Does Demographic Composition of a Department Matter?

Here’s some context. More than half of the tenure-line philosophy faculty at my institution are from groups that are underrepresented in philosophy. Our student body is among the most diverse in the nation, and almost 70% women. Our curriculum, both in content and subject, are fairly varied.

It is perhaps something about this context that explains my surprise when encountering the traditional “let’s only read things by white males” philosophy syllabi. Ten years ago, prior to an extended stint working in so diverse environment of faculty and students, I’m not sure I would have noticed anything peculiar about those syllabi.

Context can really change what looks “political” and what looks like an “agenda” for “infiltrating” curriculum.