It's been a hell of a term for MAP@Leeds!
We've had four successful reading groups, on gender, aesthetics & oppression, and implicit biases. Two of those were with the impressive Anne Eaton and Kengo Miyazono on their own papers, and we really enjoyed picking their brains! We've even got undergraduates involved in the reading groups, linking in with the University of Leeds 'Feminist Philosophy' module, so that we're engaging with all groups in the university. Coming up, we've got interesting reading groups planned for the Summer term, with a notable mention of Carrie Jenkins' new work on the metaphysics of romantic love What Love Is: And What It Could Be.
We're also in schools! We've teamed up with other PhD students in Leeds to deliver four engaging philosophy sessions for AS-level students at Allerton High School. This has supported the wonderful teaching staff at the school in delivering with their first class of AS Philosophy students, and has provided context for why philosophy is important in the modern age. We're delighted to announce that we're continuing on this format with Allerton High in the next academic year, expanding our remit to supporting both the AS and A2 curricula. We're also expanding! Working with the Uni. of Leeds' Students Into Schools scheme, we're hoping to do similar work with 1-2 other schools in the Leeds area next academic year.
Alongside this, we're giving talks in the community! We've partnered with the Leeds U3A philosophy club to provide interesting introductory philosophy sessions to a great group of people no longer in employment. Based in Inkwell Arts Cafe, we're giving monthly talks on a variety of topics. So far, we've had the wonderful Christina Nick and Alison Toop speaking on ticking bombs and trolley problems. We're hoping to continue this relationship with the U3A in the long term, and we've already booked talks up until September this year with expressions of interest in further talks. Coming up in the next few months are researchers discussing free will, animal ethics and the ethics of suicide and euthanasia. Interesting stuff!
Another thing that's happened this semester is that we've expanded our conference grant terms to include claims from all Leeds students who identify as a member of an under-represented group going to any philosophy conference. We hope that this will allow our funds to be used more widely and in such a way that increases support for minority students in philosophy. We're excited to announce that we've had three successful applications on these new terms so far! If you're interested in applying, applications available here.
In terms of the number of events we've held, 2016/17 is already our most productive year to date! This academic year has also seen the creation of our website and Twitter account, which you should follow for updates! Thanks to everyone that's been involved.
On The Horizon
Fast approaching is our postgraduate-led conference on 'Philosophical Perspectives on Disability' on May 9th, with a keynote from the great Jackie Leach Scully. We've received some interesting abstracts so far, and look forward to reading through them in detail. But you've still got time to send an abstract in! Our CFA deadline is March 31st. More info here.
We're delighted to announce that we've been invited to speak with the MAP UK team at Manchester's 'The Profession We Want: Practical Efforts to Improve Philosophy' conference. We're very excited to share our experience of trying to improve representation in academic philosophy and engagement with the wider community, particularly from a postgraduate perspective. Looking forward to contributing!
Other than that, we've got a whole host of events being planned for the Summer term and beyond! As usual, we're going on the Easter hiatus to plan more events (and catch up on research!), so we'll be back in action around April 24th.
Watch this space for updates on our progress, follow us on Twitter, and contact us if you want to get involved!