Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) & Bloomsbury Academic Volume on Structural Injustice in Philosophy

Editors: Milana Kostic (MAP), Maeve McKeown (University of Groningen), and Robin Zheng (University of Glasgow)

Deadline for 500-word abstracts/pitches: 31 July 2023

We invite submissions on the use of structural injustice as a conceptual tool for explaining underrepresentation and related issues in the discipline of philosophy and related disciplines.

More than any other Humanities discipline, philosophy has an underrepresentation problem (Schwitzgebel et al, 2021). Philosophers have appealed to concepts such as implicit bias and stereotype threat to explain this (e.g., Saul, 2013; Saul & Brownstein, 2016). Recently, these psychological and individualistic explanations have been critiqued. For instance, Haslanger and Zheng have pointed out the need for structural explanations of social phenomena (e.g., Haslanger, 2016; Zheng 2018). Even though the idea that education systems are structured in an unjust way, i.e., that they are structured in a way that promotes reproduction and legitimization of social (gender, racial, class, ability, etc.) inequalities, has existed for a long time (e.g., Bourdieu, 1990), there has only recently been systematic work using structural frameworks to explain the underrepresentation problem in philosophy (e.g., McKeown, 2022). This MAP / Bloomsbury Academic edited collection on structural injustice aims to redress this.

We aim to uncover the exact structures and mechanisms at play in classrooms, conference rooms, conversations, hiring procedures, evaluative practices (e.g., grading, peer review, rankings of philosophy departments) that perpetuate social inequalities in the academic setting and in professional philosophy more specifically, including during undergraduate degrees and grad school, the job market, and temporary and tenured faculty positions. The overarching goal is to present an encompassing framework for understanding how various social-structural processes function to produce and reproduce conditions in which people of color, gender minorities, working class people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups are systematically excluded, disadvantaged and their work disvalued (Young, 2011). Topics include, but are not limited to:

o How can structural injustice be used as a tool to explain underrepresentation of social groups and marginalized epistemologies in philosophy?
o What makes unjust structures so persistent in philosophy (i.e., what are the exact mechanisms for creating and reinforcing unjust structures in philosophy specifically)?
o Why is philosophy as a discipline especially susceptible to reproducing racial, gender, class, ability, and other social inequalities?
o Linguistic injustice as structural injustice (e.g., the role of English language as lingua franca in philosophy in perpetuating structural injustices).
o Discursive injustice (Kukla, 2014) as structural injustice in philosophy.
o Academic migration, precarity of academic labor, material and socio-economic conditions and their role in reproducing social inequalities in philosophy.
o Harassment, bullying and abuse in academic philosophy and their contribution to structural injustice.
o Metaphilosophy and structural injustice ( how do debates on delineating the scope and method of philosophy, i.e., what Kristie Dotson calls the ‘culture of justification’ (Dotson, 2012), contribute to perpetuating unjust structures in professional philosophy?)
o Why does structural injustice in philosophy matter?

Formats include:
o Standard scholarly articles that theorize or apply the structural injustice framework to philosophy (5000-8000 words).
o More personal accounts (comparable to Hypatia’s long-running collection of ‘ Musings’ ) on structural injustice in philosophy. While such essays may benefit from being more personal in their content or less scholarly in their style and form, they should remain theoretically rigorous and methodologically sound (3000-5000 words).

All are welcome to apply, and we especially encourage submissions from marginalized and ‘non-canonical’ perspectives within philosophy as well as the submissions that engage with research done in other disciplines (e.g., social theory, political economy, anthropology, sociology). We will give priority to submissions from current graduate students (especially those who have been affiliated with Minorities and Philosophy).

Prospective contributors are invited to email submissions (a 500-word abstract) by completing this Google Form by 31 July 2023. Please also add a short description of your research background, institutional affiliation (if any) and 1-2 paragraphs on your involvement in MAP-related organizing (if applicable).

Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. C. (1990). Reproduction in education, society and culture (Vol. 4). Sage.
Brownstein, M., & Saul, J. (Eds.). (2016). Implicit bias and philosophy, volume 1: Metaphysics and epistemology . Oxford University Press.
Brownstein, M., & Saul, J. (Eds.). (2016). Implicit bias and philosophy, volume 2: Moral responsibility, structural injustice, and ethics . Oxford University Press.
Dotson, Kristie (2012) “How is this paper philosophy?,” Comparative Philosophy : Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 5.
Haslanger, S. (2016). What is a (social) structural explanation? Philosophical Studies , 173 (1), 113-130.
Kukla, R. (2014). Performative Force, Convention, and Discursive Injustice. Hypatia , 29 (2), 440–457
McKeown, Maeve. (2022). The View From Below: How the Neoliberal Academy is Shaping Contemporary Political Theory. Society , 59, 99-109.
Saul, J. (2013). Implicit bias, stereotype threat, and women in philosophy. Women in philosophy: What needs to change , 39-60.
Schwitzgebel, E., Bright, L.K., Jennings, C.D., Thompson, M., & Winsberg, E. (2021). The Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Diversity of Philosophy Students and Faculty in the United States: Recent Data from Several Sources.
Young, I.M. (2011). Responsibility for Justice . Oxford University Press.
Zheng, R. (2018). Bias, Structure, and Injustice: A Reply to Haslanger. Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 4, (1). Article 4

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