Our Philosophy is a community discussion project and accessible reading group, led by survivors for survivors. Monthly sessions will each focus on a different philosopher or text. No previous experience of philosophy is required - we welcome self-identifying female survivors who think deeply, feel strongly and want to nourish their ability to communicate.
To develop Our Philosophy, we will engage with and learn to think critically about philosophical theories in a practical, non-academic way - such as feminist theory, critical race theory, and social class theory (Marxism). We hope that participants will develop their critical thinking skills; engage with the practice of consciousness-raising; and bring theory into real-life, healing contexts.
Our Philosophy is led by Eilidh Harris, a Theology and Religious Studies Masters student at the University of Glasgow. Offline sessions are hosted by the Glasgow Zine Library, a library, archive and community space that hosts a year-round accessible programme of workshops and events.
Our Philosophy will engage with a wide range of topics. You can find out more about the different theories we will engage with in the Reading List below.
In this final session, we are focusing on the positive we can do in the world with a particular focus on building caring communities. Therefore, this month’s session will be inspired by The Care Manifesto which is written by a collective made up of a people from diverse personal, academic and political backgrounds. The text aims to reimagine the role of care in our lives to cultivate a world in which the whole human race can flourish. The discussion will also feature a little bit about the history and purpose of manifestos to help prepare participants to go and write their own philosophy. We will ask questions such as: How can care (or lack of care) affect the systems and infrastructures of our interconnected lives? What infrastructure is necessary to create caring communities? Could the act of caring/taking care safeguard our future? What are the purposes of writing a philosophical manifesto? A broad overview of the text will be given in order to include those who are unable to read it beforehand.
We are aware that this discussion may bring up subjects that are sensitive for some attendees – there will be an experienced support worker present, there is no obligation to contribute to discussion, and you are free to take breaks whenever you need them.
Do you have a topic that you would like to discuss? Reproductive rights? Climate change? Your wages? Your favourite movie/book/band? Maybe you have attended one of the sessions already and you want to discuss something further? Please get in touch and let us know!
Q: I'm not sure that philosophy is for me?
A: These are non-academic sessions that require absolutely no previous experience. We hope to encourage people who may not have engaged with philosophy before, or may even think it isn't for them! We simply hope to create a space where you can share your ideas and might learn from others.
Q: Will there be a lot of reading?
A: We will try not to send too much reading out for each session. Also, don’t worry if there are bits you don’t understand – just skip over them! We encourage you to read the texts, but if you aren't able to you're still welcome to join us. You might want to just consider the discussion questions instead.
Q: Will I be made to talk in discussions?
A: No! No one will be called upon directly to talk during discussions. You would be very welcome to come along and just listen if that's what you're most comfortable with. We understand that discussion groups might be new for some people, but we hope that you still might get something out of hearing what others have to say.
Q: Do I have to come to every session?
A: It would be lovely to see you every time, but each session will stand alone, so feel free to try one out and see if you like it. You only need to sign-up to one session at a time. Sessions will happen monthly, on the last Thursday of every month online via Zoom.
Q: What happens if I find a topic difficult or triggering?
A: There will be an experienced support worker present at every session who you are welcome to use at any time. You are also always free to take a break for yourself whenever you feel like it during the sessions.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
Texts will be provided for participants. You can view all of our core and suggested reading below in a list which will grow as the sessions continue.
Feminist theory: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-philosophy/
Critical race theory: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/race/
Social class theory: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marx/#AlieHumaFlou
Critical disability theory: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/disability-critical/
Article in Theology in Scotland by facilitator, Eilidh Harris, on how art can fight injustice: https://ojs.st-andrews.ac.uk/index.php/TIS/article/view/2423/1831
Week One: Remembering bell hooks (15/05/22).
bell hooks. All About Love: New Visions (2016) – especially chapters 1 - Clarity: Give Love Words, 6 – Values: Living by a Love Ethic and 8 – Community: Loving Communion, available online at https://wtf.tw/ref/hooks.pdf
bell hooks. Communion: The Female Search for Love (2002) – especially chapter 9 – Sisterhood: Love and Solidarity, available at Waterstones for £9.99.
[VIDEO] bell hooks and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) discussion: https://youtu.be/9oMmZIJijgY
Week Two: Amia Srinivasan and the Aptness of Anger (29/07/22)
Amia Srinivasan, 'The Aptness of Anger': https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jopp.12130
[VIDEO] Cambridge University Union public debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, 1965: https://youtu.be/5Tek9h3a5wQ
Week Three: Cynthia Freeland and Art, Identity & Activism (25/08/22)
Cynthia Freeland’s But is it Art? Introduction to Art Theory, Chapter: ‘Gender, Genius and Guerrilla Girls’: https://academic.oup.com/book/524/chapter-abstract/135277097?redirectedFrom=fulltext
This chapter has a reference to sexual assault on page 134 in the context of Artemisia Gentileschi.
Week Four: Angela Davis and Housework, Gender & Essential Labour (29/09/22)
Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class, Chapter 13: ‘The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working Class Perspective.’: https://legalform.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/davis-women-race-class.pdf (The chapter begins on page 128).
Melissa Hogenboom, 'The hidden load: How 'thinking of everything' holds mums back': https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210518-the-hidden-load-how-thinking-of-everything-holds-mums-back
Week Five: Verónica Gago and A Feminist Theory of Strike Action (27/10/22)
Verónica Gago, Feminist International: How to Change Everything, Chapter 1: ‘#WeStrike: Towards a Political Theory of the Feminist Strike’: https://transreads.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2021-09-13_613f783ced36e_veronica-gago-feminist-international-how-to-change-everything-2.pdf (The chapter begins on page 21).
Week Six: Kate Manne and The Logic of Misogyny (24/11/22)
Kate Manne, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, Chapter 8: Losing (to) Misogynists
Week Seven: Carien Smith and the Climate Crisis (26/01/23)
Carien Smith, 'Climate Change and Culture: Apocalypse and Catharsis'
Week Eight: Jane Parish and Conspiracy Theories (23/02/23)
Jane Parish, The Age of Anxiety: Conspiracy Theory and Human Sciences, Introduction
Week Nine: Alison Kafer and Disability Rights (30/03/23)
Alison Kafer, Feminist, Queer, Crip, Introduction: 'Imagined Futures'
[VIDEO] Alison Kafer, ‘Health Rebels: A Crip Manifesto for Social Justice’ https://www.youtube.com/live/YqcOUD1pBKw?feature=share
Week Ten: Beverley Skeggs and The Making of Class and Gender (27/04/23)
Beverley Skeggs, ‘The Making of Class and Gender through Visualising Moral Subject Formation’
[VIDEO] Beverley Skeggs and Andrew Sayer, ‘Does Class Still Matter’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE-GCiVgqyc&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=SociologyLancaster
Week Eleven: Simone de Beauvoir and The Independent Woman (25/05/23)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, Chapter: ‘The Independent Woman’
[VIDEO] Simone de Beauvoir Explains "One is Not Born, but Rather Becomes, a Woman.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aekr9sLbVhQ&ab_channel=BrutAmerica
Week Twelve: Rosa Luxemburg and Reform or Revolution (29/06/23)
Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution, Introduction, Chapter One, Chapter Two: https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1900/reform-revolution/ Also available as an audiobook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mWTmnLH0ec&feature=youtu.be
[VIDEO] Novara Media 'Who Was Rosa Luxemburg?' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUBWmpga2FQ
Week Thirteen: Vanessa Wills and Capitalism, Racism and Sexism (28/09/23)
Vanessa Wills, ‘What Would it Mean to Say “Capitalism causes Racism and Sexism?”’
Vanessa Wills's website has links to all her work as well as lots of video and podcast content: https://www.vanessawills.com/
Week Fourteen: Danielle Poe and Justice and Joy (26/10/23)
Danielle Poe, ‘Justice and Joy'
Simone de Beauvoir, Ethics of Ambiguity:https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/ethics/de-beauvoir/ambiguity/
Judith Butler, Frames of War
Week Fifteen: The Care Collective's Care Manifesto (30/11/23)
The Care Collective, The Care Manifesto
This project is funded by the