrew Janiak and colleagues at Duke have launched Project Vox, which “seeks to recover the lost voices of women who have been ignored in standard narratives of the history of modern philosophy. We aim to change those narratives, thereby changing what students around the world learn about philosophy’s history.” Janiak, together with Christia Mercer, has even gotten these issues into the Washington Post. But all of these discussions are focused on the post-medieval era.

The APA is collecting syllabi that model diversity and inclusiveness, but so far no one has submitted a syllabus for a medieval course that includes women philosophers.

Moreover, conferences abound, including:

So, again, I wonder, is anyone worrying about this stuff in the medieval period? If so, is anyone doing anything about it? Over the next week or two, I’ll post some responses to these questions that I’ve solicited from a couple of scholars who have been thinking about this. But if there’s anyone else out there who wants to share their thoughts, feel free to write up a comment or send a link to a syllabus.

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3 comments on “Philosophae in medias?

  1. Milo says:

    Michael Harrington ran a seminar in the Spring of 2014 at Duquesne titled “Medieval Women Philosophers.” I don’t have a syllabus, but this link has a course description: http://www.duq.edu/Documents/philosophy/1pagesyllabi/medieval%20women.pdf

  2. Gombocz, Wolfgang (wolfgang.gombocz@uni-graz.at) says:

    dearest colleagues!

    i wish to quote the following “old” (but nevertheless reasonably good) book:

    Mary Ellen Waithe (Ed.): A History of Women Philosophers. Volume I: Ancient Women Philosophers [from] 600 B.C. – 500 A.D. Dordrecht: Nijhoff 1987, 229 pages, with long Bibliography and Index. (I know Frau Kollegin WAITHE since 1982/1983 when I have been Visiting Professor in Boulder and the two uf us met in Minneapolis.)

    Being myself now retired in my teachings and in my publications (mostl in German) I have included chapters on Aspasia (contemporay with Socrates and Plato), on Axiothea and Lastheneia (two of the three women philosophers in the Old Academy under Plato und Speusippus), on Macrina and Julia Domna (there are several hundred coins with picturing Julia Domna in the Museum of Carnuntum next to Vindobona, where one may like her beauty and her hairdress.) Hypatia has her own chapter in my book of 1997, as well as Macrina. Hrotswith (Roswitha) of Gandersheim has been theme of my teaching in the graduate school, esp. 2 or 3 seminars in the eighties and nineties.

    The following books I have been using regularly and with succes:

    Else M. Barth (Ed.): Women Philosophers. A Bibliography of Books through 1990, Bowling Green, Ohio: Philosophy Documentation Center 1992, 236.

    Ruth Dickstein, Victoria A. Mills & Ellen J. Waite: Women in LC’s Terms: A Thesaurus of Library of Congress Subject Headings Relating to Women, London: Oryx Press 1988, 240.

    ​Noel Hutchings & William Rumsey (Hg.): The Colloborative Bibliography of Women in Philosophy, Bowling Green, Ohio: Philosophy Documentation Center 1997, 500.

    Mary Ellen Waithe (Edg.): A History of Women Philosophers. Four Volumes, Dordrecht: Nijhoff 1987ff.​

    Wolfgang Gombocz
    Riesstraße 362
    8010 Kainbach-Schillingsdorf
    ________________________________
    Von: In medias PHIL
    Gesendet: Donnerstag, 24. September 2015 23:22
    An: Gombocz, Wolfgang (wolfgang.gombocz@uni-graz.at)
    Betreff: [New post] Philosophae in medias?

    RP posted: “During this past summer’s NEH Institute in Boulder, one of the principal topics was the place of women in the history of philosophy. Nearly all the discussion, however, concerned women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. So, I’ve been wondering, “

  3. RP says:

    Margaret Cameron sends me this:

    ****Thanks for initiating this discussion. I know of two efforts:

    1. Sara Uckleman is in the planning stages (I’m not sure how far along) for a special issue of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy on the topic of women in logic. I am to contribute an article on Heloise and topical reasoning.

    2. Christina van Dyke is contributing a chapter to my edited volume, History of the Philosophy of Mind: from Boethius to Scotus (Routledge), on the topic of theories of immortality according to, among other people, female medieval mystics.

    Not a lot of stuff, but a good little start!***

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