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Duquesne Symposium to Explore Work of Phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty

Duquesne University's Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center will hold its 31st annual symposium, Merleau-Ponty Into the Future, on Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Union.

This year's symposium will explore the work of noted phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty, with the goal of examining how his work might be refreshed in current conversations about aesthetics, psychology, ecology, geopolitics and feminism.

"Merleau-Ponty is one of the seminal figures in the phenomenological tradition," said Dr. Jeffrey McCurry, director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center. "We are not interested in Merleau-Ponty only as a historical figure, but as a living voice in the philosophical conversation today."

Phenomenology, the philosophical study of how human beings experience being in the world, is a special focus at Duquesne.

"This approach is in line with Duquesne's historic commitment to phenomenology in a genuinely philosophical sense in which phenomenology offers insight and challenge to contemporary existence," McCurry explained.

Speakers at the free symposium include:

  • Dr. David Abram, cultural ecologist and author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World
  • Dr. Laura Doyle, professor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Dr. Galen Johnson, professor and chair of the philosophy department, University of Rhode Island
  • Dr. Gail Weiss, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences, George Washington University.

Prior to the symposium, Abram will present Wild Ethics: On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 6:30 p.m. in Room 613 of the Union. The special appearance, hosted by the psychology department, is free and open to the public.

For more information on the symposium,contact phenomenology@duq.edu or 412.396.6038.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.