call for papers
We accept long abstracts (up to 1,000 words) prepared for anonymous review. Submissions should be sent in a .doc or .pdf format to sarayATsfsu.edu, with the subject "foreigners in philosophy". Include your personal information in the body of the email (name, institutional affiliation, paper title, e-mail address). There will be a limited number of travel grants available for underemployed and graduate students. If you are interested in applying for a travel grant, please indicate so in your email, with a brief description of the reasons why you apply for it.
Deadline for submissions: February 4, 2016. Notifications will be sent by February 15.
Topics to consider include, but are not limited to:
A. Ontology and epistemology of the category of foreigner:
- How stable is it? If constructed, constructed by whom, in which contexts, for how long?
- Conditions under which being a foreigner gets to be part of someone’s identity
- Valence and social significance: is foreigner bad or good? Is it always bad or good? In which contexts is foreigner relevant and/or salient? In which contexts should/should not be salient? Who has the power to make it salient and in which contexts?
How does the category of foreigner interact with other socially relevant categories? In particular, how does it interact with some of the categories, like gender, race or (dis)ability, upon which we already know discrimination and disadvantage operate (in general and in our profession)?
C. Diversity in usage of English and the role of the English language in philosophy:
Much of the philosophy practice in many countries (also those with languages other than English as their official languages) is currently done in English, and there is a strong pressure on academics in general, and philosophers in particular, to publish in English. On the other hand, much of the conversations and discussions in the philosophy profession are done in spoken language (e.g., in classrooms, in conferences) as opposed to e.g. signed language. How do these two factors affect the practice of philosophy? Is there something the philosophy profession can and should do to make philosophy more language-inclusive?
Specific questions within this topic:
- Deaf Philosophy (as introduced by Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, 2014; 2015)
- Philosophy with an accent (non-native or regional accent; distinctive writing styles due to having English as a second language)
- Foreign philosophers and testimonial injustice: there is empirical evidence suggesting that non-native speakers are generally perceived as being less competent and less credible (Boyd 2003; Brown, Giles, and Thakerar 1985; Giles 1973). Is this also and/or especially affecting philosophers who are non-native speakers ?
- Are non-native speakers philosophers bringing with them intuitions and/or styles of reasoning (if not conceptual schemas) associated with their native language?
- How much of the philosophy that is currently being done in English is shaped, not to say limited, even if slightly, by the (spoken) English language?
- How much language competence is necessary for philosophical competence? What is it meant by “language competence” in the philosophy practice?
D. Identity politics:
As opposed to the category of for example queer, (i) one could argue that in general there seem to be nothing positive about being a foreigner (except for very specific situations) that could be embraced as part of someone’s identity, and therefore as part of an identity politics, and (ii) it seems to be a temporal status ideally overcome, as opposed to a more or less stable property like properties associated with race/ethnicity, sex/gender, and other categories. How would a foreigner identity politics look like?
E. What is it like to be a foreigner in philosophy and academia?
Are there phenomena systematically affecting/involving international students, scholars and faculty that we would benefit from identifying and discussing? E.g., visa-related issues, micro-aggressions, credibility-challenging situations, language and cultural barriers. A relevant resource for this topic is the blog “What is it like to be a foreigner in academia?”
F. Being an foreigner as a metaphor:
An important element in the experience of people from minority groups, both in our profession and in general, is that of feeling and/or being treated as an outsider. When taking a course in philosophy or participating in a philosophy conference, people of color, women, trans*, LGBTQI and people with functional diversity find syllabi, lists of invited speakers and topics that do not represent them. Put in a stronger way, that exclude them. This exclusion likely causes in many a feeling of being an outsider, of not belonging. This is exactly the feeling that is arguably the most salient one associated with being a foreigner. How can the experience of foreigners help in our understanding of the experience of people from other minorities? How can a better understanding of the experiences of international students and scholars help us improve the climate for other minorities in our profession?