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Chapter Report 2017-18

Annual Report

2nd July 2018

UK MAP chapters met regularly throughout the year continuing to address and discuss MAP-related issues. They hosted a wide variety of events, and are also planning many more for the next academic year. The following report comprises some of the highlights of these activities.

News

  • We are excited to announce the launch of a MAP UK Blog in the new academic year. We hope to use this to facilitate better communication between the UK chapters, and to the UK philosophical community more widely. We hope that this will be a collaborative effort, so MAP members should get touch if they want to get involved!

  • This year MAP said goodbye to two long-serving co-directors Natalie Ashton and Emily Paul, who will be greatly missed. But we gained three, in the form of John Parry from Leeds in the Autumn, and Azita Chellappoo from Cambridge and Lizzy Ventham from Southampton in the Spring. May the wheels of social justice keep on turning!

  • An amazing five new UK MAP Chapters joined the ranks this year. Welcome aboard to the Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Kent, Sussex, and York. You can find contact details for the UK Chapters here.

  • Finally, we relaunched our MAP Mentoring Scheme this year. Spread the word to students at your university!

Events & Activities

Here are some examples of events and activities that our chapters got up to this year. For more information on a specific chapter, get in touch with the chapter’s contact(s), listed here.

 

The Leeds chapter…

  • Have started the new academic year pursuing a new theme: ‘MAPping the controversies in academia’. Under this head, they have held two socials, screened two short films on ‘No Platforming’ and ‘Free Speech’, and held a reading group on ‘Epistemic Exploitation’ by Nora Bernstein (Ergo: 2016).

  • Held a working lunch with Carrie Jenkins (British Columbia) on her book What Love Is And What It Could Be (published 2017), in December.

  • Our reading group also held a session with Sally Haslanger on her 2017 paper ‘Culture and Critique’ in May.

  • MAP in Schools: We’ve given 5 talks in a local school in support of the A level philosophy curriculum. We also secured funding for accredited Philosophy for Children (P4C) training, which we completed in December 2017. We’re proud to say that this project has now been running for 1.5 years.

  • MAP in the community: We’ve organised, chaired and given a series of introductory philosophy talks to a local community group affiliated to the University of the Third Age (U3A). We’re proud to say that this project has now also been running for 1.5 years.

  • Supported a departmental undergraduate event called ‘Celebrating Diversity in Philosophy’.

  • Completed (along with fellow undergraduates and postgraduates) a SAPERE ‘Philosophy for Children’ Level 1 Training Course. This was kindly sponsored by the School of PRHS and Leeds for Life.

The Edinburgh chapter…

  • Held an annual Spring Workshop on the 22nd of May. It focused on the ‘Philosophy of Love, Family and Relationships’ and had three philosophers and one psychologist invited to discuss the topic.

  • The chapter also ran a feminist reading group that takes place every two weeks, with a number of PhD and Masters students attending.

 

The Southampton chapter…

  • Held a Mental Health Coffee Afternoon, which was organised by Sophie Keeling. The event was open to staff and postgraduates, with a view to sharing tips, problems and ideas regarding mental health challenges faced by students and staff in Philosophy.  

  • Have begun holding weekly ‘wellbeing lunches’ for postgrads and staff. This has proven to be a great way to regularly check-in and to help combat problems with stress or loneliness.

 

The Sussex chapter…

  • Held a regular reading group.

  • Hosted a film screening on 23rd of May.

  • Promoted and attended a ‘Shy Radicals’ talk.

 

The UCL chapter…

  • Launched a reading group, that has so far been meeting fortnightly.

  • Launched a MAP film club, that has been attended by both postgraduates and undergraduates.

  • Organised a social to welcome the women commencing the MPhilStud.

  • Secured departmental funding to host a ‘Women’s dinner’, which took place in November. This proved to be a fantastic opportunity for female faculty and graduate students to get to know one another.

  • Organised an event for undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups who are considering pursuing further study in Philosophy.

Good practice, training and advocacy

  • The Southampton chapter have launched a website! Their twitter account has also been very successful.

  • The Southampton chapter attended, as MAP, the first year undergraduate and MA student induction, to welcome new students and ensure that they were aware of the existence of the Southampton chapter. They have also met with their universities Philosophy Society, to offer help with events and to recommend a diverse list of suggestions for guest speakers and film screenings.

  • The UCL chapter has formed an official ‘MAP committee’, which includes some undergraduate MAP representatives.

In the Pipeline

  • The Sheffield chapter are organising their annual MAP lecture, which is set to take place in February. The speaker will be Marika Rose (Winchester).

  • The Southampton chapter are looking into implementing an informal ‘buddy system’ for PhD students, to ease them into their new course.

  • The UCL chapter intend to make their ‘Women’s dinner’ (see above) into a tradition.

  • The UCL chapter are planning their first annual MAP lecture. Dr. Sabina Lovibond (Oxford) will be the speaker, and the lecture will be advertised to the wider Philosophical community.

  • The Edinburgh chapter are looking forward to organising their annual event called the ‘New Enlightenment Lecture’ in the next semester.

  • The Sussex chapter are looking forward to organising more talks, reading groups and activities, and also working with their university’s Widening Participation programme to reach out to local schools and colleges.

Mentorship Scheme

Mentoring is a crucial part of becoming - and improving as - an academic. There's reason to think that marginalised people are less likely to receive adequate informal academic mentoring, for a whole host of reasons - sometimes there are barriers for us accessing that mentoring, or sometimes the mentors available don’t have the same needs and experiences that we do. Whatever the reason, this lack of adequate mentoring creates an unfair disadvantage for marginalised people.

The MAP mentor scheme is designed to redress this imbalance. We have a large team of mentors from a wide range of backgrounds, and with varied experiences and specialities, who can offer one-to-one online advice for any UK philosophy student or researcher who considers themselves to be a member of a marginalised group. The details of our mentors can be found here.

If you think you might benefit from having a(n additional) mentor, our scheme is for you. Please get in touch, either by filling out the form on our website, emailing us (mapforthegap.uk@gmail.com), or contacting a mentor directly.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or feedback about the scheme or our campaign, please email us.

Thanks

We’d like to thank all of our new and existing chapters for their continued hard work and dedication in organising such a fantastic and varied programme of events. We’d like to thank everybody who participated in these events and activities, as well as all other supporters in our home departments and beyond, who have helped to make all of these activities possible. We’d also like to thank our ever-growing network of mentors, whose commitment to making philosophy a more inclusive and supportive environment is invaluable.

 

We wish everybody a wonderful term!

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

For more information on the MAP project globally, visit here.