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Annual Phenomenology Symposium

The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center
Presents the 33rd Annual Symposium

Experiencing Disaster

March 30-31, 2015
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Africa Room, Student Union

Registration is FREE and open to the public.

About the Event

If phenomenology is the exploration of the essences of human experience, what are we to do when what is experienced is horrific, unsettling and cataclysmic? How does phenomenology speak about trauma that undoes the very categories of experience we ordinarily understand to define our experience? Could there be a phenomenology of disaster?

The 2015 Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center Symposium will explore the nature and content of phenomenology when the experience under investigation is the experience of disaster. What is disaster, and what is the human experience of disaster? Through meditating on experiences such as genocide and rape, ecological destruction, colonial violence and the religious, we will seek to explore the far edges and beyond of intelligible human experience. In considering the disaster in all it registers - historical, psychic, political, sexual, environmental and even metaphysical - perhaps we can better learn how to heal the damages wrought by disaster to our humanity and world.

We invite all who are interested to join in with our speakers in this difficult but necessary - and potentially hopeful - conversation.

Speakers include:

         Prof. Debra Bergoffen, American University
         Prof. Jane Gordon, University of Connecticut
         Prof. Kevin Hart, University of Virginia
         Prof. David Loy, Buddhist Teacher, Boulder, Colorado

History and Mission

The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center was founded in 1980 at Duquesne University by Dr. Amedeo Giorgi and Dr. John Sallis. It was an expression of the phenomenological orientations of Duquesne University's graduate programs in philosophy and psychology. The Center proudly bears the name of Mr. Simon Silverman, who was its first major benefactor. The goal of the Center is to promote and facilitate original phenomenological research and thereby add to the corpus of literature in all disciplines, especially in continental philosophy and psychology as a human science.

The Center also serves as a campus hub for numerous intellectual activities that complement graduate programs in philosophy, psychology, theology and communication and rhetorical studies. Internationally, the Center is known for its annual sponsorship of a spring symposium and the André Schuwer Memorial Lecture Series of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP). The center's activities are to advance phenomenology in breadth and depth. All of the center's symposia acta are published.