The latest edition of the APA newsletters—fall 2017—is now available. This brief series provides a synopsis of the contents of each newsletter.
The APA newsletters contain a wide variety of scholarly material, discussion on relevant and timely topics, book reviews, and much more. All of the newsletters are available for download on the APA website.
Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy
The fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy includes two reports from conferences dedicated to Latino/a (or Latinx) philosophy, culture, and identity. It also contains three articles that exemplify the breadth and scope of Latinx philosophy in the U.S.
The first report, by conference organizers Alexander Guerrero, Stephanie Rivera Berruz, and Edgar Valdez, is on the Second Annual Latinx Philosophy Conference held at Rutgers University in March 2017. In the second report, Rocio Alvarez provides an overview of the Society for Mexican American Philosophy’s inaugural conference in May 2017.
In the first article, “What the ‘Nina’ Film Controversy Shows about African Heritage in the Americas,” Susana Nuccetelli explores the moral and political controversies surrounding contemporary depictions in the media of prominent African-American artists such as Nina Simone. In particular, she reflects on the moral dimensions inherent in casting a light-skinned woman of Hispanic descent, Zoe Saldana, to play Nina Simone, an African-American black woman who, in her music, rejected Eurocentric depictions of beauty and womanhood, which Saldana somewhat represents. Nuccetelli also considers the drastically differing reactions to the casting choices among the Hispanic and Latin-American community.
Next, Ivan Marquez questions the presumptions of postcolonial theory, especially its apparent monopoly on questions of the Other, in “Postcolonial Theory: Much Ado about Nothing/Noting?” Marquez suggests that postcolonial theory, in order to properly answer its own questions, must first overcome its own prejudices, including its apparent blindness toward philosophical difference.
In the final paper, “Latinidad, Multiplicity, and the Time of Identification,” Jesús Luzardo examines the work of Cristina Beltrán, pointing out the shortcomings in her work and aiming to address them by appealing to the work of other Latina feminists such as Mariana Ortega and Gloria Anzaldua. The ultimate aim of Luzardo’s efforts is to augment Beltrán’s thesis so as to make it more inclusive of particular, not necessarily political, identities.
Newsletter on LGBTQ Issues in Philosophy
The fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on LGBTQ Issues in Philosophy contains three related articles on the theme “Bathroom Bills, ‘Religious Freedom’ Legislation, and Anti-LGBTQ Violence.”
In the first essay, “Targeting Trans: The Marriage Equality Backlash,” Loren Cannon argues that recent forms of proposed legislation to severely limit the social participation and well-being of transgender persons is primarily a backlash from the Obergefell ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation. Cannon describes a number of ways that transphobia has intensified during the first two years of the Marriage Equality Era, including a rise in trans violence as well as various kinds of proposed legislation that aims to erode the social participation and well-being of transgender individuals.
The second paper, “Resisting the Inadequate Resistance to House Bill 2 at a Private University in North Carolina,” recounts Claire Lockard’s personal experience with some of the theoretical and practical complexities confronting individuals and groups attempting to resist H.B. 2. While there are many critiques that can be made against such legislation and the violence against trans communities it perpetuates, Lockard offers an additional critique of the transphobia that institutional denouncements of H.B. 2 can quietly reproduce.
In the last essay, “Potty Humors: Melancholic and Choleric Presidents, Sclerotic Voters, and the Federal Courts on Title IX in School Bathrooms,” Richard Nunan provides a detailed analysis of the legal challenges, constitutional issues, and philosophical problems posed by “bathroom bills” and other transphobic legislative measures. He argues that such measures ultimately hasten the evolution of acceptance of trans identity by drawing increased attention to their mean-spirited targeting of this historically marginalized group.
Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy
The fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy introduces a new section entitled “Musings,” which contains a reflection on the Hypatia Affair, an also includes ten book reviews of recent feminist scholarship.
In “To Do Metaphysics as a Feminist: Reflections on Feminist Methodology in Light of the Hypatia Affair,” an essay drawn from her talk at a recent conference at Humboldt University in Berlin, Ásta (Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir) seeks to shed light on what the Hypatia Affair means for the future of feminist methodologies. About the Affair, Ásta writes, “Note that we are not talking about freedom of speech here. At issue is not whether an author can argue for offensive claims or be insensitive in their argument. At issue is what academic excellence in feminist philosophy scholarship consists in.”
The books reviewed in this issue reflect the diversity of approaches in contemporary feminist scholarship: Anglo-American/analytic, continental philosophy, history of philosophy, and non-Western philosophy, among others.
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