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Defining the Future, Rethinking the Past.

The XVIII conference, July 19-22, 2020
of the International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh)

at Paderborn University,
Philosophy Department and the Center for the History of Women Philosophers announces

Call for Papers

For more than 40 years, the International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh) has been a decisive organisation in encouraging and promoting women’s research in philosophy and its history. Founded in Germany in the 1970s, it is now a global network for all women who work in philosophy. Given its strong tradition, IAPh covers feminist philosophy as well as the history of women philosophers. The slogan of our conference emphasizes and does justice to the crucial role women have played in shaping and advancing our discipline.

Focal themes of IAPh 2020 will be economy, technology, ecology, and the history of philosophy.

https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org/event/defining-the-future-rethinking-the-past/

We welcome submissions within the following philosophic sub-disciplines:

Value Theory including aesthetics and environmentalism, Analytical Philosophy, including philosophy of mind, Philosophy of Religion, Ontology, Metaphysics including Phenomenology, Philosophy of Science, Value Theory including Ethics and Aesthetics, Social and Political philosophy.

 

  1. Feminist Philosophy of Economics:

a.       Value Theory
b.       Micro/Macro Economics
c.       Political issues of Feminist Economics
d.       Housekeeping, Mothering, Nurturing & Caregiving
e.       Food: Ethics & Economics
f.        Environmental Protection & Sustainability
g.       History of Feminist Philosophy of Economics

  1. Feminist Philosophy of Technology
  2. Algorithms and Digitization
  3. Responsibility
  4. Social Engineering, Genetic modification and Disabled persons
  5. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
  6. New Work/Future Directions
  7. History of Feminist Philosophy of Technology
  8. Feminist History of Philosophy
  9. Feminist Historiographic Methodology
  10. History of Women Philosophers: Western & Non-Western Traditions
  11.            Antiquity
  12. Medieval
    iii.            Early Modern/18th Century
    iv.            19/20th Century
  1. Workshop in German:“Die IAPh – Ihre Anfänge”, for which we welcome submissions as well.

If you would like to present a paper at IAPh 2020, please submit an abstract ca. 500 words (plus a single title page with: paper title, author’s name and  contact details, affiliation, section to which abstract is submitted (e.g.,section 3 b, iv.) a short CV) to iaph2020@lists.uni-paderborn.de

Additionally, 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).

(https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org/projects/individual_project/book-series-women-in-history-of-philosophy-and-sciences/)

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 (e.g., section 2.e.,) abstract and short CV). YOU DO NOT NEED TO SUBMIT AN ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT FOR PRESENTATION AT THE CONFERENCE

Ø  Conference dates: July 19-22, 2020

Ø  Conference venue: Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany

Ø  Deadline for all submissions: December 1, 2019

Ø  Notification of acceptance: by February 27, 2020

Ø  Membership in IAPh required for consideration of papers.

Ø  Conference fee: approx. 50 €

Updated information coming soon – please visit:

https://historyofwomenphilosophers.org/defining-the-future-rethinking-the-past-iaph-2020/

Looking forward to seeing you in Paderborn!

Ruth Hagengruber, Janelle Pötsch and Jessica Harmening, Paderborn University, Philosophy.

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 Schues, HL, G; Cintia Martinez Velasco, Mexico City MX, Martina Reuter, Iväskala, FN; Ruth Hagengruber, PAD, G.

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This is the fifth of a series of posts by Wayne Bodle on the lives and works of the Wollstonecraft family in America. 

When Nancy K. Wollstonecraft placed her step-daughter, Jane Nelson Wollstonecraft, into the household of Rev. Richard Hall, in New Ipswich, N.H., in 1818, she allegedly brought two other children, a boy and a girl of uncertain circumstance and age, to her parental home in Rindge, a town lying just to the west.  In the newspaper controversy that erupted that fall over Jane’s abduction by her birth mother, Sarah, critics charged that the children–initially described as the “adopted” children of Charles Wollstonecraft–were actually his “illegitimate” offspring, presumably with Nancy.  As no other evidence about these actors existed, I thought that they might likelier have been literary props; vestiges of the vitriol often staining such bitter disputes.

Then, scurrying through a closing campus bookstore late one holiday evening later that year in search of wrapping paper, my reflexive stab at an interesting looking new book by Lucia McMahon, Mere Equals: The Paradox of Educated Women in the Early American Republic(Ithaca, 2112), exploded this skepticism.   The index’s predictable entry for “Wollstonecraft” upended my shopping trip. In a chapter on the epistolary courtship of Linda Raymond, one generation younger than Nancy but living in Rindge, and Benjamin Ward, law-clerking in Massachusetts towns to establish himself professionally as a credible husband, Ward invoked Linda’s “late protégé,” Mary Ann Wollstonecraft, who he had found in an English history book.  McMahon used the item to analyze the lovers’ participation in the American “reception history” of Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas about women’s rights, but I was puzzled by the middle name.   The empirical context suggested a Wollstonecraft relative living right there in Rindge, who I was certain had to be Jane!  At first glance it looked like a paradigmatic case of the “clueless boyfriend syndrome”—i. e., a suitor not listening carefully enough to even get the name right, but other than that, he knew everything.  The manuscript sources were housed at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard.  I wanted to drop my presents, step away from the shelf, purchase the book, and race to the nearby Amtrak station in Philadelphia to hop on the midnight train to Boston—which providentially enough still ran in those days!   But prudence, the weather, and insufficient funds delayed this research trip for six months.  When I finally arrived on Brattle Street the next summer it became obvious that any cluelessness was mine.

Further reading in the Raymond-Ward correspondence showed that the girl, Mary Ann Wollstonecraft, and her younger brother, Charles, were almost certainly the two “other children” in the New Ipswich adoption controversy, legitimate or otherwise.  Nancy Kingsbury’s father, Benjamin, late in life apprenticed himself to Rev. Seth Payson and become a deacon in Rindge’s Congregational Church.  Although he gave “fearfully long” sermons, he was probably beyond the age of effective surrogate parenting, so Charles and Mary Ann lived with Linda Raymond’s own parents.  They both had made intensely favorable impressions on their hosts.  Payson was a ferocious critic of French “Illuminism,” and he would have been horrified to have anyone with their surname living in the community, much less in the house of one of his own deacons.

Linda Raymond’s letters to Ward disclosed that her circle of young female friends was under ferocious epidemiological assault in the late 1810s and early 1820s.  In February of 1818 and May of 1819, she reported the loss to disease of three of her intimate friends, and noted that their society of young ladies was “decreasing very fast.”    Dr. Payson died in February of 1820.     The evidence is far too fragmentary to be systematic, much less significant, but the contrast between the pious and spiritual tone of the late adolescent and young adult women of Rindge and the gleefully secular spirit of the similarly-aged Barrett and Champney daughters of neighboring New Ipswich, who served as “decoys” in the abduction of Jane in the same years, is striking and invites further study.  The affecting testimony of the demographer Lemuel Shattuck, celebrating the gendered and generational solidarities of his “two beloved sisters,” Rebecca and Betsey, who died of epidemics in New Ipswich in 1817 and 1822, underscores the same point.  Rev. Payson’s own daughter, Eliza, perhaps defying her father’s conservatism, reported to Linda Raymond and reflected mournfully on the death of “our dear Mary [Ann Wollstonecraft]” in 1819.  A year later Raymond told Ward that “our dear little Charles [Wollstonecraft]” was leaving for Cuba that very afternoon, hopefully to “find a good mother” in Nancy.    The question of these children’s “legitimacy” for practical purposes had seemingly melted into oblivion in this otherwise intense Second Great Awakening community as the debate over Jane’s abduction receded into the past.

Charles was doubtless the putatively ten year old passenger who customs officers listed as debarking in Portland with the Matanzas “planter,” “Madame Mary Woolstencroft” in 1824, and that is the last recorded glimpse of him that we have to date.   The evidence for much of this entire narrative is at once promiscuously abundant and maddeningly fragmentary.  We can  conclude, for now, by noting that Linda Raymond and Benjamin Ward finally married in 1823.  Their life together, however much it met their dream of a “union of reason and love,” was brief.   Ward died in 1828 of the same chronic illness that shaped the gradual pace of their courtship.  After four years of widowhood Linda Raymond Ward married Nancy Wollstonecraft’s much younger half-brother, Nathaniel Kingsbury, who left Harvard in his junior in 1820 to spend a year living with his sister in Cuba.  Of his four marriages, only the last one endured mortality for more than a few years, as epidemic diseases continued to sweep through a region that historians recall as the healthiest and most geriatrically-stable societal regime in early English America.  Nathaniel’s progeny, in specific ways that have still not been fully decoded, were vectors that brought Nancy’s botanical pictures and annotations to Cornell in the early Twentieth Century.

Wayne Bodle is a Senior Research Associate of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.   Before retiring two years ago, he taught at Penn, the University of Iowa, Rider University, and mostly, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is working on a book on the “Wollstonecrafts in America,” from 1792 until at least 1904.

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This is the fourth of a series of posts by Wayne Bodle on the lives and works of the Wollstonecraft family in America. 

Jane Wollstonecraft was described (fragmentarily) in an earlier post.  She was born to Charles and his first wife, Sarah, at an army garrison in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1806.  She probably lived with her seriously ill mother in New Orleans shortly after her birth. Charles sent his wife back to New York in 1809 but he kept custody of Jane.  Just when Nancy Kingsbury appeared on the scene is unclear, but probably in 1810. There is no credible evidence that Nancy was an “other woman” with regard to the Wollstonecraft’s marital breakdown, but there were insinuations to that effect by Sarah’s allies and defenders in 1818-1819.  When Charles and Nancy were married in 1813 in New Orleans, she became Jane’s de facto stepmother.  When Charles died in 1817, she took Jane to her home territory in New Hampshire to be educated.

By the time Sarah organized Jane’s abduction in New Ipswich in1818 Nancy was back in New Orleans after leaving two other children with her family in nearby Rindge.  She was not a party to the ensuing custody struggle.  Rev. Richard Hall, who had the care of Jane before the abduction, took that event as an attack on his patriarchal prerogatives and on Nancy’s honor.   His apologia, “To the Publick,” and the vitriolic spate of newspaper accounts that it provoked, disclosed the next stages.   Jane was briefly housed in the New Ipswich “mansion” of Charles Barrett, Jr., then brought back to Philipstown, N.Y. to live with her mother and grandparents.  Hall and his father-in-law, a New Hampshire judge, went to Albany, N.Y., and persuaded that state’s Chancellor, James Kent, to issue a writ of habeas corpus for Jane to be brought up the river for a hearing.  At that proceeding Kent awarded the girl to Sarah.  Heated letters appeared in Northeastern newspapers for the next year on both sides of the controversy.  The cultural salience of the surname “Wollstonecraft” helped to fuel the controversy.  Critics alleged that the other children dropped off in Rindge were “illegitimate” offspring of Charles Wollstonecraft, presumably with Nancy.  Hall and his adversaries published conflicting “letters” from Sarah to Charles, some confessing her infidelity; her own parents’ messages of appreciation to Charles for his patience with Sarah, and letters from Jane to various other persons, including both of her “mothers,” siding with one or another of them.  (Some of these letters are held in Sydney, Australia, whose suburb, “Wollstonecraft,” suggests the sprawl of the story to that continent).

Jane lived with her mother and grandparents for about eight years. Judge Garrison’s will  gave Sarah a smaller portion than his other children, and made bequests to his grandchildren—except Jane, who he charged sums for bed, board, washing, and a small amount of school tuition.  In the mid-1820s Jane crossed the Hudson River and—as her mother had at an even younger age —took up with a soldier.  In about 1826 she married Lt. William H. Sims, a graduating cadet from West Point who hailed from Georgia.  Sims never reported to his assigned duty station in Nebraska but he was allowed to resign from the service without apparent sanction a year later. The couple went to New Orleans, where Sarah (with written permission from Sims, as a feme sole) sued her legal guardian and Charles’s executor to obtain a distribution of her inheritance.  The court deducted from her award the expenses claimed by her grandfather.

Jane then disappeared from the record for almost a decade.   She and Sims probably migrated west from “Middle Georgia” across the emerging Cotton Belt in the early 1830s.  By 1834 [?] they were in Vicksburg, MS., where Sims was a partner in an iron foundry and other mercantile enterprises.  He acquired large amounts of fertile land in the Mississippi countryside. The couple moved to New Orleans, where in 1845 they had their only (known) child, a son, Charles Wollstonecraft, jr., about twenty years after their marriage. Sims died in 1847.

Jane’s appearance in Princeton, New Jersey, as the head of a household, including her mother, son, and a servant girl, in the 1860 census was described in a previous post, as was the dissolution of that household on the outbreak of the Civil War.  In 1865, having lost her son to combat in literally the last days of the war, she requested and obtained a pardon from President Johnson for entering the South during hostilities to protect her property.  She was living in New Orleans in 1872 when her daughter Sarah died.  In 1877 she sold her house, which she and Sims had bought in the 1840s, to Charles H. Fonda, a marital relation.  Fonda was already living there with the much older Jane,, two of his brothers, and three sisters.  This transaction reflected her “retirement” and her anticipation of dependency as she aged.  In 1880, the census taker found Jane with this group of kin and listed her as the head of household.  Two years later Jane died at the same address.  Her will gave her entire estate to her “beloved priest and pastor, Reverend Thomas Markham,” who she had known since he was a boy in Vicksburg.

Wayne Bodle is a Senior Research Associate of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.   Before retiring two years ago, he taught at Penn, the University of Iowa, Rider University, and mostly, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is working on a book on the “Wollstonecrafts in America,” from 1792 until at least 1904.

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This is the third of a series of posts by Wayne Bodle on the lives and works of the Wollstonecraft family in America. 

Charles Wollstonecraft married Sarah Garrison, the 15 year-old daughter of a country magistrate in Philipstown, New York, across the Hudson River from West Point, in 1804.  He described “Sally” as a “good well-informed girl,” ready to meet any challenges that they faced.   The couple moved to Natchitoches in newly-purchased Louisiana, on the edge of the Neutral Ground.  Army wives were not unknown in nineteenth century frontier garrisons, but this situation did not nurture their marriage.  A daughter, Jane Nelson Wollstonecraft, was born in August of 1806.  Sally suffered an undescribed health emergency soon after giving birth, and Charles received indefinite leave to address his family obligations, probably in New Orleans.

With random-googling quickly approaching its limits for reconstructing an increasingly sprawling narrative, commerce intervened.  A representative from a company that aggregates manuscript and printed primary sources offered me brief trial access to their databases.  A quick strike with keywords including alternate spellings of Charles’s surname found a rosetta stone.  The 1819 apologia of a New Ipswich, N.H. Congregationalist minister, titled “To the Publick,” defended his role in the ordeal of Jane N. Wollstonecraft and yielded detail in colorful bunches,  Rev. Richard Hall wrote that Charles had in 1809 “detected” Sally in acts of infidelity with one of his comrades.  He sent her back to her parents as one might now return a package to Amazon, keeping custody of Jane.  In 1811 he obtained a divorce from Louisiana’s Territorial Legislature.  In 1813 he married Nancy Kingsbury, who came to New Orleans from Rindge, N.H., next door to New Ipswich.  When Charles died of Yellow Fever in 1817, Nancy brought Jane, per his instructions and by the authority of probate officials, to New Ipswich and placed her with Hall’s family to be educated at a local academy. Hall offered witness statements, purported letters from Sally’s parents more sympathetic to Charles’s dilemma than to their daughter’s, and much more information.  His essay ignited a newspaper war in New England, seemingly fueled in part by   the Wollstonecraft name, as critics and adversaries challenged him in print.  The limitations of random keyword search remained, but it could now at least be employed much more widely.

I will discuss other parties in a subsequent post, but Sarah has been the hardest figure in this narrative to recover.   She lived in her parents’ household in Putnam County, New York, well into middle age. In 1818 she discovered Jane’s whereabouts, recruited a recovery party,   and traveled to New Hampshire.  Allying with several powerful families in New Ipswich, she orchestrated her daughter’s abduction from Hall’s custody and brought her back to New York.  These events withstood criminal indictments in New Hampshire that were not brought to trial, and a habeas corpus custody challenge by Hall that failed in the Albany court of New York’s Chancellor James Kent.  Sarah then went to New Orleans and challenged Charles’s will, which divided his estate between Nancy and Jane, arguing that her marriage was still intact because a federal territory (in 1811) could not have legally severed what a duly constituted state of the American republic had joined together.   The suit went nowhere in Louisiana’s state courts.

Thereafter we catch only glimpses of Sarah, who appears to have been shattered by her adolescent marriage and its consequences.  We find her as a congregant in the Episcopal Chapel of the Highlands in Philipstown, where her father was a deacon in the 1830s.  (Her grandfather, “Judge” Garrison, owned slaves, and freed them as slowly as seems possible under New York’s gradual manumission act.  Charles’s estate included several enslaved people in late 1810s urban New Orleans, surely one of the more demoralizing findings of Wollstonecraft scholarship).  She appears in the 1860 census living in a household in Princeton, New Jersey, headed by her adult daughter, Jane, and including her grandson, Charles Wollstonecraft, Jr., a first year student at the College of New Jersey.  His class, with much of the College itself, dissolved in the spring of 1861 as southern students raced home to defend secession and northerners rallied to the Union.

We finally encounter Sarah on her deathbed in New Orleans in December of 1872, as pitched battles between competing factions of that city’s Reconstruction government raged on the street below her window.   Jane lived nearby, apparently still involved in her life and care, but in complex domestic circumstances of her own making, to be reported in the next post.

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Call for Papers
for a special issue of
British Journal for the History of Philosophy

The history of contemporary philosophy is generally presented by its
historians as a field founded entirely by men, with no prominent female
contributors until figures like Anscombe, Barcan, and Foot began to make
their names in the 1950s. Historical investigation of the period usually
centres itself around Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein, with occasional
ventures into Moore or the Vienna Circle. But such historical accounts
leave out vast swathes of the historical record, in particular the women,
including Christine Ladd-Franklin, Beatrice Edgell, Sophie Bryant, Mary
Calkins, E.E.C. Jones, publishing on themes central to early analytic
philosophy — logic and its philosophy, the analysis of language, atomism,
realism vs. idealism, existence, relations — from the 1880s onwards in key
philosophical journals such as Mind and Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society. The British Journal for the History of Philosophy invites
contributions to a special issue devoted to women’s philosophical work in
and around the early period of analytic philosophy, from the late 19th
century to the early 1950s, edited by Sophia Connell and Frederique
Janssen-Lauret.

We invite proposals for papers to be included in the special issue. These
may be either on individual female philosophers, groups of female
philosophers, a debate between philosophers at least one of whom is female,
women’s contribution to different branches of philosophy (including formal
and mathematical logic), or any other aspect of the history of women in
philosophy between 1880 and 1950. Contributions on female idealists,
pragmatists, or women from other traditions critical of analytic philosophy
are also most welcome, as are contributions on women who worked in the
history of philosophy or ancient philosophy. Many female philosophers prior
to the mid-20th century were proficient in normative as well as systematic
philosophy, but submissions on women’s work in systematic philosophy are
particularly encouraged since their work has been obscured. We also
encourage young scholars, including post-docs and PhD students, to submit
proposals.

Please submit proposals in the form of a 500 word summary to
sophia.connell@bbk.ac.uk and frederique.janssen-lauret@manchester.ac.uk by
July 31st 2019.

All submissions will be refereed in accordance with BJHP practice
(double-blind peer review). The deadline for submitting papers accepted for
peer review will be sometime in 2020, as yet to be determined.

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This is the second of a series of posts by Wayne Bodle on the lives and works of the Wollstonecraft family in America. 

The disappearance of Nancy Wollstonecraft’s botanical pictures may have been due to   “careless spelling,” a common enough phenomenon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But the blizzard of vowels and consonants in which their surname was draped were helpful in recovering Charles when internet keyword search became available in the late twentieth century.   His literal digital fingerprints were left everywhere after Mary sent him to America in 1792.  As scanning of primary sources proliferated, he materialized like a photograph in a darkroom sink.  Little of it made much sense in that fragmented context.  Mary sent her “favourite sibling” away because, in her liberal (or radical) religious (or political) circles, America was an innocent post-revolutionary (or colonial) republic. Britain was a reactionary anti-French Revolutionary state. Or Charles traveled to locate a wilderness farm to which Mary and/their siblings might migrate.    Or increasingly, because as her “present blister,” she simply wanted him to be out of her way.

If Charles had gone to Goshen, New York, he might have fit this Crevecoeurian dream, but in John Dickinson’s Pennsylvania a “farmer” could be anything that he wanted to be.  He was swept up into a land speculation bubble that extended from Maine to Georgia.  Scattered evidence suggests that he pursued women, as a 22 year-old might have been expected to do, but one of their mothers—contradicting her spouse—depicted him as hardly a rake.  The Vindication of the Rights of Woman was in Philadelphia coffeehouses in late 1792, but there is no reason to think he had read its chapters in draft.  In February of 1793, Senator Aaron Burr, of New York, stayed up nights to read the Vindication, but their paths did not cross until years later, if ever.

When the bubble burst, Charles joined the American army being raised in 1798 for the “Quasi-War” with France.  How he bootlegged his surname past officials tasked with excluding officers who were not Federalists is a mystery.  Mary would have been appalled by his choice of professions, but she might also have admired the bourgeois skills that made him a paymaster in functional terms rather than an artillery lieutenant—his formal rank. He served mainly at Fort Jay in New York harbor and traveled a lot.  His disciplinary record was very colorful.  Some of it involved infractions with, or about, women, but shooting his commanding officer’s prized ducks   nearly got him cashiered.  Instead, in dueling courts-martial in 1803, his counter-charges drove the commander out of the army. His political connections were real, but still largely obscure.

Charles dined at President Jefferson’s table in late 1805.  Paymaster affairs took him to West Point, an artillery post before it became a military academy, where he found a wife.  In post-Purchase Louisiana, he helped to patrol the ambiguous boundaries of the “Neutral Ground” with Spanish Texas, but he also invested in “filibustering” expeditions aimed at overthrowing Spanish colonial rule there.  His most visible traditional military activity came in a support role at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.  But appropriately, given his kinship status, his marital history and its consequences are worthier of book-length treatment than his martial exploits. The experiences of his mostly-female connections and offspring—two wives, a daughter, a grandson, two reputedly “illegitimate” or “adopted” progeny, and one or more figures who I describe as “honorary Wollstonecrafts in America,” trace some material and behavioral, rather than merely intellectual, reverberations of Mary Wollstonecraft’s ideas across the century after her death.   I hope to briefly introduce those persons in another post.  I welcome suggestions or research leads.

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A few weeks ago I announced here the discovery of a Cuban botanical book by Mary Wollstonecraft’s sister in law, Nancy, as well as an article by her in the Boston Monthly entitled ‘On the Natural Rights of Women’. A few days later, I found out through Wollstonecraft scholar Eileen Hunt Botting, that this ‘discovery’ had in fact been the research focus of Wayne Bodle. We contacted Prof. Bodle and he agreed to give us an account of his discovery of Nancy Wollstonecraft. The first installment is below. Enjoy!

In July of 1824 a ship from Cuba arrived in Portland, Maine.  Its passenger manifest listed “Madame Mary Woolstencroft,” a “planter” from Matanzas, and a young boy, “Charles Woolstencroft,” (10),  probably her son   They may have traveled with the third listed passenger, Richard Keating, an American sea captain who was like Mary a recently-widowed single parent. Maybe they came to meet his mother, the Maine novelist, Sarah Sayward Barrell Keating Wood ( aka,“Madame Wood”), about any plans for remarriage?  But “Mary,” whose actual name was Nancy Kingsbury Wollstonecraft, hurried to Boston on business that seemed more professional than personal.  She just as likely brought sample paintings of Cuban plant life that have recently been described on this blog, or letters and essays that she hoped to have published in Boston.

Nancy toured Harvard’s campus and its botanical garden, whose gardener she had   criticized in notes to the pictures.  She attended the college’s commencement ceremony, where she saw the Marquis de Lafayette on his celebrated tour of America.  She sparred with a friend, the writer Hannah Adams, over whether “this good republican” or any European “kings and emperors,” would be worthier figures to be introduced to.  Spoiler alert: Nancy did not seem quite as radical on that issue as her late sister-in-law Mary Wollstonecraft would have been.   Within two years her essay on the “The Natural Rights of Woman” under the pseudonym of “D’Anvers,” and anonymous “Letters from Cuba” appeared in the Boston Monthly Magazine. Her annotated botanical paintings vanished into American thin air for almost two centuries.

In 1828, a wintering Yankee “invalid” (a health tourist) the Reverend Abiel Abbot, visited adjacent cottages in Matanzas to see “two literary ladies”—“Mrs.W.” (Nancy Wollstonecraft), and “Mrs. B.” (Maria Gowen Brooks).  Brooks was a struggling but already published poet who, like Wood, had married young to a much older man and was widowed with dependent children.   She had also once, like (or maybe even with)Wood spent some complicated years in Portland. Intersections between these figures, and the spectacle of American expatriate culture in Cuba, are compelling topics without adding a volatile surname like Wollstonecraft.  Brooks’s and Wood’s non-celebrity resonate with contemporary scholarly injunctions to recover obscure voices in literary studies or to write history “from the bottom up” in my own discipline. [1]  But it was truly the Wollstonecraft brand that drew my attention to the subject.  Some biographers of Mary Wollstonecraft have acknowledged an American branch of her family—a brother, Charles, sent over by Mary—who married the daughter of a “Judge Garrison” in New Orleans.  Or an abducted niece, Jane, whose descendants, one scholar speculated (wrongly) in 1974, may “even now [be] making their contributions to Castro’s revolutionary society.”  Such musings were fanciful sidebars to a lived life that very soon burst spectacularly into Revolutionary France.  In 1848 Mary Shelley told a cousin in Australia that her “Uncle Charles” had “left no family” in America, and that she and her husband Percy were likely the “nearest relatives” still living. .

I “discovered” Charles Wollstonecraft in a footnote to a traditional volume of military history in the late 1980s while prospecting for a study of America’s post-revolutionary army as a device to measure changing civilian gender dynamics on the Ohio Valley frontier.  Envisioning at most an article on him, I made a folder for it and set it aside, where it remained inert for years!  It took the dawn of the internet age, and some different interpretive priorities on my part, to bring the “Wollstonecrafts in America” back into view.  I am very grateful to Professor Bergès for the invitation to offer a few notes about these interesting figures here, and in another post or two.

[1]Brooks has received scholarly analysis from Kirsten Silva Gruesz, and Wood has earned some attention from Karen A. Weyler, but neither of them as yet resonate on quite the scale of popular interest accorded to, for example, the Peabody Sisters—who “ignited American Romanticism.”

Wayne Bodle is a Senior Research Associate of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.   Before retiring two years ago, he taught at Penn, the University of Iowa, Rider University, and mostly, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is working on a book on the “Wollstonecrafts in America,” from 1792 until at least 1904.

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**2nd CfP: Tilburg-Groningen Workshop on Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy**

The history of philosophy is generally presented as a history of male thinkers, and the history of analytic philosophy is no exception. From the birth of analytic philosophy to its maturing well into the twentieth century, female contributors formed a small minority and their work did not always receive the attention it deserved. Although Susanne Langer, Susan Stebbing and Elizabeth Anscombe secured their place in the canon, more women played a significant role in the development of analytic philosophy. Recent studies have stressed the importance of for example Constance Jones, Janina Hosiasson, Maria Kokoszyńska, Margaret MacDonald, and Rose Rand for logic, philosophy of science, metaphysics and philosophy of language during the early twentieth century.

On October 27, 2019, a workshop on women philosophers in the history of the analytic tradition will take place in Tilburg, organized by the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) together with the Faculty of Philosophy in Groningen. The workshop brings together researchers interested in the life and work of women philosophers in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, and their contribution to the development of analytic philosophy.

*Confirmed keynotes*

Gary Ostertag (CUNY, New York) on E. E. Constance Jones
Marta Sznajder (MCMP, Munich) on Janina Hosiasson-Lindenbaum

*Submission guidelines*

Please submit an abstract with a maximum of 500 words suitable for blind review. The deadline for submission is June 1. People whose abstract is accepted will be invited for a 60 minute presentation (including discussion). Please send your abstracts and/or inquiries to TilburgGroningenWorkshop[at]gmail.com.

*Dates and Deadlines*

June 01: Submission deadline
June 15: Notifications
October 27: Workshop

*Programme committee*

Filip Buekens (TiLPS, Tilburg University)
Tamer Nawar (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen)
Jeanne Peijnenburg (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen)
Allard Tamminga (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen)
Sander Verhaegh (TiLPS, Tilburg University)

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Registration is now opened for the following. Looks like an exciting conference!

Women in Modern Philosophy

An International Conference to be held at
Rio de Janeiro State University – UERJ
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

17-20, June 2019
Keynote speakers:
• Ruth Hagengruber – Paderborn University
• Marilena Chauí – Universiy of São Paulo
• Lisa Shapiro – Simon Fraser University
• Ulysses Pinheiro – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
• Sabrina Ebbersmeyer – University of Copenhagen
• Lia Levy – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
• Sarah Hutton – University of York

For further information see

https://mulheresfilosofiamoderna.wordpress.com/page/1/

or email Katarina Peixoto katarinapeixoto@hotmail.com

To register for the conference: mphilosophiam@gmail.com

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PHILOSOPHY AND ISLAMIC MYSTICISM: RĀBI‘A AL-‘ADAWIYYA

2-3 MAY 2019

WORKSHOP | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The diversity project In der Philosophie zu Hause (At Home in Philosophy) is organizing a workshop on Islamic mysticism in cooperation with the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists at Paderborn University, Germany. The workshop „Philosophy and Islamic Mysticism: Rābi‘a al-‘Adawiyya“ under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber focuses on the Islamic mystic Rābi‘a al-‘Adawiyya and will be held by Prof. Dr. Tamara Albertini (University of Hawai’i), a well-known expert on Islamic philosophy.

The mystic Rābi‘a al-‘Adawiyya is one of the most significant scholars of Sufism. This is due to her teachings on divine love, which steered the early Sufism away from the practice of strict asceticism towards the unity with god.

Sufism is a mystic movement of Islam with an emphasis on asceticism and spirituality. Humanism, humanity and philanthropy are a few of the fundamental values of this movement.

 Prof. Dr. Tamara Albertini teaches at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and focuses her research on the Renaissance and Islamic philosophy. Her work on Islamic mysticism and Rābi‘a al-‘Adawiyya in particular contributes greatly to transferring of the work and influence of ancient Islamic scholars to the present.

The workshop takes place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 and Friday, May 3, 2019, at Paderborn University, Germany. On Thursday, Professor Albertini will also hold a talk on Ibn Rushd, Averros and the Enlightenment as part of the Kolloquium zu Philosophie at 4 p.m. in in lecture hall O2. Everyone interested in the topic is welcome to join in!

For more:
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