CfP: Feminist philosophy and the presence of the past (Event: Södertörn/SWE, 03/2019); DL: 28.01.2019

5th Conference of the network „Feminist philosophy: Time, history and the transformation of thought (2017-2019)“ (Web) of the Nordic Summer University (Web)

Venue: Södertörn University, Sweden
Time: 18-20 March 2019
Proposals by: January 28 2019

Invited speakers:

  • Ulrika Björk and Cecilia Sjöholm, Södertörn University, Sweden
  • Fanny Söderbäck, Sienna College, USA
  • Ingvild Torsen, Oslo University, Norway

Scholars, students, artists and activists are invited to participate in the 5th conference of the network Feminist Philosophy: Time, history and the transformation of thought (2017-2019) on the theme of Feminist philosophy and the presence of the past.

In a Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Mary Wollstonecraft wrote: „Rousseau exerts himself to prove that all was right originally: a crowd of authors that all is now right: and I, that all will be right“. Writing in the aftermath of the French revolution in times of upheaval, Wollstonecraft captured something essential about the feminist project: what is feminism if not a movement towards a better future and a critique of those who claim that the past and the present should limit our visions of the future? However, Wollstonecraft’s quote epitomizes a modern understanding of time that makes clear cuts between the past, the present, and the future. In recent years this notion has been scrutinized by an increasing number of feminist scholars interested in the philosophy of time and history. Criticizing the possibility of breaking completely with the past, Tina Chanter writes that feminism rather needs „an understanding of processes of social change that accommodates both a sense of continuity with the past and the possibility of and need for discontinuity“ (2001: 22). The question is, how to go about it?2019 marks the anniversary of two important texts on this topic; it is the 70thanniversary of Simone de Beauvoir’s the Second Sexas well as the 40thanniversary of Julia Kristeva groundbreaking essay „Women’s time“. Both texts have been crucial for questions relating to time, history and feminist in 20thcentury feminist philosophy. While Simone de Beauvoir combines the traditions of left-Hegelianism and phenomenology to understand why woman is „the Other“, Kristeva starts out from psychoanalysis in order to raise questions regarding the history of feminism, modernity and the philosophy of time.

The purpose of the symposium is to shed light on the notions of time and history broadly understood and their relevance for feminist thought. The organizing network is based in the disciplines of history of ideas and philosophy, but we welcome contributions from scholars from a wide range of disciplines, for example history, literature, art, gender studies, sociology and political science. The organizers plan to produce a publication based on the symposium.

The conference is organized by the network Feminist Philosophy: Time, History and the Transformation of Thought of the Nordic Summer University in collaboration with the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies and the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, both atSödertörn University, Sweden.


Anyone interested in presenting a paper at the symposium at Södertörn is invited to submit an abstract of 300 words to no later than January 28 2019. Presentations can be made in English or a Scandinavian language. If you want to participate without a presentation, write a short bio and submit by the same date. Decisions regarding acceptance will be communicated shortly thereafter. We might be able to accept late applications, contact the organizing committee if deadline has passed.

Practical information

The registration fee is 300 SEK for students from Södertörn university, participants from the Baltics and people with low income, 500 SEK for extramural students and PhD candidates and 800 SEK for senior scholars. Registration entitles you to accommodation in a shared double room and lunch meals, all of which will be taken care of by the organizers. Single rooms are available for an additional fee. Further instructions about registration and payment will follow in an e-mail to all accepted participants. NSU will also be able to fund the travel expenses for a number of Nordic and Baltic participants. Please indicate whether you are interested in travel support in your application.

About the network

Feminist philosophy: Time, history and the transformation of thought (2017-2019) is a three year network for critical inquiries at the intersection of philosophy, history of ideas, and feminist theory based in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The symposium at Södertörn is the fifth of a total of six conferences from 2017 to 2019. The network has previously collaborated with Umeå University (SE), the University of Iceland (IS), and Oslo University (NO) and has in addition organized conferences in Orivesi (FI), Saulkrasti (LV) and Fårö (SE). Altogether the activities of the network have attracted more than 170 participants from five continents. The network aims to transcend the hierarchies of academia and is open to senior scholars, PhD-candidates, and master students. For more information about the network, visit the web page: philosophy-time-history-transformation-thought/ and FB-group Feminist Philosophy (NSU).

About the Nordic Summer University

Founded in 1950, the Nordic Summer University is an independent, non-profit academic institution that fosters intellectual and cultural exchange between the Nordic and the Baltic countries. Committed to egalitarian and interdisciplinary modes of learning, the NSU is open for senior scholars, doctoral and master students as well as artists and professionals with relevant backgrounds. The NSU is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Read more about the Nordic Summer University on the website