What if Truth Were a Woman? On Nietzsche, Women, and Philosophy
Hosted by Katia Hay (University of Amsterdam) and Maria Joao Branco (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
16-18 September 2021
via Zoom, with pre-recorded key-notes and paper presentations
The Friedrich Nietzsche Society (FNS) invites the submission of abstracts to be considered for presentation at the 26th annual FNS meeting. Due to the impossibility of making concrete plans due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this conference will take place via Zoom and of necessity, be smaller than our usual annual conferences. The conference will consist of key-note presentations, and pre-recorded paper presentations attendees will view in advance in preparation for scheduled live discussion sessions pertaining to each. Hosted by Katia Hay (University of Amsterdam) and Maria Joao Branco (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), the plenary talks and panel sessions will be scheduled to maximize concurrent participation between attendees in Europe (evening), the Americas (early to mid-afternoon), East Asia, and Australia (early-morning).
Note: If you submitted an abstract for the cancelled 2020 FNS conference, we still have it and will consider it for inclusion if you wish. If you prefer, you may also re-submit. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Judith Norman (Trinity University, Texas)
- Paul Patton (Wuhan University)
- Maria Cristina Fornari (University of Salento)
- Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir (University of Iceland)
Call for abstracts
Nietzsche’s writings abound in references to ‘woman’ and the feminine. His predominately controversial remarks on this subject pervade in his philosophical questioning about the notions of humanity, Western culture, nihilism, modernity, life and death, nature, suffering, art and creativity, illusion, truth, and philosophy itself. It is therefore not surprising that his thoughts on women and the feminine should have raised diverse, and even opposed interpretations. What is perhaps more surprising is how these issues have remained somewhat under-interpreted. In other words: there is much more to be thought and said on this topic.
This conference addresses the mysterious, polemical and in many cases unexpected relationship that Nietzsche establishes between women and philosophical thought throughout his writings. Presenters will examine the way Nietzsche uses and thematizes the notion of ‘woman’ and the feminine (and related concepts such as motherhood, pregnancy, love, desire, difference, the representation of life and truth as a woman), the importance these concepts had for the development of his thought, and their intersection with other themes and ideas in his work. In addition, this conference considers the influence Nietzsche has had and may still be having in the development of feminist theories. The organizers therefore also invite discussions of feminist readings of Nietzsche and Nietzsche’s influence on Feminism.
Possible questions and topics include:
- On Weib (and possible differences with other approaches from Schopenhauer, to Wagner, the Romantics, etc.)
- Nietzsche’s critique of feminism or ‘feminine emancipation’ in modernity
- Nietzsche’s understanding of ‘masculinity’
- Dionysus and the feminine
- Women and
- Nature and life (suffering, beauty, creativity)
- reason and unreason (madness, animality, feeling, play, ambiguity…)
- truth and falsehood (deceit and masks)
- Sexual difference
- Love, marriage, friendship and the relation(s) between man and woman
- Love, pleasure, desire, and possession
- Nietzsche on philosophers as lovers (of truth)
- Artists, women, creation and procreation
- Nietzsche on pregnancy, motherhood, and children
- Identity and difference
- Weakness and strength
- Nietzsche and Feminism(s) and feminist critique of Nietzsche
- Nietzsche’s experience with women (mother, sister, Lou, Malwida, etc.)
- Contest and conflict between the sexes, and its potential creativity
Paper proposals on additional topics related to the conference theme are also welcome.