Odds are you’re close to wrapping up the semester, if you haven’t already. And if you’re anything like me, that means it’s time to start thinking about planning next year’s courses. So I wanted to plug a new resource for making your syllabus more representative: The Deviant Philosopher.
The site has a pair of excellent explainers on both the what and the why of the project, so I recommend you read those. In short, the motivation is to make it easier for instructors to incorporate into their courses material from areas, topics, and figures that are typically left out of philosophy courses, both historical and contemporary. One common excuse for excluding this material is that, because we didn’t study it in school ourselves, we wouldn’t know where to begin, and it would take too much work to get up to speed. So, the group behind The Deviant Philosopher sought out people who do know about this stuff to write modular content that is easy to incorporate into your courses.
The content varies in size and scope, from activities to do as part of a single meeting, to short lesson plans for one or two meetings, to whole units covering weeks of material. There are also primers on various issues (like Confucianism or Care Ethics), to help instructors quickly get up to speed on the topic, figure out which texts to use, etc.
So I’d recommend you check out the site. More importantly, I’d encourage you to contribute! If you know something about an under-appreciated topic in philosophy, and want future philosophy students not to miss out, write something up on it. The project has just launched, and the more ground we can cover, the better!
[Full disclosure, The Deviant Philosopher is organized by my colleagues at the University of Oklahoma, and I’ve contributed a few lesson plans on women ancient philosophers.]