Emily will be presenting a co-authored paper with Emory Phd student Andrea Warmack at the Feminist Ethics and Social Theory conference in Clearwater, Florida, October 5-8. Their paper is titled: Canon Fodder: Exploring the Challenges of Decolonization and Canon Reform.
Abstract: There is a growing recognition philosophy has a serious problem with diversity. Various proposals have been put forth to address this problem, and quite a few of these proposals involve reforming/transforming “the canon” — the list of “core” philosophers that is almost entirely white and male. Meaningful transformation of the canon will, at a bare minimum, require a change in the way we structure courses and syllabi. Many tools and model syllabi have been proposed to this end. In this paper we start by acknowledging the importance of this work. However, we want to suggest some guidelines for practice when combining transformation of syllabi with efforts/intentions of decolonization.
We present three primary and interrelated concerns: 1. Indigenous philosophers and their communities may not benefit/be harmed by inclusion efforts; 2. Inept inclusion may be counterproductive to the goal of fostering respect and understanding of Indigenous thought; 3. The potential for obfuscation of structural/objective features of colonialism. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a set of considerations for practitioners to consider when building and teaching diverse syllabi with intentions of contributing to efforts of decolonization. We end with a consideration of a possible line of approach to canon transformation that focuses on the role that love plays in practices of philosophy and transformation.
(Article contributed by Emily Bingeman)