An immersive philosophical exploration entitled The Invisible Matron, that meets once a week in Montreal West on a Thursday evening (7.30-9.30pm) over a six-week period. We use a combination of small lectures, assigned readings, "living philosophy" exercises, and group discussions to work the ideas that arise from both the corpus and the experiences of those participating in the course. Our readings will be drawn from writings by, among others, Carol Gilligan, Gloria Steinem, Carolyn Heilbrun, Luce Irigaray, Iris Marion Young, Kathleen Woodward, Germaine Greer, Roland Barthes, Joanna Frueh, Gilles Deleuze, Barbara MacDonald, May Sarton, Susan Griffin, Adrienne Rich, and Nel Noddings. We will explore the following themes:
- the idea that women grow more radical as they age and acquire a different voice with which to speak ;
- the traditional mind/body split within Western Philosophy that has failed to take seriously the lived bodily experiences of women in general, and women hitting midlife and beyond more specifically ;
- the trope of the obedient and dutiful daughter ;
- the ways we negotiate belonging and "fitting in" at different stages of our lives.
- the monster/beauty paradigm that accompanies women's journey in and out of visibility and invisibility ;
- how women's lives have been "written" in a wide range of media so as to conceal truths and reinforce stereotypes ;
- the lost or hidden lives of "ordinary" women throughout history, and how these lives can be recuperated and reclaimed through traces like their diaries, letters, and photographs ;
- the framings that society makes of women who lead both conventional lives and those who step outside of the conventions;
- what it is to be an aging female "self" in a society that worships youth and has a very limited conception of female beauty and female "being-in-the-world.
Week 1: March 31
Week 2: April 7
Week 3: April 14
Week 4: April 28
Week 5: May 5 - coincides with our bi-monthly salon, which is a forum discussion about The Invisible Matron
Week 6: May 12
How can I find out more? Go to our philosophy club page on our website. Please note that places on the course will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis and that priority will be given to our members.