Oxford University will ‘feminise’ its philosophy curriculum in order to appeal to more female students and boost writers profiles.
The university’s Faculty of Philosophy requested that 40 per cent of the recommended authors on its reading lists are women.
Academic staff have also been asked to use writers’ first names when compiling reading lists instead of their initials, in order to highlight those that were written by women.
The university’s Faculty of Philosophy requested that 40 per cent of the recommended authors on its reading lists are women
It aims to increase the appeal of philosophy to female students, according to the Daily Telegraph.
As part of the changes, the university is also introducing an undergraduate paper on feminist philosophy and has appointed new academics to teach it.
Professor Edward Harcourt, who was the chairman of Oxford University’s philosophy faculty board until recently, said the new course is being introduced ‘partly just because it’s interesting, and partly to raise the profile and status of feminist philosophy at Oxford’.
He told the newspaper that he hoped that it would ‘send the message to our female students that philosophy is for you’.
Prof Harcourt said using first names instead of initials would help to boost the profile of female writers.
As part of the changes, the university is also introducing an undergraduate paper on feminist philosophy and has appointed new academics to teach it
He said: ‘For example, one of the greatest philosophers of the post-war period, Elizabeth Anscombe, published as ‘GEM Anscombe’.
‘If that’s what goes on the reading list, understandably students won’t know she was female.’ The faculty, founded in 2001, requested that 40 per cent of the recommended authors are female, according to Prof Harcourt.
He added: ‘We are delighted to be raising the status of feminist philosophy at Oxford by our new appointments in the area.’ Professor Paul Lodge, the incoming director of undergraduate studies for philosophy, is said to have organised the reading list.
The move comes after English literature professors at Cambridge University last year requested that more female and black writers were added to their reading lists.