Anne-Marie McCallion

Anne-Marie moved to Manchester when she was 14. After taking a four-year break to do her undergraduate and Master's, she is pleased to be back in the city that she often calls home. Her PhD investigates feminist metaphilosophy.

Philosophy PhD

What's the focus of your research programme?

I am situated across both the Philosophy and Sociology departments. My thesis combines insights from feminist research in sociology and sociological practice theory in an attempt to better understand the norms and assumptions which uphold ‘philosophy’ as a distinctive body of human knowledge.

I look into the historical representation of women in philosophy and depictions of the ‘feminine’ throughout the philosophical cannon as a means of shedding light on how some seemingly value-neutral metaphilosophical norms are in fact poignantly gendered. I use this as a framework for understanding women’s contemporary underrepresentation in the discipline.

The latter portion of my thesis is based on insights garnered from qualitative research I’ve conducted into undergraduate philosophers in the UK. I draw upon these insights to postulate new philosophical methods – which I borrow from feminist researchers in sociology – which, I argue, can enable an expansion of feminist research in philosophy. I also use this data to shed more light on why women appear to leave philosophy after their undergraduate degrees in greater numbers than men and the specific disciplinary norms and practices which may be contributing to this attrition.

What were you doing before you came to Manchester?

I did my undergraduate degree at Durham and that’s where I first began taking an interest in women in the history of philosophy. I speculated about why the women philosophers I admired had been ignored by the philosophical cannon and my undergraduate reading lists, and I think this is what provoked my interest in feminist philosophy more broadly. That’s why I then went to Sheffield to do my Master's; it was one of the few places in the UK where I could learn about feminism in a philosophy department.