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Cultivating Conversation

In Michaelmas and Lent Term, the reading group examined a number of neglected/sidelined texts in HPS — written by feminist thinkers and key to the construction of alternate epistemologies and methods in both history and philosophy. Often, the texts directly challenged traditional scientific values like “empirical adequacy,” “objectivity," and "reality." They brought to the fore emancipatory politics, minor/marginal histories, and the conditions of academic knowledge production. A primer of sorts, it allowed participants to rethink the foundations of the discipline, as well as its conceptual parameters. 

In Easter Term 2022, the group will read (slightly) less and talk more. Taking a colloquy-style approach, each week a different scholar will be invited to present on their research interests and/or engagements with feminist scholarship. The hope is that through communal discussion, theory will be enlivened and made more interactive/accessible. 

Instead of reading assigned texts, 'A Feminist Colloquy' will involve a rotating schedule of guest speakers, presenting on an array of different topics — including seed histories, feminist jurisprudence, women worker's education, eco-feminism, the gendered history of librarianship, and more. Each talk will include a ~20-25-minute open discussion.



This term, we will be meeting online on Zoom on Wednesdays/Fridays at 4pm London time due to COVID-19 safety concerns. If the situation improves, and all members agree, we may meet in-person later during the term.

We will be meeting on this link each week:​


Meeting ID: 923 2742 4451

Passcode: hpsfem


Easter Term 2022
A Feminist Colloquy


...on Seed Care and Vegetal Relations 

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) with Dr. Katie Dow & Xan Chacko on the feminist agriculture and creative practices of care. 

Dow, Katie (2021). "Bloody Marvels: In Situ Seed Saving and Intergenerational Malleability." Medical Anthropology Quarterly 35 (4): 493-510


Chacko, Xan (2019). "Creative Practices of Care: The Subjectivity, Agency, and Affective Labor of Preparing Seeds for Long‐term Banking." Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment 41(2), 97-106.

MAY 11

...on Seculiarism and Feminism

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) with Dr. Victoria Browne on Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist historiography, and the politics of secularism. 

Browne, Victoria (2019). "The forgetting of Mary Wollstonecraft’s religiosity: teleological secularism within feminist historiography." Journal of Gender Studies 28 (7): 766-776.

MAY 18

...on Activist Archives

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) with Prof. Maria Tamboukou on feminist genealogies and archival engagements with women worker's education. 


Tamboukou, Maria (2020). "Archives, genealogies and narratives in women workers’ education." Women's History Review 29(3): 396-412.

MAY 27

...on Nature Bordering and ‘S/kin’

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) with Dr. Olga Cielemecka on feminist environmental thinking, human-vegetal relations, and experimental kinships. 

Rogowska-Stangret, Monika, and Olga Cielemęcka (2020). "Traces “we” leave behind: toward the feminist fractice of stig (e) merging."  Ecozon@ 11(2): 178-186. 


...on Speculative Jurisprudence

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) on personal identity and institutional feminist politics. Speaker and prescribed text TBA.


...on Open Access and the Gendered History of Librarianship 

A virtual conversation (+ Q&A) with Dr. Emily Knox on gendered labour, open-access publishing, and emergent digital infrastructures.


Hoffman, Anna Lauren, and Raina Bloom (2016). "Digitizing Books, Obscuring Women's Work: Google Books, Librarians, and Ideologies of Access." Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 9.   

Upcoming Talk

A Feminist Colloquy on Activist Archives with Prof. Maria Tamboukou

Join us for a virtual discussion (+ Q&A) on feminist genealogies and the intellectual life of working women. By examining archival records pertaining to women workers' education in the UK, Prof. Tamboukou will attend to the challenges and possibilities which arise when one begins to trace marginal histories, particularly as archives become spaces of contested politics and sociocultural imaginaries. Alongside the work required to live and re-imagine neglected archives, Prof. Tamboukou will also examine the visual turn in the era of the digital revolution and the creation of digital meta-archives. The session should be of interest to archivists, historians, and those interested in experimental philosophical methods. The talk will include a ~25 min open discussion.  


18 May
4-5pm London time

Archive (term reading lists)

About the reading group:

Feminist HPS was created in 2021 by a group of students in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (University of Cambridge). It seeks to expand the existing curriculum by including more wom*n identifying scholars and those working on feminist epistemologies and methodologies. The aims of the reading group are threefold: 

1. To make more visible scholarship from authors frequently sidelined or erased from the official canon, highlighting their contributions to the development of HPS. 

2. To tease out existing debates within feminist philosophy and history, including those surrounding scientific values (e.g. objectivity, empirical verification, and logical reasoning); gender bias in science; and the role of applied methodology. 

3. To legitimise feminist thought as a properly philosophical and historical occupation.

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