Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Voices: Perspectives on Women in Medicine

As a part of the National Public Health Week 2012 at UCLA, Dr. Linda Rosenstock, Dean of the UCLA School of Public Health, will be leading a panel discussion titled Voices: Perspectives on Women in Medicine on April 4th at 12pm in the Louis M. Darling Biomedical Library. During this panel, Dr. Rosenstock will be giving a short talk and moderating a panel of practitioners and students that bring together various perspectives on the contributions of women in medicine and the history of female physicians.

This event is also connected to the travelling exhibition the Biomedical Library is currently hosting titled Changing the Face of Medicine. The exhibit honors the lives and contributions of women in medicine and is an adaptation of the 4,000 square foot exhibition that was on display in Bethesda at the National Library of Medicine from October 2003 - November 2005.

Event Details:

Date: April 4, 2012
Time: 12pm - 1pm
Place: Louis M. Darling Biomedical Library at UCLA

For more information on Voices: Perspectives on Women in Medicine please visit the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library Blog

For more information on the National Public Health Week 2012 at UCLA please visit the UCLA Students of Color for Public Health's website

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A New Lost Woman Philosopher: Amalie John Hathaway

In the decades since feminist scholars first turned our eyes to the past in search of women philosophers unmentioned in history, it has become clear that not all women philosophers get missed by history for the same reason. Some women philosophers, like Julia Ward Howe, one of whose many philosophical lecture manuscripts was only recently discussed in a philosophical journal for the first time, were missed because, among other reasons, they were remembered too well for some other accomplishment—in Howe’s case, writing the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Or they were passed by because their other activities or opinions, such as Catharine Esther Beecher’s, were anathema to the pro-suffragism and/or the secularism that seemed integral to the beliefs that drove the recovery movement. This kind of exclusion has been corrected. It is hard to believe that now, in 2012, any women philosophers are still being missed because of practical reasons due to lack or failure of research. Such does, however, seem to be the case with 
Amalia Hathaway.

Amalie Hathaway, to give her her legal first name, was a far more conventional philosopher that any of her more studied age cohort, Eliza Sunderland and Marietta Kies. With one exception, her corpus consists of six papers all consistently, specifically concerned with nineteenth-century German idealist philosophy, the exception being in psychology, at a time when psychology had not quite fully separated from philosophy. These papers were seemingly all given before cultural societies in the Midwest, including primarily the Chicago Philosophical Society. Her one publication is one of those papers that she also gave before the Concord (Massachusetts) Summer School of Philosophy and Literature founded by Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson, a paper which by means unknown, ended up published in the second volume of a bimonthly periodical called Education: An International Magazine in Boston, in another volume of which Howe was also represented.

So, why doesn’t anyone know about Amalie Hathaway? Why hasn’t anyone cared about Amalie Hathaway? As was said, she was far more conventional, that is, far easier for a historian of philosophy to recognize at face value. A paper called “Schopenhauer” is obviously about philosophy. The truth seems to be that in the recovery movement, unconventional women philosophers took priority. Frances Wright, the radical communitarian who travelled from Scotland to the United States where she became the first woman to give speeches to the public, for example, was one of the first American women philosophers to be recovered. The movement was not so much interested in in-house–type philosophical subjects as historical philosophers as in feminist politics such as written by Judith Sargent Murray or feminist theory like that written by Margaret Fuller (although Fuller was strangely excluded by retrievers of American philosophers until Jane Duran wrote an article in 2005 in The Pluralist). Hathaway’s list of papers “Immanuel Kant, “ “The Hegelian Philosophy,” “Hartmann,“ “Pessimism and the Hegelian Philosophy,” “Mental Automatism,”and “Schopenhauer”(alternatively referenced as “Schopenhauer and His Philosophy,”and “Schopenhauer and Pessimism”) sounded too conservative. As well, Hathaway seemed too successful to need feminist rescue. Her Concord talk was reported on in the New York Times. Surely someone so mainstream must have gotten taken care of by the mainstream. Proving that sexism was still active, however, Hathaway was not so taken care of, and because she was not taken care of by nineteenth-century feminists either, I conjecture, the twentieth-century-begun recovery movement missed her.

At present I am working on gleaning from Hathaway’s 18-page Schopenhauer paper published in Education and its contemporary reviews why Hathaway was both the “idol” of the Chicago Philosophical Society and a figure of so little interest to the feminist philosophical recovery movement that in its work to date in, for example, Women in the American Philosophical Tradition: 1800-1930, a 2004 special issue of Hypatia, a journal of feminist philosophy, edited by Dorothy Rogers and Therese B. Dykeman, she appears in a footnote only.
Carol Marie Bensick, CSW Research Scholar

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: The Op-Ed Project Seminar will be in Los Angeles on April 1, 2012

The developments of Web 2.0 technologies have given an astounding number of people the ability to share their ideas with a larger audience. However the traditional media sources, particularly op-ed pieces in large newspapers, are much more effective in reaching the brains of our policy makers and subsequently influencing public policy decisions. At face value this phenomenon is not terribly problematic - until one sees who's opinions are being tossed into this persuasive forum of ideas. The Op-Ed Project website states that the vast majority of op-ed pieces in the major newspapers are authored by "western, white, priveledged and overwhelmingly (85%) male." Katie Orenstein, the founder of the Op-Ed Project, noticed all sorts of claims attempting to explain this lack of representation of women within these highly values pages, from sexism on the newspaper editors behalf to the inflammatory "biological aptitude" argument. What she discovered, however, is that women contribute pieces to the opinion pages far less frequently than men which, obviously, contributes to the low rates of women's perspectives in the op-ed pages. 

In an effort to alleviate the low frequency of submissions by women (and other marginalized groups) Orenstein began the Op-Ed Project in 2008 to "expand the range of voices we hear from in the world, with an immediate focus on increasing the volume of women thought leaders in the public sphere to a tipping point." The Op-Ed project travels around the country teaching seminars to women experts to write for the op-ed pages of the top print and online forums for public discourse. The Project's mission is more merit based, it seeks to develop a wave of empowered, talented women that contribute their ideas in highly influential public spaces rather than demanding a gender quota in the publishing of op-eds. Since it beginning, the project estimates that the women experts who have participated in the seminars have published hundreds of op-eds in major media outlets, conservatively reaching over ten million readers. 

If you, or anyone you know is interested in attending a seminar, the Op-Ed Project is inviting you to take part in their upcoming program on April 1, 2012. Hosted at the offices of Ms. Magazine, the program will use innovative techniques to challenge participants to think more carefully and more expansively about their knowledge, explore ways to gain credibility, and how to construct a powerful and persuasive argument. Participants will leave the seminar with a draft of an op-ed and be granted access to the Op-Ed Project's network of high-level media mentors.  

Event Details: 
Date: April 1, 2012
Time: 10am - 5pm
Place: Ms Magazine, 433 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Registration Fees:
Before March 1 - $295
Before March 29 - $345
Regular Registration - $425
Pay in Words Scholarship Option

For more information about the Op-Ed Project visit: