Alan Saunders / Maurice Goldsmith Lecture

Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington New Zealand


"What is Global Women's Empowerment?"

From the popularity of charities that tout the transformative effects of giving a woman a goat or a sewing machine to the inclusion of gender equality among the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, enthusiasm for empowering women in the global South seems to be at an all-time high. But what does it mean to empower someone and what are the moral and political responsibilities of those who see themselves as charged with doing the empowering? This talk clarifies and criticises the values underlying existing empowerment practices and offers a vision of women’s empowerment rooted in concerns about global gender justice.

In 2018 the Alan Saunders Lecture, was held conjointly with the Maurice Goldsmith Lecture.

This lecture was recorded and available here.

Serene Khader

Jay Newman Chair in Philosophy of Culture

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Brooklyn College

Associate Professor of Philosophy & Women's Studies, CUNY Graduate Centre


2018 Alan Saunders / Maurice Goldsmith Lecture

In 2018 the Alan Saunders Lecture, was held conjointly with the Maurice Goldsmith Lecture.

Maurice Goldsmith

1933 – 2008 

Maurice Goldsmith was best known to most of the readers of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy as its editor from 2002 until November 30th, 2007. 

Maurice was born in 1933 in Flushing, New York. He went to Columbia University as an undergraduate and postgraduate, where he studied with Ernest Nagel and Herbert Deane, among others. Deane supervised Maurice’s PhD thesis on Hobbes, which was published by Columbia University Press in 1966 as Hobbes’s Science of Politics. Maurice moved from New York to the UK in the late 1960s on a Guggenheim Fellowship and took up a chair in Political Theory at Exeter in 1969. In 1975, he came to the University of Auckland on a British Council Fellowship, where he met Elizabeth McLeay, who was to become a prominent New Zealand political scientist.

Our Department is much quieter now. Sadly so. Maurice’s boisterous joking and laughter used to echo throughout the halls. He will be greatly missed. Maurice is survived by Elizabeth and their adult son James.

©Australasian Association of Philosophy
ACN 152 892 272 ABN 29 152 892 272
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