MAP@Leeds is back for the new academic year with a new theme and new events!
This year, we want to focus on MAPping controversies in academia. Our goal is to take a step back and examine ourselves and the academic environment in which we function. Some questions that we hope to consider include, but are by no means limited to: What are MAP@Leeds’ main aims? Have we made progress towards achieving any of these? Do these aims automatically exclude people who do not share them, and is it a problem if they do? In recent years, has there been change for the better regarding diversifying philosophy, and how would we measure this? What motivations might there be for diversifying (e.g. one’s department, one’s syllabi) besides diversity for its own sake? What do we think about the current debate regarding free speech/giving or denying platforms in academia?
Our first event of the year wanted to start tackling some of these questions and in that spirit we gathered to watch and discuss Rae Langton's TEDxCambridge talk on the point of free speech and a BBC Newsnight debate on free speech in universities. We also had a lively reading group focused on the issue of epistemic exploitation, reading Nora Berenstain’s 2016 paper on the topic. Please watch this space if you want to get all the news about our upcoming events on the new theme!
This year we are continuing to work with local high schools and have already started to deliver A-level and AS-level philosophy lessons again at Allerton High School. Our collaboration with Leeds U3A philosophy club is also still going and throughout the summer and the autumn talks on animal rights, free will, personal identity, and global poverty & just war, have been given by some wonderful Leeds philosophy PhD students.
Until the merry holidays, we’ll be doing some more work in high schools, we are happy to be able to provide free accredited training in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) teaching method to Leeds PRHS students and staff, and we will meet with Carrie Jenkins (UBC) for a working lunch to discuss her book on the metaphysics of love, What Love Is: And What It Could Be.
And last but not least, we are proud to welcome a new member in our team! The wonderful MA student Erika Hawkins has joined us as treasurer.
We are also very happy to announce that our very own John Parry has become one of the co-directors of MAP UK (joining our events officer Emily Paul, who has also been a co-director of MAP UK since 2016).
Don’t forget to join our Facebook group and follow our Twitter page if you want to be updated on all our upcoming events! Thank you for being with us last year and we are looking forward to see many of you at our events this academic year too!