On June 1-2, a workshop on “The Contribution of Mary Wollstonecraft to Contemporary Issues in Philosophy” was held at Bilkent. Organized by Asst. Prof. Sandrine Berges with support from a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant, the conference was well attended, with speakers from Turkey and the UK. Keynote speakers were Sarah Hutton (University of York) and Hatice Nur Erkizan (Muğla University).
The motivation for the workshop, said Dr. Berges, was not so much to develop Wollstonecraft scholarship as to show how the issues she discussed – including republicanism, education and women’s rights, as well as slavery, aesthetics, marriage, work, family, masculinity, virtue, reason, passions, theology and epistemology – are still philosophically relevant and that some of her arguments cast light on contemporary problems. A second aim was to show that the study of women philosophers of the past is a highly productive part of academic philosophy. In both these aims the workshop was a success, and there will be a follow-up workshop in London in February 2018.