Students Staff

Essex Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Group

The Essex Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Group is an informal student-led organisation which seeks both to raise awareness of, and think of ways of addressing, the underrepresentation of women in philosophy.

The School of Philosophy and Art History (SPAH) at Essex is a supportive and friendly environment to work in, and it is because of this fact that it provides a good opportunity for thinking about the problems associated with being a woman in the wider discipline of philosophy.

The group is based on the Society for Women in Philosophy UK national organisation and our aims include:

  • Providing a supportive network for self-defining women working in philosophy and other theoretical disciplines at Essex
  • Promoting feminism in philosophy and philosophy in feminism
  • Raising awareness of work by women in philosophy, both contemporary and historical
  • Thinking critically about the discipline of philosophy and its relationship to women and other underrepresented groups

Events and activities

Events organised by Essex SWIP Group include:

  • A weekly Feminism and Philosophy Reading Group
  • Regular social events to help provide a supportive environment for women to meet and discuss philosophy.
  • Hosting ‘Philosophy and ‘Other Voices’ - the SWIP UK 2015 conference at Essex, - keynote speakers Dr Meena Dhanda (University of Wolverhampton) and Professor Pamela Sue Anderson (University of Oxford).
  • Co-hosting a departmental seminar with Professor Jennifer Saul, chair of SWIP UK, on 16 October 2014.
  • Welcome events for new students in October.

In the longer term, we are also interested in hosting a mini-course on feminism and philosophy, and creating and maintaining a repository for material on a range of ‘alternative discourses’ in philosophy.

Reading group

Our Feminism and Philosophy reading group takes place every Monday, 6-7pm in room 5A.324. For further information or if you are interested in joining the group, please email Renée Reitsma,

  • Programme

    This term we are reading A Mind of One’s Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity. A book of tremendous influence when it first appeared, A Mind of One's Own reminded readers that the tradition of Western philosophy - in particular, the ideals of reason and objectivity - has come down to us from white males, nearly all of whom are demonstrably sexist, even misogynist. This volume asks: What are the implications of this fact for contemporary feminists working within this tradition?

Essex SWIP Group blog

We also run an Essex SWIP Group blog, which is regularly updated with posts related to our activities and discussions.

Get involved

If you wish to become involved in Essex SWIP Group or would like further information, email Rosie Worsdale

  • Committee members

    Members of the Essex SWIP Group Committee are:

    • Rosie Worsdale (President) - PhD student working on feminism and political philosophy
    • Nicole Osborne - PhD student working on joy and pleasure in Spinoza's ethics.
    • Renée Reitsma - PhD student working on Nietzsche and philosophy of religion
    • Christina Brown - PhD student working on Critical Theory and reification
    • Kate Seymour - PhD student working on Rancière and emancipation
    • Kristina Siosyte - Undergraduate student in philosophy and human rights

Gender Equality

  • Gender equality in our School

    Logo for the British Philosophical Association and Society for Women in 
			Philosophy UK Good Practice Scheme

    The School of Philosophy and Art History are signed up as participants in the British Philosophical Association (BPA) and Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Good Practice Scheme.

    The scheme aims to assist UK philosophy departments, learned societies and journals in ensuring that they have policies and procedures in place that encourage the representation of women in philosophy.

    Our School aims to treat all staff and students who are part of the School, and also visitors to the School, equally in all relevant respects, regardless of gender.

    We acknowledge that historically women have been disadvantaged in many aspects of university and academic life, through both conscious and unconscious assumptions, biases, and prejudices, and through practical arrangements which were not favourable for women, and we are committed to changing this situation.

    We believe that not only female students and staff of the School, but the School in general will benefit academically, intellectually and socially from an energetic commitment to promoting gender equality.

    Read our Good Practice Policy Implementation Plan for more information:


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