IAPh 2021 Keynote Speakers

Our conference will feature a keynote address by innovative, engaging, and enthusiastic women thinkers. Check here to find out who will be there.





Shohreh Bayat, London UK – “The impact of religion on women’s right”

Shohreh Bayat is an Iranian chess referee and women’s rights activist. During her work as a referee at the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship Match, a controversy arose in which Bayat was accused by the Iranian government of not wearing the hijab correctly in accordance with Iranian customs. The subsequent protest by Bayat, which saw her taking part in the WWCC 2020 without a hijab, sparked a political controversy in Iran, which in turn forced Bayat to flee. She fled to London (UK) in January 2020. She has since applied for asylum in the UK. Bayat has been active as a human rights and women’s rights activist ever since. In March 2021 she received the International Women of Courage Award. Bayat will take part in the IAPh 2021 and will hold the initial keynote talk on “The impact of religion on women’s right”.

Federica Giardini, Rome ITA

Prof. Giardini will explore how philosophy can offer new intellectual paths in thinking about the economy: How can we combine ecology and economy, and how can the unpaid work of women adequately be included in the economic analyses of, for instance, GDP?

Ruth Edith Hagengruber is Professor of Philosophy, head of philosophy department at Paderborn University, head of Teaching and Research Area EcoTechGender (https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org/ecotechgender/) and Director of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists (https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org)

Lisa Herzog, Groningen NL – “Economic Knowledge, Democratic Knowledge”

Many societieties combine a democratic political system with a capitalist economic system, which are in permanent tension with each other. These two systems also produce different kinds of knowledge: while democracies should, ideally, create inclusive and just processes of deliberation that allow all voices to be heard on an equal footing, capitalist markets produce knowledge of a different kind that focuses on what can be measured in monetary terms and is undergirded by purchasing power. In this talk, I discuss and contrast these two kinds of knowledge production, and argue that from a feminist perspective, there are key arguments to strengthen democratic over capitalist knowledge production.

Kateryna Karpenko, Kharkiv UA

At IAPh 2021, Kateryna Karpenko (Kharvik National University, Ukraine) will talk about the links between gender injustice and ecological issues, as it is no news that we will face tremendous environmental problems in the future. Do feminist perspectives offer possible solutions? After all, it’s women who suffer the most from climate change, overpopulation, and deforestation.

Yuko Murakami, Tokyo JP

At IAPh, we want to go into the subtler issues behind AI and machine learning, and invite contributions on any aspect of philosophy of technology. We are therefore very pleased to welcome Yuko Murakami from Rikkyo University, Japan, as our keynote speaker on the philosophical questions of AI. Prof Murakami is an international expert on AI who works at the intersection between philosophy and information science. Most recently, she has worked on what kind of ethics should guide the information education of robots.

Julie A. Nelson, Boston US – “Economic Theory and Moral Imagination”

Economists have, for more than a century, portrayed economics as a physics-like discipline concerned with explaining the underlying mechanics of an amoral market system, presumed to be driven by self-interest and competition. Drawing on feminist work in economics, this talk will examine the binary, hierarchical gender metaphors underlying these claims. It will then explore the damage these biased beliefs have done to the creation of knowledge and to our ability to deal with issues such as climate change, and will suggest alternatives.

Caterina Pello, Cambridge UK

Caterina Pello, a trained classicist and philosopher, will give a talk on women in the Pythagorean tradition. Her keynote will close an important gap in the history of philosophy.

Gisele Secco, Santa Maria BRA

Gisele Dalva Secco will give a talk on the philosophy of mathematics, precisely: the Four-Color Theorem proof, which happens to be the first original mathematical result which depends on computer assistance. Secco will argue that this celebrated mathematical proof is still relevant for the contemporary philosophy of mathematical practice for reasons not envisioned until now: it marks the rise of a new mathematical culture, in which the work of women can play a significant part.

Mpho Tshivhase, Pretoria ZA

Mpho Tshivhase received her degree in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Johannesburg. Her overarching research concern aims to delineate what uniqueness amongst persons is and how we relate to it. She is a member of the Philosophical Society of South Africa, as well as Golden Key Society in South Africa. At the IAPh 2020 she will give a talk on women philosophers and AI.

Xiao Wei

Xiao Wei, Beijing CN

Xiao Wei’s studies focus on ethics, gender studies and bioethics (Public Health Ethics). Her book and teaching has won two professional prizes. She has also been selected as one of the “one-hundred promising scholars of the Beijing government for the 21st century”. Her keynote at the IAPh 2020 will be about “Women Philosophers on Health and Environmental Issues”

Mary Ellen Waithe

Mary Ellen Waithe, profesor emerita at Cleveland State University, USA. Since 2016 Waithe is the advisor of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. Professor Waithe will also held a keynote at our conference IAPh 2021 Defining the Future – Rethinking the Past. The title of the keynote refers to her article published in 2020: Sex, Lies and Bigotry: The Canon of Philosophy. In her keynote Waithe focuses on: “[I]t is either ineptness or simple bigotry that led most historians of philosophy to intentionally omit women’s contributions from their histories and that such failure replicated itself in the university curricula of recent centuries and can be remedied by suspending for the next two centuries the teaching of men’s contributions to the discipline and teaching works by women only.”

Cintia Martinez Velasco, she offers classes at Philosophy Department at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Latin American Critical Theory at Northwestern University (2019-2020). The main topics of her research are the metaphysics of sex and gender, feminist philosophy and decolonial philosophy, and Latin American philosophy, with a particular focus on the work of Enrique Dussel with whom she undertook her doctoral studies. She is part of the Red Mexicana de Mujeres Filósofas. She will give a talk on: Chiasmic Identities and Femicide in Latin America: Reflections from a Decolonial and Marxist-Feminist Perspective.



Elizabeth S. Kassab is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies in Quatar. During IAPh 2021 she will give a keynote on the topic: Women in Writing the History of Contemporary Arab Philosophy.

Contemporary Arab philosophy as a field of study, teaching and research is a relatively new field in the making. It is an integral part of contemporary Arab thought that needs to be identified and assessed: its contours need to be drawn, its themes and preoccupations need to be identified, and its achievements and challenges need to be critically assessed. Attempts have been made to describe the state of the discipline in different regions of the Arab World. Studies were published to recognize the obstacles in practicing, teaching and writing in the field. But no anthology nor textbook of contemporary Arab philosophy exists to date, and no comprehensive study of the field has yet seen the light.


Herta Nagl-Docekal is professor emerita of philosophy and founding member of the IAPh. Due the conference she will held a keynote on: The Beginnings: A Fragmented Retrospective of a Former Speaker of IAPH. It is obvious that a comprehensive history of the beginnings of IAPh could only be elaborated in a cooperative manner. The paper merely provides some bits and pieces that invite contributions voicing the memories of other women philosophers involved. It recalls the founding of the “Assoziation von Philosophinnen in Deutschland” and its motivation, the enormous difficulties the Association encountered in its first decade, and the outstanding commitment of Walescha Tielsch and Brigitte Weisshaupt. The focus is also on the continuous process of internationalization, paired with an increasing diversification of philosophical approaches, as documented in the publications of IAPh. Additional emphasis is placed on the relations of IAPh to SWIP (USA), to the “General Society for Philosophy in Germany”, and to the FISP World Congresses of Philosophy.

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