Friday 8 March 2024

The Women of EPIC

We asked the women of EPIC to tell us what it means for them to be part of the project and we share their thoughts with you on International Women's Day.

Havi Carel (EPIC Principal Investigator)

Havi Carel

"Being part of EPIC is an enormous step for me, both academically and as a feminist. When I started my career, the biggest challenges came from being a young woman in academia, whose contributions often felt ignored and whose area of work was considered 'soft'.
Combined with not having English as my first language and being a newly-arrived immigrant from a cultural minority, I was often at a disadvantage in ways related to epistemic injustice. I think things have improved in places over the past decade but there is still so much entrenched sexism everywhere, including in academia.
In particular, not being heard and not being taken seriously are still forms of epistemic belittling that women encounter daily as students and as academics. I would urge women starting out in academia to find sources of advice (e.g. a woman mentor) and create networks of support. Happy IWD!"


Learn more about Havi's research:

Rose McCabe (EPIC Project partner)

Rose McCabe


"I’m so enjoying working with philosophers and young people - including lots of inspiring young women - on the EPIC project as it provides a completely different lens to think about so many aspects of communication in mental health and mental health care. 
I never thought I would be a Professor and it has been a juggle with four children. For this reason, I really enjoy mentoring younger female colleagues and helping them to navigate their professional journeys."


Learn more about Rose's research

Jude Williams (EPIC Project administrator)

Jude Williams in the Choir with No Name

I was immediately drawn to the project as my own experiences of healthcare epistemic injustices, and those of my family and friends flew through my mind as I read through the project’s aims and ambitions.  To bring this to the forefront of academic research, fully involving everyday people with lived experience and promoting change in how we can address such injustice is crucial and essential for all of our wellbeing. 
In addition to working for EPIC, I teach yoga to older women and menopausal women, and I’m a volunteer with The Choir With No Name Birmingham, a choir for people affected by homelessness and marginalisation. Epistemic injustice is rife in our choir, and although it can feel like you have no name when you are homeless, through community, friendship, eating a hot meal together and belting out some great tunes we enable people to have a voice – and a fabulous one at that!


 Learn about The Choir with No Name:

Elisabetta Lalumera (EPIC Project partner)

Elisabetta Lalumera

"I work at the University of Bologna, in Italy, and for about ten years now I have been working in the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry. I am happy with my work and I know I am very privileged in many aspects. However, I am a female philosopher in a country where female academics are a minority, especially philosophers. Furthermore, I am a woman whose appearance is far from the stereotype of the academic dressed soberly, with a perpetually serious, grave, or authoritative expression. Lastly, I am an Italian who must predominantly speak and write in English. 
These conditions have been and are influential in my career and my life. The default decrease in credibility is a phenomenon that I have experienced very frequently. The concept of epistemic injustice is a philosophical tool that allows highlighting conditions like these - among others. In general, I believe that concepts can empower us, enable us to discuss aspects of reality, and ultimately change them if we need to, and if we are able to engage in a collaborative amioration projects. And creating and discussing concepts is the work of philosophers! So let's not forget how important out job is."

Learn more about Elisabetta's research:

Eleanor Byrne (EPIC Research fellow)

Eleanor Byrne

"I'm delighted to be part of the EPIC team working closely with friendly, curious and critical-minded women. Unfortunately, occasionally one witnesses anxieties about how the increasing presence of women in philosophy risks making the discipline 'soft'. 
We are evidence that philosophy can be compassionate and morally-engaged without compromising quality and rigour."

Learn more about Eleanor's research:

Charlotte Withers (EPIC project manager)

Charlotte Withers

"I am delighted to play a supporting role on the EPIC project. Having studied and worked in the Philosophy department at Bristol for over 10 years, it’s hugely encouraging to now be part of a project that places understanding epistemic injustice at its core. Alongside my EPIC project manager work I am studying for a PGCE in primary education. The EPIC work on creating EI resources for children is really exciting and I look forward to sharing this with my own pupils.

I have been lucky, throughout my studies and University career, to be mentored by strong women. As a mother of three and teacher, I will strive to share the guidance and kindness shown to me with the children I care for. Wishing you all a happy International Women’s Day!"

Sheelagh McGuinness (EPIC Co-Investigator)

Sheelagh McGuiness

Epistemic injustice is important as a framework for understanding how patients are perceived and how they feel they are perceived. It provides a lens through which we can understand and gain insight into experiences that have been overlooked and marginalised. 

Hopefully this will lead to pathways and strategies through which we can ameliorate these injustices. 

Learn more about Sheelagh's research

Lisa Bortolotti (EPIC Co-Investigator) 

Lisa Bortolotti

"At various stages in our lives our agency is questioned and we lose the power to make decisions about our own lives. When we are kids we appear not to have gained enough agency yet. And when we become patients we seem to have lost some of our original agency. 
Women, Black people, people who are perceived as different, and people from a disadvantaged background are often told that they will never make a difference and their perspectives are not valued. 
For me EPIC is about subverting the idea that age, health, gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, mental health, or socio-economic status, by themselves or in combination with other aspects of a person's identity, are ever sufficient reasons to stop treating someone as an agent with a valuable perspective on the world and with the power to contribute to positive change."

Learn more about Lisa's research:

Kathleen Murphy-Hollies (EPIC Research Fellow)

Kathleen Murphy-Hollies

"I am so thrilled to be working on such an interesting and important topic, and excited for what the coming years will bring. Working on project EPIC enables me to continue studying the ways in which social exchanges can go well, or go badly, and what that means for how people understand themselves. 
I am also so grateful to be working with the many other wonderful women in EPIC; I think that being within these groups of women-supporting-women is imperative, and it’s joyful to see more and more of them prosper in philosophy."

Learn more about Kathleen's research:

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