Last weekend, I participated in the 2017 philoSOPHIA conference at Florida Atlantic University. The conference was co-organized by Lauren Guilmette and Rob Leib who did an outstanding job. I can say with no hesitation that it was the best conference that I have attended, not least because I got to visit with old friends and meet new ones. Many of the feminist philosophers who have helped shape both my own thinking and the body of feminist work on Foucault were there: Ladelle McWhorter, Jana Sawicki, Dianna Taylor, Devonya Havis, Falguni Sheth, and Lynne Huffer, among them.
The program overflowed with exciting and provocative panels and plenaries and featured an excellent keynote address by Sara Ahmed on Friday evening. I am delighted that Sara has agreed to write guest posts for the blog in the near future.
Some of the other highlights of the conference for me were fascinating presentations by Jane Caputi and Kyoo Lee in a plenary to commemorate Teresa Brennan, a powerful talk by Ashley Williams on performative trans activism, the plenary on social justice with Ladelle and Devonya in which I spoke, and the panel that I organized on Melinda Hall's wonderful new book, The Bioethics of Enhancement: Transhumanism, Disability, and Biopolitics. In addition to Melinda and me, the panel included Ladelle, Catherine Clune-Taylor, and Jane Dryden. Ladelle, Devonya, Kyoo, and Ashley will be blogging here in the coming months.
As I noted here in the weeks before the conference, I was a member of the conference accessibility committee that developed a set of accessibility guidelines for the conference. Our committee devoted a significant amount of time to the guidelines. Nevertheless, a number of issues arose over the course of the weekend that need to be addressed, including the development of a mechanism through which to more effectively communicate the guidelines themselves to moderators and other participants. Next year's philoSOPHIA conference will take place at University of Richmond and will be organized by Ladelle. I am confident that Ladelle will pay close attention to the accessibility of the upcoming conference.
posted by Shelley