Phenomenology offers specific methods that disclose transcendental structures of experience which, in our everyday experience, are overlooked and presupposed. As such, it is understood to be a critical enterprise. Yet in recent years, there has been a ‘critical turn’ in phenomenology: phenomenology is also increasingly understood as a form of social critique capable of engaging, analyzing, and illuminating contemporary socio-political phenomena. Proponents of this critical turn emphasize that, in addition to clarifying the character of constituting consciousness, subjectivity, the lifeworld, and intersubjectivity, phenomenology can also thematize ethical and political experience, as well as shed light on the diverse experiences of marginalized subjects. This new understanding of phenomenology stems from the diagnosis that traditional phenomenologists have overlooked aspects of lived experience and embodiment, such as the subject’s gendered and racialized inscription in the world.
The aim of this conference is to explore the possibilities and opportunities for phenomenology today, following this critical turn. The questions and topics we would like to explore include, for example, the following:
-Is phenomenology a critical enterprise? What makes it critical and what is ‘critique’?
-Can phenomenology play a role in contributing to social and political change?
-What is critical phenomenology? Is it a continuation of classical phenomenology, or is it something that has surpassed it and is now distinct from classical phenomenology?
-Can phenomenology critique cultural, ethical, and political norms? If so, how?
-Can phenomenology analyze sexual, racial, and gender oppression? If so, how?
Abstracts of 300-500 words should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15th. Abstracts must include the author’s full name and institutional affiliation. Additionally, please indicate if you plan on attending the conference in person in Chicago, or if you plan on participating remotely via Zoom. For any questions or further information, please contact email@example.com.
*We anticipate hosting this conference as a hybrid event at Loyola Chicago with the keynote speakers and other participants attending in person, while others may give their talks and participate on Zoom. Should the Covid-19 situation in November not permit an in-person conference, it will be fully online.