This resource is a directory of feminist philosophers’ archives, as well as the archives of related journals and organizations. In this project, “feminist philosophers” includes feminist theorists in disciplines closely related to philosophy. The annotated directory aims to enable scholars researching topics and individuals in feminist philosophy to locate archived materials and support enriched understandings of the evolution and connections among various strands of feminist thought. The directory also serves as a resource for outreach and as a historical document.
By facilitating archival work on feminist philosophers and their journals and organizations, the directory contributes to a deeper pursuit of feminist philosophy and helps to reveal its hidden historical richness. It will support scholars in finding material that places feminist philosophers in webs of influence—who they influenced and who or what influenced them (e.g., other works, conversations, correspondence, conferences, etc.). To this end, the directory also includes feminist theorists in kindred disciplines.
Archives hold documentation of the range of the individuals’ contributions and engagements as a feminist scholar, including correspondence, unpublished manuscripts and presentations. They also serve as a record of roles that scholars held throughout their career, such as organizers, academic officers, administrators, students, and teachers. In some cases, archives also hold records of the individuals’ public lives, such as items in the public media and records of activism. Individuals’ archives provide windows into their education, intellectual development and professional careers, including others they engaged with via correspondence, programs of meetings of organizations, and so on.
Archives of journals and organizations offer a record of documents including video interviews and conversations concerning their founding, structure, and leadership, but also correspondence about their creation and ongoing work behind the scenes. We hope that this directory will also encourage other feminist philosophers, journals, and organizations to create archives, thus expanding further the range of available scholarly material.
In the 1970s, feminist philosophers’ reflections on gender were frequently not seen as relevant to the philosophical mainstream. Over the following decades, feminist philosophers have expanded, enriched and deepened the discipline. Mainstream philosophers’ initial skepticism has subsided, although not completely. In order to continue examining and enriching the field of philosophy, it is crucial that feminist work, along with the work of others from marginalized groups, is taken seriously and pursued in depth.
Some feminist philosophers, journals and organizations have established archives of their papers in the libraries of various colleges and universities. Although some of these documents are listed in Phil Papers and other databases, there is much more material archived in special collections at various colleges and universities. In 2022 Marilyn Frye suggested to Ann Garry, Sandra Harding, and Alison Jaggar that we create the first systematic, comprehensive directory to help scholars and students identify and locate this material. Later that year, the American Philosophical Association supported our proposal with a grant. Matthew Smithdeal created and maintains the website.