Standpoint theory and the formation of gender archaeology

Presenter/s: Professor Alison Wylie

Event type: Public lecture

Event date: Monday, 5 May 2014 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Event series: 2014 Public Lecture Series - Feminist Theory Now

Event venue: The Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building, McCoy Circuit, ANU

Gender Institute 2014 Public Lecture Series Feminist Theory Now

PODCAST now available via this link

Alison Wylie is professor of Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Washington (Seattle), whose areas of specialization are philosophy of the social and historical sciences, specifically archaeology, and feminist philosophy of science.


“Gender research” in archaeology has been a vigorously growing field since the early 1990s, launched, in part, by an international conference on "Women in Archaeology" hosted at Charles Sturt University in 1991. But despite its roots in a set of recognizably feminist critiques of disciplinary androcentrism and sexism, many of its practitioners explicitly deny that they are engaged in feminist scholarship or influenced by feminist politics. Their motivation, in taking up neglected questions about women and gender, is to create new understandings of the cultural past that are more empirically robust, explanatorily incisive, and practically useful as a consequence of being gender-inclusive. This raises a number of philosophical questions about the role of situated interests and normative commitments in science, specifically where ideals of objectivity are concerned. I make a case for recognizing that an explicitly critical/constructionist feminist standpoint on knowledge production can serve as a crucial epistemic resource for empirical research, and I use this as the basis for reconceptualizing ideals of objectivity.

Professor Wylie is former Editor of Hypatia journal and US Society for Women in Philosophy 2013 Distinguished Woman Philosopher of Year.

Light refreshments will be served following the lecture.

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Special book launch

Following this lecture, Professor Wylie will launch the book, Women in Philosophy: What needs to change?, edited by Dr Katrina Hutchison and Dr Fiona Jenkins (OUP), in the upstairs foyer area of the Sir Roland Wilson building at 7.00pm (click here for details and RSVP).


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