It seems clear to me that one of my area papers is a non-starter. I'm just not sure there IS a solution to the problem I was wrting about -- and as such I'm giving up on it. That left me in a quandry -- what to write about.
The answer, it seems, came from a bit of cyber-stalking the new faculty at grad school. One of the new hires (well, new since I've been there) has listed as one of her interests feminist philosophy. She's also into epistemology and metaphysics. Since I need to write about either epistemology or metaphysics -- I decided to explore feminist epistemology and ask for her help in doing so.
She was kind enough to give me a meeting time tomorrow -- which is wonderful because I'll actually have time to work on the paper over break.
It was REALLY nice of her to give me some time to discuss the topic, seeing as how our time there never overlapped. Maybe we'll end up doing a directed readings kind of thing -- or something. If she'll get something out of it, I'll do it. I have to have X number of credits to finish my PhD anyway -- I have the coursework done, but that doesn't mean I can't do an extra course with her.
It is great that they hired someone with her knowledge base. I had no chance of learning about feminist philosophy while I was in grad school -- I got laughed at for even mentioning it once... grrr.
I still wonder about the basic gender numbers of my grad department. While it is good that two of their recent tenure track hires are female, there is still a significant disparity. What is even more troubling is that there are only two female graduate students listed on the website -- out of about 30.