IAPh 2020

The XVIIIth Symposium of the International Association of Women Philosophers: Defining the Future, Rethinking the Past

Paderborn University, Germany, July 19-22, 2020.

The International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh) is a decisive organisation in promoting women’s research in philosophy and its history. Founded in Germany in 1976, it is now a global network for all women in philosophy. Given its strong tradition, IAPh covers all philosophical disciplines, feminist philosophy as well as the history of women philosophers.

After venues at Monash University, Melbourne (2016) and Tsinghua University, Beijing (2018), the 18th world congress of IAPh will be hosted by the Center for the “History of Women Philosophers and Scientists” (HWPS) at Paderborn University, Germany.

IAPh 2020 will be devoted to the most pressing issues of our future: In times of rapid technological progress, climate change, and economic turmoil, we invite women’s contributions on the philosophy of economics, philosophy of technology, and ecology/environmental ethics.

Moreover, given the initial aim of IAPh and the research focus of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists, we also seek to discover and reassess the role of women philosophers. We therefore welcome submissions on historical female thinkers.


    In our main sections, possible topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Philosophy of Economics
    • Micro/Macro Economics
    • Feminist Economics
    • Economic Justice
    • Economic Methodology
  • Environmental Philosophy
    • Food Ethics
    • Animal Ethics
    • Climate Ethics/Economics
    • Ecofeminism
  • Philosophy of Technology
    • Algorithms and Digitization
    • Surveillance and Responsibility
    • Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
    • New Work/Future Directions
    • Feminist Philosophy of Technology
  • History of Philosophy
    • Feminist Historiographic Methodology
    • History of Women Philosophers: Western & Non-Western Traditions


  • Keynote Speakers

    Carol J. Adams, Dallas US


    Federica Giardini, Rome ITA


    Lisa Herzog, Groningen NL


    Kateryna Karpenko, Odessa UA


    Heisook Kim, Seoul KR


    Yuko Murakami, Tokyo JP


    Gisele Secco, Santa Maria BRA


    Julie A. Nelson, Boston US


    We also encourage submissions for the following workshops:

  • Die IAPh - Ihre Anfänge (in German)

    Convenor: Herta Nagl-Docekal

    The aim of this workshop is to review the history of IAPh: what did it achieve, and how can we tackle the remaining obstacles women philosophers still face?

  • Women Philosophers' Presentation in the Digital World

    Convenor: Ruth Hagengruber

    At IAPh 2020, we want to increase the digital presence of women philosophers by encouraging the development of projects which pursue the same aim. This workshop will take place over the whole duration of IAPh 2020 as a special event of our project “Defining the future, rethinking the past”.

  • German Idealism and Feminist Philosophy

    Convenors: Tuija Pulkkinen, Susanne Lettow

    In this workshop we want to explore the various interrelations between German Idealism and feminist philosophy by dwelling on key concepts like equality, autonomy, the subject, nature, and consciousness, as well as, e.g. the dialectics of master and slave. In addition, gender and sexuality were central issues of German Idealists, and many of them reflected intensively on topics such as love, marriage, the family, and the political status of women. How and to what extent can their ideas be made fecund for today’s gender issues?

  • South-East European Women Philosophers

    Convenors: Luka Boršić, Ivana Skuhala Karasman

    In this workshop we will discuss women philosophers and feminists from the south-eastern part of Europe i.e. from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. This European region boasts an extraordinary history as it was subject to various political forces, which left their mark on this region’s intellectual history and culture. This had tremendous effects not only on the general position of women in society, but also on the choice of philosophical activities of those women. We will explore the roots and backgrounds of their philosophical views, as well as some of their main philosophical positions.

  • Diana Tietjens Meyers on Autonomy

    Convenor: Evangelia Aikaterini Glantzi.

    In line with the conference theme of “Defining the Future, Rethinking the Past,” we are soliciting workshop papers that position Meyers’ thought in the evolution of feminist and/or mainstream philosophy of action or papers that consider whether and how Meyers’ work might contribute to issues of current and ongoing concern to feminist philosophers and activists.  The workshop session will take place Monday, July 20, 2020, 10:00AM-noon. It will be structured as follows:  presentation of three formal papers, followed by Meyers’ response and open discussion. Note that abstracts for this workshop are due April 15, 2020. Please email your abstract to eglantzi@gmail.com. We very much look forward to receiving your submissions.


  • Diotimas Begehren – Muße als Dialogkultur auf dem digitalisierten Campus? (in German)

    Convenor: Marion Mangelsdorf (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)

    In Platons Symposium wird die Muße, die das Gespräch ermöglicht und rahmt, als basal vorgestellt. Dabei entwickelt Sokrates in der Wiedergabe eines fiktiven Gesprächs mit der Seherin Diotima eine Vorstellung des Eros als Triebkraft, die hinter allem Verlangen nach dem Schönen, Guten und Wahren stünde. Damit begreift Sokrates Eros als Basis eines unstillbaren Verlangens nach Erkenntnis und wissenschaftlichen Forschens.

    Der Rede Diotimas ebenso wie einer durch Muße ermöglichten Dialogkultur spürt der Workshop als (selbst-)kritische Inspirationsquelle für Fragen am digitalisierten Campus der zeitgenössischen Alma Mater nach: In Form von Webdokumentationen und künstlerisch mediengestalterischer Gesprächsformate möchte ich den Campus als Versammlungsort wiederbeleben (vgl. https://genderingmint.pageflow.io/ein-gastmahl).

  • Women Philosophers in the Arab World

    Convenors: Zeineb Ben Saïd-Cherni, Ana Rodrigues (Paderborn University)

    So far, the perception of Arabic-speaking philosophy in Europe has been limited to classical male authors such as al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā and Ibn Rušd. Nevertheless, recent research such as the work of Tamara Albertini challenges this predominant perception of philosophy in the Islamic world. There have been important contributions by women such as Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya of Basra or ‘A’Ishah Al-Ba’uniyyah of Damascus. This workshop aims at contributing to an increased visibility of female philosophers in the Arab World in history and today. We invite contributions on any epoque and any topic.

City tour in Paderborn's old town

July 19th, 11 a.m.

This one-and-a-half hour guided tour shows the historical sights of Paderborn.

Free spaces available!
Registered participants can register for the tour via email to contact@historyofwomenphilosophers.org.

Museum tour in the Heinz Nixdorf Museum

July 23rd, 10:30 a.m.

We offer a one-hour tour of the largest computer museum in the world.

Free spaces available!
Registered participants can register for the tour via email to contact@historyofwomenphilosophers.org.

Selected papers will be published in the Springer Book Series “Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences” (Ruth Hagengruber, Gianni Paganini and Mary Ellen Waithe, Editors-in-Chief). If you would like your paper to be considered in advance of the conference for publication, please submit an essay of up to 10,000 words (including notes) to:  iaph2020@lists.uni-paderborn.de (include a separate, single page containing: title, author contact details, affiliation, conference section to which you are submitting the paper to (e.g., section 2.e.,) abstract and short CV). You do not have to submit an additional abstract for presentation at the conference.

Organization: Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber and team.

For more information please contact:

The IAPh Board 2018-2020: Chris Sanchez, Madrid ES; Mary Ellen Waithe, Cleveland/Washington US; Xiao Wei, Beijing CH; Karen Green, Melbourne AUS; Heisook Kim, Seoul KR; Christina Schües, Lübeck GER; Cintia Martinez Velasco, Mexico City MX; Martina Reuter, Jyväskylä FN; Ruth Hagengruber, Paderborn GER.
Program Committee: Waltraud Ernst, Linz University; Elke Holst, Berlin; Herta Nagl, University of Vienna; Clara Mavellia, Berlin; Jutta Weber, Paderborn University


Please note that photographs and video footage will be taken throughout IAPh 2020. These will be used by Paderborn University for marketing and publicity purposes in online and print media. Please contact the event organizers if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this.

Vegan/vegetarian snacks and drinks will be provided during the conference.

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