Sex, Gender, Race and the Political

15 Feb 2019, Belfast

SWIP Ireland and the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics in Queen's University Belfast are delighted to co-host this one day workshop on feminist and philosophical concepts of sex, gender and race. 


This workshop features a keynote session by Professor Stella Sandford on the case of Aristotle's 'Male' and 'Female' within a critical history of philosophy. It also includes contributions on the importance of transgender rights within feminist movements; epistemic injustice and counter-terrorism legislation in educational contexts; theorizing the political through gendered shame and humiliation; the complex role of namus in subjectivization processes for Kurdish women; and how the philosophical concept of speculation relates to sexual difference and racialized histories. Full programme as listed below.

If you have any dietary or mobility requirements please let us know by emailing


SWIP Ireland Workshop 2019 Programme 

10.15-10.30 Welcome and coffee

10.30-12.00 Post-graduate research panel 

  • Hasret Centinkaya - Subjectivity, Propriety, and the Kurdish “everyday”: Namus and the embodied, emotional and social dimensions of sexed identities.
  • Isabell Dahms - Have concept, will travel: Philosophical speculation and the history of the gynaecological speculum

12.00-12.45 Professor Kathleen Lennon - Are there conflicts of interests between trans and non trans women?

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-15.15 Keynote and Q&A: Professor Stella Sandford: ‘What is “Critical History of Philosophy”? The Case of Aristotle’s “Male” and “Female”’

15.15-16.00 Professor Aislinn O’Donnell - Contagious ideas: vulnerability, epistemic injustice and counter-terrorism in education

16.00-16.15 Coffee break

16.15-18.00 Panel - Theorizing the Political through Gendered Shame and Humiliation in UK and Irish Contexts

  • Dr. Clara Fischer - Shame and Lone Parenting in Ireland
  • Dr. Dianna Taylor - Transformative Masculinities: Irish Republicans, Trauma, and Humiliation
  • Dr. Mary Edwards - Virtual Feminine Embodiment, Masochism, and the New Political Landscape

18.30 Conference Dinner



Stella Sandford is Professor in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London, UK. She is the author of Plato and Sex (Polity, 2010), How to Read Beauvoir (Granta/Norton, 2006) and The Metaphysics of Love: Gender and Transcendence in Levinas (Athlone/Continuum, 2000). She is co-editor (with Mandy Merck) of Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex: Critical Essays on Shulamith Firestone (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and (with Peter Osborne) Philosophies of Race and Ethnicity (Continuum, 2002) and edited, with an Introduction, Étienne Balibar's Identity and Difference: John Locke and the Invention of Consciousness, Verso 2013. Her recent work has been in critical philosophy of race, especially in relation to Kant and philosophical readings of psychoanalysis. She is currently holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, for a project on ‘Sex Difference in Natural History’.

Hasret Cetinkaya is a doctoral candidate at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. She is a socio-legal scholar and her research interests are postcolonial and feminist theory, gender, kinship and the sociology of human rights.

Isabell Dahms is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University in London, UK. Her doctoral research explores the concept of speculation in eighteenth-century German philosophy, primarily Kant and Hegel, and the contemporary relevance that this concept has for feminist analysis and critique, specifically in the works of Butler and Irigaray. Apart from her doctoral research, Isabell has co-edited the book “Thinking Catherine Malabou: Passionate Detachments”. In her free time, she takes part in feminist reading groups in London and organizes with the UK feminist direct action group “Sisters Uncut” on issues surrounding domestic violence.

Kathleen Lennon is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hull, UK. Her primary research interests are in the imagination, embodiment, phenomenology, (particularly the work of Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir,) gender and old age. Kathleen is currently working on the second edition of Theorising Gender and a co-authored monograph Old Age. Recent publications include: Imagination and the Imaginary , Routledge 2015 ; ‘Judith Butler and the Sartrean Imaginary’,Sartre Studies International, Volume 23 2017; ‘Expression’ in Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty, ed. Komarine Romdenh-Romluc, Routledge 2017; ‘Expressing the world: Merleau -Ponty and Feminist Debates on Nature/Culture,’ in New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment, ed. Luna Dolezal,Palgrave's series Breaking Feminist Waves, 2018; Alsop, R. and Lennon, K. ‘Aesthetic surgery and the expressive body’. Feminist Theory, 2017

Aislinn O’Donnell is Professor of Education in Maynooth University. Her research and scholarship is focused on the questions of democracy, ethics, experience and education. Her recent research is centred on developing educational responses to counter-extremist and counter-terrorist policies, and she is currently working on the relationships between values, the public, and education. She is particularly interested in exploring innovative and experimental approaches to teaching philosophy and to developing communities of enquiry. She is currently co-leading The Enquiring Classroom, an ERASMUS+ funded project. ( that addresses questions of integration, cohesion, identity, democracy and belonging in Europe. 

Clara Fischer is an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Gender, Feminisms, and Sexualities, and Co-director of the Dewey Studies Research Project at University College Dublin. She is the author of Gendered Readings of Change: A Feminist-Pragmatist Approach (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), and co-editor of Irish Feminisms: Past, Present and Future (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2015) and New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018). She is also the guest editor of a special issue of Hypatia on "Gender and the Politics of Shame" (2018). As the PI on EU Horizon2020 project, GENDEMOTION: The Gendered Politics of Emotion in Austerity Ireland, Clara is currently researching the gendered politics of shame in an Irish context.

Dianna Taylor is Professor of Philosophy at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Her research focuses on twentieth-century continental philosophy and contemporary feminist philosophy. She is co-editor of Feminism and the Final Foucault (University of Illinois Press, 2004) and Feminist Politics: Identity, Difference, Agency (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), and is editor of Michel Foucault: Key Concepts (Acumen, 2010). Her current book project brings into conversation the work of Michel Foucault and contemporary feminist philosophers in order to theorize new ways of conceptualizing and countering the harm of sexual violence against women.

Mary Edwards is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy in Cardiff University. Previously, she worked as an Adjunct Lecturer at University College Cork (UCC), where she was also awarded her PhD in 2017. The majority of her research to date has been devoted to showing that Sartre’s later work possesses much greater philosophical significance than has been hitherto appreciated, and to bringing it into a new and productive dialogue with current debates in philosophy. She also works at the intersection of phenomenology and feminist philosophy and she has published on the gendered politics of shame.


Seminar Room - First Floor
27 University Square
BT7 1NN Belfast