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Chapter Report 2014-15

6 Month Report

20th June 2015

Since the current Directorship Team took over in January 2015, there's been increasing momentum across the region. Five new UK Chapters have joined up, adding to an expanding programme of workshops, reading groups and other events aimed at promoting fair representation across UK institutions; MAP UK has started a project with the British Philosophical Association to produce some best practice guidelines; and the KCL chapter will host the region's first ever MAP Conference.

Activities

Below is an example of just some of the events and activities hosted by UK MAP Chapters this year:

  • The Leeds chapter secured funding to help undergraduates and postgraduates travel to conferences and workshops related to MAP goals, and hosted Charles W. Mills, leading a discussion on The Racial Contract. They also assisted in creating the Diversity Reading List, a resource collating high quality work written by philosophers from under-represented groups and intended for use by lecturers and course leaders. The ever expanding list can be accessed here.

  • The Edinburgh MAP chapter and Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group (EWPG) hosted a workshop on the themes of 'Under-representation and Ignorance', featuring a masterclass led by Janet Kourany (Notre Dame) about the social construction of ignorance.

  • The KCL philosophy society and MAP chapter hosted a Minorities and Philosophy panel discussion, encompassing a plurality of subjects, including diversifying syllabi, under-representation, and implicit bias.

  • The UCL MAP chapter hosted a discussion session on under-representation, inviting students from London universities and beyond, to discuss issues individuals have faced within their institutions, as well as addressing practical strategies for change.

Mentorship Scheme

The UK mentorship scheme is thriving. At last count, we have 14 mentors who have volunteered to provide occasional mentoring advice to students over email. Between them, they have expertise covering a range of minority statuses , including those relating to race and ethnicity, sexuality, disability, income background, and gender. Anyone who identifies as a member of a group that is under-represented in philosophy and may benefit from mentoring is encouraged to look through the mentor database and email their chosen mentor directly.

Upcoming Projects

MAP UK are currently in dialogue with the British Philosophical Association to create a set of Best Practice Guidelines to promote fair representation for members of under-represented groups in academic philosophy. These will complement and build upon the Best Practice Guidelines put forward by the Society of Women in Philosophy, with the aim to facilitate the participation of members of minority groups as regards gender, race, sexual orientation, class, disability and native language, for instance. The initial stages of this project will commence over this summer, with MAP UK collating qualitative data comprising the experience and suggestions of individuals from under-represented groups in academic philosophy.After this initial data collection stage, MAP UK and the BPA will form a working group to draft a complementary set of Best Practice Guidelines based on this data, and qualitative data that the BPA is in the process of gathering.

First UK Minorities and Philosophy Conference

On 4th-5th July 2015, the KCL MAP chapter will host the first UK Minorities and Philosophy conference, on the theme of Identity and Under-representation. The panel of speakers includes undergraduates, postgraduates and staff from across the UK, with keynote addresses from Jules Holroyd and Amia Srinivasan. Registration is free, and the conference is open to staff and students alike. View the full programme here.

This is the first ever MAP conference in the UK, where we aim to start a dialogue between the UK staff and student philosophical communities, generating momentum for positive, impacting change across UK institutions.Our intention is for the conference to become an annual event, hosted each summer by a different chapter.

Thanks

It's been an exciting first 6 months for the new Directorship Team, and we'd like to thank all of our new and existing chapters for all their hard work organising and hosting a fantastic and varied programme of events. We'd also like to thank our ever-growing network of mentors, and all of those who have participated in MAP UK activities, as well as our various supporters in our home departments and beyond who have helped to make our activities possible. We look forward to what the next 6 months will bring!

For further information on MAP UK, or to make a suggestion, please contact us at mapforthegap.uk@gmail.com.